Volunteers through the School Garden Cultivator program work with students, schools and local communities to cultivate gardeners, grow food and nourish community. Volunteers accomplish this by providing support to the Garden to Cafeteria, Youth Farm Stand and Healthy Seedlings programs throughout diverse communities in Metro Denver.
The School Garden Cultivator program is a six-week “train the trainer” course designed to educate community volunteers in all aspects of working with youth to foster gardening skills and to promote healthy eating (see the 2018 training schedule here!). This hands-on program teaches participants the skills they need to develop and implement youth education programs. Participants will receive 12 hours of instruction covering how to work with and in a school; what are common classes/topics that are of interest and how to teach those topics; how to start a youth garden program, including how to recruit students, how to engage the school and best practices for each program.
The broad goals of the School Garden Cultivator program are to:
- Provide experiential learning opportunities for student inquiry and investigation into academics learned in the classroom
- Increase students’ nutrition and gardening knowledge
- Increase students’ positive attitudes about healthy eating and gardening
- Encourage students’ participation in and bonding to their community and their peers
What We’re Looking For
To be considered for this program, we are looking for volunteers who have:
- Motivation and dedication to supporting youth development through garden-based programming
- Demonstrated leadership ability
- Respect for diversity of opinion, experience, and background
- Experience working with youth in a garden and/or classroom setting
In exchange for the instruction, participants pay a $55 materials fee, and are required to complete 30 hours of volunteering. This course has a limit of 15 participants and is open to individuals who demonstrate involvement and/or interest in educating youth in garden and/or classroom settings. Participants must be able to commit to attend all classes, complete a fingerprint background check, and complete 30 volunteer hours.
Participants are required to contribute 30 hours of GiveBack hours utilizing their new skills in school gardens. A maximum of 10 hours may be done in a non-DUG school-based community garden. A minimum of 20 hours must be done in schools that have a DUG school-based community garden. DUG staff will provide volunteer opportunities and additional guidance, but this aspect is self-directed. GiveBack hours must be approved before completed. Participants must fulfill 30 GiveBack hours by August 2019.
In exchange for the training, participants will pay a $55 materials fee. Please bring payment to the first class and make checks payable to Denver Urban Gardens.
Limited full and partial scholarships are available. To request a scholarship, please submit a letter explaining why you should be considered for a scholarship with your completed application.
School Garden Cultivator classes will be held at The Horse Barn, at 1031 33rd Street in Denver.
The application period is open until May 19th.
We’d like to thank the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation and the Peternell Family Foundation for their generous support of the School Garden Cultivator program.