“My involvement in Teens for Food Justice has made me more enthusiastic about future volunteer work, and more optimistic about how receptive people can be to changing for the better.”
“I already picked my major, which will be something related to sustainability or environmental engineering. I will definitely bring projects like this around New York, the United States, I will spread it — it’s what I love.”
These enthusiastic, hopeful words from our Teens for Food Justice volunteers are setting the tone for back-to-school preparations at the New Beginnings Charter School urban farm this week. As we look forward to our first service day on September 20th, our plans for expanding the program in Year 2 are well under way.
Seeds of Change Already Sprouting
Baby tomato seedlings are already sprouting in the classroom farm as they await their new hydroponic home. Meanwhile, New Beginnings teachers have undergone a comprehensive training with New York Sun Works, preparing them for hands-on projects with their students in the farm this academic year.
New Systems for New Growth
Floor plans, electrical re-wiring and a hands-on, educational construction plan are being developed by an engineer who is committed to helping us involve teens, New Beginnings students, and the school community in the building of hydroponic systems that are inexpensive and low-tech enough to be accessible to the most basic home farmers. These new systems will provide interesting comparisons with the high-tech automated systems currently in our classroom farm.
Teen volunteers and New Beginnings students will soon team up to build these new systems, and they are looking forward to a year of doubled harvest capacity and cool new crops like beans and strawberries!
Youth Green Team
In a very exciting development, the school’s new after-school program will feature the founding of the “Green Team,” a group of highly motivated 6th and 7th graders who will maintain the farm during weekdays and benefit from mentorship and learning alongside teen volunteers on service days. These students will be ambassadors of healthy living among their peers and parents, and will play a key role in making the urban farm an integral feature of their school community in the long-term.
Join our Growing Team of Supporters
With the power of one click, you can join the food justice movement and help us broaden our impact through increased awareness of our service-learning mission. Join our online community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Please also consider donating to our Teens for Food Justice project fund on Global Giving – your gift will support teen engagement in bringing food justice to underserved communities in NYC and beyond.