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.
In the Spring of 2019, we launched our new youth program model, GroundED in partnership with GRAVITY (which stands for GED+Re-engagement Alternative Vocational Individualized Training for Youth). Young people 16-21 years old will be able to come to GRuB to work on earning their GED while engaging in core mission-delivery across the organization including building our VGP gardens, leading Field Trips, and growing good grub on the farm. Youth at GRuB also earn a stipend for their time spent here. Applications for the Fall 2019 GroundED program are being accepted now. Click here to access the application.
The Four Tenants of the GroundED Program
All activities are based on four tenets 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 GroundED 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." -Derek Gary
"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." -Lukas Smith
“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.” -Dayton Hodge Crombie
“Sometimes just spending some time working on something in nature is all you need to calm your mind.” -Masson Josiah