The idea for the Youth Food Project came out of a community book-club discussion of the book Seedfolks. LAMS teacher Stephanie Krantz decided that a service-learning community garden was just what the students and families of Los Alamos needed. Under the auspices of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Family YMCA, the Youth Food Project is now in full swing. Working with the Los Alamos School board, a 1/2 acre site at LAMS has been set aside for implementation of a community garden and greenhouse though funding by a State Farm Advisory Board grant.
The LA Youth Food Project is in it’s beginning stages of development. Our overarching goal for this project is for the garden to be available at some level for K-12 LAPS students, community organizations, and individuals. We are working to provide a hands-on learning opportunity for LAPS students AND community members as well. This is a very new project with a LOT of unknowns,but we encourage our community to take part in the planning and implementation process.
Ultimately, we aim to grow a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults by working together to build a sustainable, local food system. The project will be led by Los Alamos Middle School students as they help to design and implement a community garden on school grounds next to the Middle School Solar Array. The project will provide access to quality, affordable food for LAPS students and low-income households throughout Los Alamos County. The project will impact the entire LAPS school district by providing teachers and students with an opportunity for hands-on service learning activities designed to engage them in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Participants will receive: 1) an introduction to sustainable, organic gardening; 2) information about nutrition to assist them in developing an appetite for healthy foods; 3) education about the social, environmental and economic aspects of agriculture and food systems; 4) leadership skills necessary to prepare and deliver community presentations, develop and conduct a public outreach campaign; 5) skills necessary to mentor other students; and 6) increased skill levels in reading, language, writing and mathematics.