Youth Food Project Grows Opportunities

LAYFP volunteer Don Casperson helps youth plant seeds at PEEC’s Earth Day Festival April 20. Photo by Sylvan Argo

YMCA News:

Los Alamos Youth Food Project gives youth opportunities to participate in food project this summer. Young people can submit entries for a logo and slogan contest, increase their leadership skills in Garden Leadership or explore the garden and its environment through iCare About Gardening camp.

LAYFP is a youth-driven initiative. The project name was created and voted on by young people, the project is grant funded by the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, and youth have the opportunity to voice their ideas and visions for LAYFP. LAYFP wants to continue youth input by having young people design a logo and slogan.

The logo and slogan contest is open to youth of all ages. The winner will receive a prize and their logo will be on promotional items such as bags, hats, t-shirts and other items. Submit all entries by 9 p.m., May 31. Paper entries should be delivered to The Family YMCA’s front desk at Iris and 15th Street. Electronic entries should be emailed to Email an original file and a PDF. All entries should have the contestant’s name, phone number and school on the back of the entry or in the body of the email.

Young people plant seeds at the LAYFP Booth at PEEC’s Earth Day Festival April 20. Photo by Sylvan Argo

The Garden Leadership program is Wednesday afternoons in June and July. It is designed for youth ages 11 to 17 to build leadership skills through garden-focused projects. Weekly activities link gardening to energy, water, soil, animals and more. Garden Leaders will work together to improve garden sites while learning the “whys” behind the gardening practices.

The group will explore different leadership styles and personality traits that will help them to understand themselves as well as others around them. Garden Leaders will have the opportunity to engage in team building exercises to strengthen their leadership skills, participate in workshops with local gardening experts, and take field trips to nearby gardens or farms.

Garden Leadership is a new program. As the first Garden Leaders, participants will have the opportunity to shape the program to meet their needs and special interests. Participants will develop a unique group name and establish their mission and vision for the Garden Leadership program.

The Y’s iCare About Gardening will take place Aug. 12 and 13. It is a supervised ecological awareness camp for children ages five to 12. Participants will explore the various gardening environments around our community, while experiencing the ecological connections between compost, soil, worms, bugs, birds, plants, healthy food, climate and more at their own pace. Participants will have the chance to express themselves and their learning through garden-themed art, music and games.

The Los Alamos Youth Food Project is a service-learning initiative that brings youth and adults together with a focus on gardening. During the last month, LAYFP has offered Los Alamos youth many learning opportunities such as lessons on the local environment through seed ball making, seed planting opportunities, healthy cooking classes and more.

For more information, call 505-662-3100 or look up “Los Alamos Youth Food Project” on Facebook.

LAYFP is one of the community programs administered by The Family YMCA funded through a grant the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board received from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. Other LAYFP partners include the Los Alamos Cooperative Market, PEEC and Los Alamos Public Schools.

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