My students need a garden educator to provide workshops about food justice, eco-literacy, cooking, and organic gardening via a farm to fork food program within the jail.
Imagine being indoors all day long with no access to fresh air or sunlight? I am trying to change all of this with our Culinary Garden.
My students are incarcerated in a juvenile jail where they live in small cells, wear uniforms, and have to ask when they can stand up, go to the restroom, and use a pencil.
The students are wonderful youth, despite the hardships they have suffered in their lives. The students have endured challenges such as trauma, poverty, incarcerated parents, gaps in education and community violence. Even though they have dealt with overwhelmingly challenging circumstances, they want to make their lives better and know that education is the vehicle to make this happen. I love my job and have worked as their special education teacher for 17 years.
Our culinary garden currently has 16 raised beds full of delicious organic produce that students plant, care for, harvest and cook in the garden. We need funds to pay for our garden educator, who conducts workshops in the garden about eco-literacy, adaptations, composting, worm composting, stewardship, food justice, financial literacy, and more. The educator guides students through the cooking process and how they can prepare and eat healthy food for themselves. In learning to care for these plants and other living things, the students learn empathy and compassion, and in turn, start to care for themselves and society in a different way. This program is rehabilitative at its core and by helping our students in this way, I truly believe that the benefit will go back to society as these students rehabilitate themselves through education. The project is student driven, and the institution fully supports it; however, neither the school nor the institution provide financial support.
If funded, this will be the fourth DonorsChoose project of its kind.
At this point the program has become almost entirely reliant on DonorsChoose for its ability to operate. Thank you, truly. This garden is truly helping transform my students. With the new knowledge they are gaining, they feel empowered and are starting to transform their lives with education. Please help me help my students by bringing these amazing workshops to the jail.
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|Laura McDonnell (Laura will conduct weekly garden education classes and students will develop critical life skills and tools to reach self-sufficiency, experience rehabilitation through gardening, and receive environmental education. The program links food, culture, health, and the environment to promote ecological stewardship and social justice.)||$1,000.00|
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