YCC Leadership Initiative

  • Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age

The Problem

Our museum partners with NM Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) every year to bring youths to the museum to learn hands-on practical skills. However, our YCC program is lacking in opportunities for the youths to practice the skills they learn at the museum and be leaders in a meaningful way. This year, we would like to have our YCC youths lead our weekly nature class, Seeds and Sprouts, which happens for one hour every Thursday morning. This class covers a variety of planting, harvesting, cooking, and environmentalism topics which coincide with what our YCC youths already learn when they come to the museum. By having them lead this class, they will have opportunities to engage with the public, practice their leadership skills, and solidify the gardening knowledge they gain from being in the YCC program at the museum. It will provide a low-pressure environment to practice these skills, as the format of the class is booth style (families/children come and go at their own pace, as opposed to a classroom style sit-down class). We need a set of youth garden tools so the YCC crew can teach the children the gardening skills they learn in a hands-on way.

Our Plan

The Roots & Shoots mini-grant would allow us to purchase the Forged Long-Handled Jr. Garden Tools (#5561) from Nature Explore. The set of four child-side tools (rake, hoe, spade, and fork) is $165. This would allow the YCC crew to teach the children how to garden using real tools, and give the YCC crew an opportunity to pass on the knowledge they’ve been gaining in the program to younger children. We deeply believe in the power of youths teaching youths and that this approach benefits both parties. By “giving young gardeners and diggers the right tools for the job” (from Nature Explore), Roots & Shoots can help us ensure that the children at the museum have an impactful learning experience and that the YCC youths develop leadership skills and confidence in their own capability.

Themes Addressed

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    Community Enhancement
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    Environmental Justice
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The Benefit

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