Youth Exploring Agriculture & Health (YEAH!)
2014 kicked off EarthDance’s YEAH! Program. YEAH! is an emerging approach to connecting young people to the natural world, healthy eating, and organic farming. In its pilot year, YEAH! has engaged young people through field trips to the farm, collaborations with the Ferguson-Florissant School District like the Work Experience Program, and employment with EarthDance’s Junior Farm Crew.
Junior Farm Crew
Our inaugural Junior Farm Crew members, all local high school students, were led by James Young, a teacher, graduate of the EarthDance Apprenticeship program, and farmer with 8+ years of experience working with youth. They were given the option to continue work at EarthDance this Fall as well.
Over the 2 month course of the program (June-August), The Junior Farm Crew learned a variety of job skills, including:
Basic farm work, such as weeding and harvesting vegetables
Public speaking, when leading tours for farm visitors
Preparing for special events
Preparing healthy food
Will I be paid?
Members of the Junior Farm Crew will earn $8/hr.
Who should apply?
Young people with a strong interest in working outside, gaining job experience, and learning about farming
Students able to commit to working daily, M-F, throughout the program
How do I apply?
Applications are available on EarthDance’s website here.
Work Experience Program
The Work Experience Program (WEP), a project of the Ferguson Florissant Special School district, provides students with opportunities to learn skills that will assist them in their future work places. These students work approximately 3-4 hours per week at their job site. Students placed at EarthDance have the unique chance to learn not only practical job skills and attitudes (hard work, efficiency, and having a boss, among others) they also are able to try their hand at organic farming (weeding, harvesting, preparation, and cooking) while also learning about farm practices, nutrition, and the environment.
OASIS: Catch Healthy Habits & Let’s Read, Let’s Move
In addition to partnering with the Ferguson Florissant School District (FSSD) for the Work Experience Program, we have partnered with a non-profit OASIS, an organization serving the health of older adults 50+ for Catch Healthy Habits (CHH). Catch Healthy Habits brings OASIS volunteers together with elementary-age children for discussion of healthy habits, healthy snacks, and physically challenging games. Both the children and seniors who participate in Catch Healthy Habits increase healthy behaviors after participating in the 8-week class series.
In 2014, EarthDance facilitated a session of Catch Healthy Habits at the farm, as part of YEAH! The program was deemed highly rewarding by both the adult volunteers and the boys of Ferguson’s Strength and Honor Summer Camp. This summer’s sessions of Catch Healthy Habits will also feature Let’s Read, Let’s Move, mentor-led reading and activity sessions.
EarthDance thanks the Mysun Foundation and the Dana Brown Charitable Trust for their support for the YEAH! Program.
YEAH! provides young people with the opportunity to connect to nature, healthy food, and personal growth through learning and employment on an organic farm.
YEAH! directly benefits from your generosity. Check out our Go Fund Me page! ———————–>