Submitted by GRuB

GRuB is launching a new program in partnership with GRAVITY, launching March 20th, based at the GRuB Farm in West Olympia.

GRuB is celebrating 20 Years of Youth Empowerment Programming on the GRuB Farm. Since 1999 we’ve served 400 teens and young adults in the South Puget Sound region; offering paid and accredited employment training and leadership skill development curriculum.

Now that we’ve helped Olympia, Tumwater, and Eatonville School Districts to embed their high schools with programs modeled after ours, we’re focusing on teens and young adults who have dropped out to offer them the same powerful experience. GRAVITY, our regional GED program, will be our partner to offer the GroundED program at GRuB, while the participants also work toward completing their GED at the same time.

The partnership was desired on both sides, as we were approached by GRAVITY’s principal Gerry Grubbs to explore this relationship. In his owns words:

“The GRAVITY program has been very successful at helping students complete their GED, find work, and connect with the next step of their lives.  One element that we have not been as good at is developing real hands on course work that builds the soft skills needed for employment and the leadership skills to empower them in the real world.  GRuB has a long track record of using the real life application of food production to create solid and incomparable learning experiences for youth. Rather than attempt to take on the gigantic task of developing a program it just made sense to collaborate with a well respected youth program already in operation.”

Youth will be paid for their training time, and will be expected to commit to regular study times toward passing their exams, with help from a passionate GRAVITY teacher on site at GRuB. The inaugural GroundED program runs from March 20th through June 14th; Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons at GRuB in West Olympia. Youth will learn the basics of sustainable farming, communication and conflict resolution skills, facilitation and teaching methods while they lead elementary school field trips on the farm, and will strengthen their public speaking through community engagement opportunities, including building free gardens for low and no-income residents throughout Thurston County.

We need the community’s help to spread the word, to ensure these youth know about and can access this opportunity, and to support us to ensure these youth are successful in overcoming barriers.

The application is online: tinyurl.com/grounded2019. The inaugural season of GroundED will run from 3/20 through 6/14 at the GRuB Farm at 2016 Elliott Ave. NW, Olympia.

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