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GroundED Spring Report

July 8, 2019
GroundED Spring Report


The GRuB GroundED Spring Report

During the spring of 2019, through a partnership with GRAVITY Learning Centers, GRuB launched the inaugural GroundED program. We served 15 young adults in a 12 week, 144 hour program, focused on growing food, growing themselves, and growing community. Many of the participants also enrolled as ResCare participants, getting directly paid for their work experience through the Workforce Investment and Opportunities Act (WIOA). The remaining participants earned a stipend for their season. Each crew-member spent regular intervals studying to pass their GED tests with the help of a qualified GED teacher. Five participating youth came from rural towns including Roy, Tenino, Yelm, Shelton, and Rochester. 94% of youth were low-income. 

Youth prepped the farm and planted seeds & starts that will turn into an estimated 13,000 lbs. of food this growing season. Youth built 8 backyard raised-bed gardens for low-income families and hosted 500+ little kids on the farm.

For the new GroundED program, GRuB measured impact by having students take post-program qualitative evaluations. 10 crew-members participated in these closing evaluations. The evaluations resulted in the following: 

● 100% increased their knowledge of sustainable farming skills 

● 100% believe they can more effectively and safely communicate with others 

● 100% believe they’re better at setting goals and holding themselves accountable to them 

● 80% believe they’re better at making healthy choices 

● 100% are more confident and capable in teaching and leading others 

● 100% are capable of being professional in a work environment 

● 90% believe they are better at working in a diverse group of people 

● 77% saw an increase in physical activity & exercise this season 

GED Outcomes: Part of the inspiration for GroundED program was developing a cohort program that emphasized a regular schedule and relationship building among students, which did not exist at any of the GRAVITY Learning Centers beforehand. The hope was that GroundED would encourage both new and existing GRAVITY participants to work more diligently toward passing their GED tests. We certainly found success during this first season! 

● Prior to this season of GroundED, all 16 participants had combined to pass 14 GED tests across their entire time with GRAVITY (4 subjects = full GED) 

● As of 6/21, 11 tests were passed during the spring GroundED season alone 

● 4 participants now have fully earned their GED! 

“I have made more gains than before. I never used to work on my GED.”

“What helped me make progress was others in GroundED pushing me to do better in life.” -

“I know I have made progress because I have helped more people in my community through various different ways.”

“Learning about the different benefits of foods, and realizing that I love being outdoors in the sun with my hands in the dirt; that also inspired me to grow food.” 

“I am much more confident in myself and my abilities. I also got much better at focusing on the task at hand, and pushing myself to try new things.”

“The space itself, being as accepting as it is, made me feel safe and welcome.”

GroundED Personal Goals - At the beginning of the season, we asked all participants to set one measurable goal in each of the three categories that GRuB’s mission is based on; growing food, growing people, and growing community. We revisited these goals at the end, and we found the following: 

 90% met their personal goal within “growing food”

Quotes from participants relating to their pursuit of meeting their goals:

“I know that I’ve met my goal because I have began a small garden in my own home!”

“The awesome people here at GRuB are wonderful teachers.”

“I know I made progress because I helped the farm grow the food.”

“Learning about the different benefits of foods, and realizing that I love being outdoors in the sun with my hands in the dirt; that also inspired me to grow food.” 

“All the staff and all my peers/co-workers helped me make great progress, mostly by motivation.” 

90% met their personal goal within “growing people” 

Quotes from participants relating to their pursuit of meeting their goals:

“I know I met my goal because I now have four people I consider close friends, and I consider myself to be friends with everyone else in GroundED.”

“I am much more confident in myself and my abilities. I also got much better at focusing on the task at hand, and pushing myself to try new things.”

“I have made more gains than before. I never used to work on my GED.”

“I got so many chances to help guide my peers. I was always being told how I have grown.”

“The space itself, being as accepting as it is, made me feel safe and welcome.”

“All of the support I received gave me the confidence to believe I was capable of accomplishing my goals.”

“What helped me most was that everyone in GroundED was so nice and caring.”

“Just being trusted and being given the responsibility to guide others.” 

70% met their personal goal within “growing community” 

Quotes from participants relating to their pursuit of meeting their goals: 

“I’m pretty certain I made a difference not only in the farm (by planting), but in my peers by doing my best to keep them happy.”

“I know I have made progress because I have helped more people in my community through various different ways.”

“I made lots of progress by volunteering in garden builds, and helping out on field trips.”

“I’ve befriended my peers, I’ve seen myself make them smile and laugh. I’ve also been able to witness the farm bloom.”

“GRuB teaching me how to grow plants, and what soil to use, and everything you really need to know.”

“What helped me make progress was others in GroundED pushing me to do better in life.”

“This program and the people have encouraged me and helped me become more comfortable talking to people.” 

Spring Farm Fieldtrips - Our GroundED crew hosted 505 kids and 147 adult chaperones from 16 different organizations/schools on the GRuB farm this spring. Groups included: Lincoln Elementary, Washington Connections Academy, Science & Horticulture class Salish Middle School, Komachin, homeschool group, Sparkleberrys Preschool, WA He Lut Indian School, Lacey Elementary, Hansen Elementary, Garfield Elementary, Pioneer Elementary. 

Coming Up Next: GRuB will host 30+ youth in our 8-week summer employment program in July and August in partnership with New Market Skills Center. And this coming fall, we will engage 15-20 youth in our 2nd season of the GroundED program focusing on youth pursuing their GED. 


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