Included in this section:Community Service Options
GEF will supply you with a basic framework to create a community service program at your school, including a straightforward volunteer manual and outreach support. Build on the interest within your school community while also signing on volunteers from beyond those garden fences! Enlist local high school students in exchange for community service hours, or college students interested in pursuing personal/professional interests. Reach out to the senior citizens in your community, who will bring years of gardening experience and enthusiasm. Connect with local chapters of hunger organizations, who already coordinate volunteers, and who are actively seeking surpluses from community gardens.
Summer Internships for Students
GEF strives to be the nation's #1 one-stop source for environmental education, and is therefore committed to providing your school with the option of a summer garden education program. GEF will supply Green Thumb Challenge participants with a comprehensive model for coordinating student interns, who work in exchange for community service hours, independent study credits, or a small stipend.
Team up with the local chapter of your Boys and Girls Club, 4-H Club, YMCA, or other community organization group that will welcome the opportunity to get kids outdoors and interacting with nature. Summer in the garden is also a wonderful time to lead cooking and nutrition classes that promote healthy eating habits. Letters to local chapters of national organizations, guidance and nutritional counselors, and community centers will be included in this section to support your outreach efforts.
Professional Development and Course Credits for Teachers
Through GEF's online professional development course, teachers will be issued a certificate of completion and course syllabus so that they can receive PDP's and CEU's from their state or district. Online training in the basics of gardening and garden maintenance will be offered in conjunction with fieldwork hours in the school garden, ensuring understanding while providing additional garden coordination and attendance.