Prosperity Gardens was formed initially under the auspices of the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club (DMBGC) in 2010 and as an independent non-profit in 2012 to do workforce development and nutrition education in the context of a neighborhood farm. Through our programs, at-risk youth are introduced to career paths in agriculture, marketing, entrepreneurship, nutrition and culinary arts. Teens at the READY program participate in classroom instruction and hands-on gardening experiences, and are eligible for part-time growing season jobs in the gardens. Individualized fitness and nutrition planning is also offered to READY students. Younger children who attend the DMBGC have access to Garden Club, which provides weekly creative garden-based nutrition education. What is the READY Program? The Regional Education Alternative for Developing Youth (READY) program serves students from 16 school districts in Champaign and Ford counties. These middle and high school age students have been multiply suspended or expelled from their home school and have been transferred to READY where they remain for variable lengths of time depending on their academic, behavioral or career goals. The mission of READY is to provide a holistic education for students in a setting that helps the students find pathways to academic, occupational and personal success. “Cultivating change, transforming lives” is their new mission statement. The Prosperity Gardens/READY Partnership Almost from the beginning, this collaboration was part of the mission of Prosperity Gardens. The objective of this dedicated position is to make this partnership as effective as possible by embedding this staff person at READY full-time during the school year.
This person will be directly supervised by the Director of Prosperity Gardens. During the summer, the Program Coordinator will be integrated into the neighborhood farming operation and programs which include garden based nutrition education for young children, and workforce development opportunities for teens.