Aug 17, 2015

Final Project Report For Jovial Futures

I want to start off firstly by saying: thank you. The support you have given Jovial Futures has been invaluable and has allowed us to do many amazing things for this community.

Your donations have funded educational trips to the museum, program supplies, a ropes course day and mentor activities.  You have allowed us to enrich the lives of the students who have been involved in our program over the past year and we are incredibly grateful for the support.

Our non- profit, Jovial Concepts, serves the Edgewater community and we have decided we need to readjust our focus, so as to continue to ensure maximum impact.

This refocus has resulted in our decision to not continue with the Jovial Futures program.

Working with the students has been the highlight of this program and we will miss being a part of their lives on a weekly basis.

Jovial Concepts will continue with our greenhouse and seed to table program. This program focuses on sustainability, healthy living and providing access to high quality food.

Jovial Futures has had some amazing accomplishments over the past year. We have worked with over 30 students and helped them to find their spark. We have learned a lot, and had tons of fun together.  We feel that our students have confidence and positivity making them more prepared for the years to come.

Thank you so much for your support and we wish the students all the best in the upcoming school year.

Links:

Jul 7, 2015

A Jovial July

People wait all year for the 4th of July. The fireworks exploding in the air, and the grilling food that you can smell from blocks away, combine to create one of the most memorable days of the year. While most of them are unforgettable, this one will always be special. Despite the holiday, the Jovial staff was back in the gardens tending to our plots. It was a Jovial family affair, complete with volunteers, girlfriends, classmates, and even a mom.

While we all can appreciate a good-time, there is no time to slack off in the midst of such an important growing season. Last year, we were able to produce over 2500 pounds of food with our 5000 square feet of garden space. This year we have doubled the amount of area we are tending to, and hope to be able to triple the amount of production. Ambitious goals, but we believe they are more than reachable. Now in our second season, there is much that we have learned and improved upon. We have already seen some bountiful harvests of lettuce, radishes, bok choy, and snap peas. Even some mustard greens and mountain spinach have been plucked. But we should really start building towards our goals when our harvests of squash, and tomatoes start to come around.

Strategic alliances have helped to truly round out our program. Beneficial relationships with volunteer groups such as Project Helping, and One Brick have allowed us to strengthen our volunteer base. That combined with empowering returning volunteers with leadership roles, allows us to allocate our resources more efficiently and stay on top of the task at hand: managing nearly forty community gardens and distributing the resulting produce to those who need it most.

In the fall, we plan to add some interns from local colleges to bolster our program. This will not only allow us to groom the next generation of innovative, urban farmers, but it also provides us with our own on-campus spokespeople. How awesome is that? 

As encouraged as we are by this progress, we know our work is truly never over. There are already gardens waiting to be added to fold for next season, and we will need your help to make sure we can accomodate them

If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved please email info@jovialconcepts.org or call 303-578-2569

Thank you for your support of Jovial Gardens!

Jul 7, 2015

Summer Time and Mentoring

With the school year finished and summer in full swing there is plenty of time to ruminate on all that we have accomplished.  This school year has been tough between the schools merging together and tensions between students there were times that I thought I wasn't going to make it.  But we did and we managed to create really beautiful things in difficult circumstances.

All of our 7th and 8th grade students were matched with mentors who had their first meeting in May.  It was so exciting to see our students engage with their mentors, ask questions and be able to talk about their sparks confidently.  

We also created an amazing collaborative community project that our students are proud of and worked hard to create.  They created a video that outlined the changes that would happen when the school combined and conducted interviews with principals, teachers and even the mayor of Wheat Ridge.    

There were times this year that I didn't feel like I was getting through to them.  I would create a lesson plan and then something would erupt and make us veer off topic.  But when I saw them interact with their mentors I knew that the core message of Futures had been absorbed.  Sparks ("passions") are a way for us to connect better with others and to better our lives.  When I saw my students talking confidently to adults about what they were passionate about I was so proud of what we had accomplished.

This year serves as testiment to how our Jovial Futures can adapt to new students and circumstances.  I am very excited for the upcoming school year in the new combined middle school and high school and all the challenges and adventures that will bring.

The summer is not completely without events.  We will outings planned such as soccer games and attending a ropes course as a group.  We are also planning our end of summer party that will bring together students and mentors to celeberate the upcoming school year.

Thank you all for your continued support as we continue to work together to create a jovial future.

 
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