~~Blackbird Farm's garden project exists to carry out Pathways In Education’s vision of providing experiential learning programs to enhance the social, emotional and scholastic skills of at-risk youth, while simultaneously expanding their educational efforts to incorporate what they've learned at the Farm into their surrounding communities. The Farm is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating at-risk youth about sustainable living, agriculture and livestock. The Farm’s programs reach over 2,000 students annually. Simply put, Blackbird is focused on at-risk teenagers who have faced personal and circumstantial difficulties in their lives and who may have had limited positive peer interaction. The Farm’s unique agricultural programming affords these students experiences they would never have in their daily lives. Similar programming experiences have shown that through experiential learning programs of this type it is possible to turn lives around. Teenagers that participate in programming such as Blackbird’s are less likely to drop out of society (contributing to poverty, unemployment, crime, suicide, drug abuse, teen pregnancy and other ills). Blackbird connects students to the land around them and strives to create personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Blackbird seeks to grow the best possible food and grow the next generation of youth leaders along with it. Blackbird developed an Environmental Science A-G elective course to go along with its gardening activities. Students actively participate in gardening and in Farm operation. The 2.5 credit coursework entitled, “Project Grow,” is separated into three major subjects, Seed-to-Table, Farm-to-Table and Say Cheese. While at the Farm, students gain the knowledge necessary to create raised bed gardens to maintain back at their school sites. Blackbird encourages them to become community ambassadors for organic healthy eating. Additionally, students design and execute a long-term self-directed project aimed at addressing food access issues in their communities.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA