GroundEd is a partnership program with Gravity Learning Center, providing paid educational stipends for teens on the GRuB farm.
GRuB and Gravity are partnering to offer a program rooted in GRuB's mission of growing healthy food, people, and communities. GroundED gives teens the opportunity to build work experience, grow yourself, and contribute to the community by growing food on the GRuB Farm.
Participants can earn up to $1,000 in an educational stipend per season, based on meeting expectations for attendance and effort.
What do you do in GroundED?
- Grow Food - help run the farm by working on a variety of hands-on projects with training from staff, learn about caring for plants and the land!
- Grow People - build communication skills, identify and tackle your goals, and develop healthy habits!
- Grow Community - meet new people, work as a team and build leadership skills!
Where & when does it happen?
The program takes place on the GRuB Farm - 2016 Elliott Ave. NW, Olympia, WA 98502 (on the 41 bus-line; Intercity Transit is now free to ride!)
And there are two schedule options:
- Wednesdays and Fridays, 12pm-4pm OR
- Thursdays and Fridays, 12pm-4pm
2023 Season dates (You can do multiple seasons!) :
- Spring Season: April 7th - June 16th
- Summer Season: June 23 - September 1st
- Fall Season: September 13th - November 17th
To Qualify for the GroundED program you:
- Must be enrolled in Gravity before the season starts - you can do GroundED even if you’ve completed your GED as long as you are still attending Gravity.
- Must be able to commit to the schedule, and attend the entire season.
- Must submit an application.
About High School Reengagement
For over 20 years, GRuB has been running sustainable agriculture-based alternative education, employment, & drop-out prevention programs that engage local teens in land & community-based projects, working to break cycles of hunger, poverty, inequality, and oppression.
From 2001-2011, only 39% of youth who entered GRuB’s youth programs were on track to graduate. A recent study found 95% of our low-income alumni have earned their diploma or GED (compared with the general low-income Washington State graduation rate of 70%), 45% completed post-high school degrees, and 76% are employed.
From 2011-2018, GRuB operated a high school program called GRuB School, where students would come to GRuB for a 3 period block-class each afternoon. Every summer, we've continued to run a job-training program for youth as well.
The Four "R's" of the GRuB Youth Program Model
All activities are based on these four "R's" found in our country’s best youth programs:
- Responsibility: Does the program create opportunities for youth to take on real-world responsibility?
- Relevance: Is it relevant to the lives of our youth participants? Is it relevant to our community?
- Relationships: Are strong, trusting relationships built between youth and with their adult mentors?
- Rigor: Is the work rigorous? Will it stretch youths’ capacity for commitment and hard work?
The Focus of the GRuB Youth Program Curriculum
Our proven curriculum centers on GRuB’s core themes of Farming Self, Farming Land, & Farming Community. The following curriculum activities work to meet this objective.
Farming Self (Personal Development)
- Weekly feedback and accountability practices between peers and GRuB staff.
- Trust-building activities.
- Workshops on topics like non-violent communication, conflict de-escalation, & healthy relationships.
- One-on-one check-ins with staff to set goals in regard to academics, post-program, family, and life.
- Learning to plan and prepare nutritious meals using seasonal products.
Farming Land (Sustainable Land Stewardship)
- Leading the production and harvest of over 13,000 pounds of produce.
- Over half of this food is directed to our crew members, their families, and the Food Bank.
- Learning essential sustainable agriculture skills, soil health management, and plant propagation.
- Engaging in needed fieldwork at local farms dedicated to the production of food for the food bank and people without access to enough healthy produce.
Farming Community (Civic Engagement and Community Service)
- Building free gardens for low-income families through GRuB’s Victory Garden Project.
- Hosting and working with volunteers and field trip guests.
- Developing public speaking skills and representing GRuB at community events.
- Getting out into the community to learn about other programs, resources, and opportunities including visiting our local Food Bank, other local farms & similar programs.
"Before GRuB I had no sense of community. I had never felt welcomed or wanted by a group of people. I've truly felt community here at GRuB because every minute here I feel like I'm part of something important; whether we are in the middle of working towards a common goal, team-building, or just hanging; I always feel welcomed and wanted."
"Doing team-building really showed me what community meant. We worked on making our relationships stronger, building trust, respecting boundaries and identities, and practicing open-mindedness. To me, that explains what a community is."
“I stepped up as a leader more often, and I’m most proud of that because without GRuB, I wouldn’t have probably thought of myself as a leader.”
“Sometimes just spending some time working on something in nature is all you need to calm your mind.”
“At first I was just excited to get out of the house, but over time realized that it wasn’t a class, but a family. This place has got me through all my tests, and I passed my GED in less than two months. I got through because of the support, the love, and the fun at GroundED.”