post

#SOYLyouth 2021 – Fiona

by Fiona Sutherland, SOYL Vancouver Mentor

As a mentor, I have loved seeing the growth and change this wonderful program has brought to not only my crewmates, but me as well. Watching everyone come out of their shells, take interest in farming, help the community, and expand their social circles has been so inspirational! Getting to know our wonderful SOYL youth this summer has been quite exciting, especially from a mentor point of view. I feel as if I have a lot more appreciation for the change and growth, I have seen from day one to now! Seeing the growth in myself is also incredibly exciting. I feel as if I learn more and more every year and I am so grateful for the opportunities this program has provided me with. My confidence in my own leadership skills is continuously growing as I receive feedback from our wonderful facilitators and help build on my current abilities. 

SOYL provides such an inclusive and fun environment to learn in, and this summer has helped me develop and foster crucial life and leadership skills. For example, I now find it much easier to take charge and help lead bigger groups. I feel a lot less afraid to give others gentle reminders and to step fully into my leadership position! SOYL has given me the confidence to trust my own decisions, leadership related or otherwise. I truly appreciate how SOYL brings hundreds of youth opportunities that are few and far between in our education system – not only does the program help prepare us for the workforce, but it gives us valuable information about the outside world and how to stand out amongst our diverse and talented peers. SOYL teaches youth how to bring positive change to our society, no matter big or small.

Learn more about the SOYL program HERE.

post

Delta School District leases mini school farm to non-profit group

Fresh Roots to grow/sell produce on-site; donate part of harvest to local food security organizations

Jun. 28, 2021 4:44 p.m

 

The Delta School District has leased its dormant Farm Roots Mini School to a non-profit that will operate the farm and donate part of its harvest to local food security organizations.

In a press release issued Monday afternoon (June 28), the district announced it had leased the eight-acre Boundary Bay-area farm, located at 6570 1A Ave., to Fresh Roots, a Vancouver-based non-profit that cultivates engaging gardens and programs that encourage healthy eating, ecological stewardship and community celebration. The lease is set to run until Nov. 30, 2021.

“Fresh Roots is no stranger to our farm,” Paige Hansen, district vice-principle for academy and choice programs, said in a press release. “For several years we have worked in partnership, with the shared aim of stewarding schoolyard farms to provide meaningful learning opportunities for youth. For example, over the past three years, Fresh Roots has helped manage the farm during the summer by hosting a summer youth leadership program — Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership (SOYL). We are delighted to be able to lease our farm to them.”

The district has been unable to operate its Farm Roots Mini School for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the release, the district is using this pause in operations to “assess the best format to incorporate agricultural programming into the curriculum, with a focus on grades 7-9, to help keep elementary students’ interest in agriculture alive.”

Fresh Roots will continue to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers at the farm, which will be available to the community through the on-site farm stand and at local markets. As well, Fresh Roots will be making weekly donations during harvest months to local food security organizations.

“We are so excited and grateful to have this opportunity to manage the farm for the next few months,” Fresh Roots executive director Alexa Pitoulis said in a press release. “The local community has always been so welcoming. If anyone is interested to know more about our SOYL program or has other questions, I encourage them to call me at 778-764-0DIG (0344), ext. 101.”

Meantime, the district says it will continue to use the farm as an outdoor learning classroom for students and possibly for hosting community events once pandemic restrictions allow.

Delta School District leases mini school farm to non-profit group