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Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI)

Rural Alliance for Dignity at La Puente Home, Inc.
No listings recruiting at this time

VEGI serves predominantly outdoors in a garden, with daily transporting between local schools and the program office. Often times, there will be opportunity to be indoors with the students. This position is high in physicality in regards to maintaining a garden space as a classroom and overseeing groups of elementary-aged students.

Service Activities

Youth Education Responsibilities:
- Implement Garden-Science Curriculum Program in grades K-5 in the classroom and the garden at Alamosa Elementary
- Develop and implement fun garden lessons and activities for Alamosa Elementary Summer School students.
- Develop, organize, and lead an educational 10-week summer garden camp for elementary age students.
- Develop lessons, activities and oversee children’s groups that visit the garden in the summer
- Provide and operate a garden-related craft table for kids at the Alamosa Farmers Market

Garden Operations:
- Oversee overall organic garden production at the Alamosa Elementary School Garden
- Oversee garden operations, including planning and prep, planting and replanting, weeding, watering, harvesting and vegetable distribution.

Garden Coordination and Outreach:
- Manage and utilize social media, maintain relationships with local media outlets and contribute articles, photos and information about garden educational projects and events
- Create good rapport with community by attending community meetings and events, making public presentations, and other opportunities to engage the public and solicit more youth involvement

Plan, Coordinate and Oversee Special Events Including the Following:
- Garden Kick-Off Dinner and Silent Auction Fundraiser- to raise funds specifically used to benefit the school garden and students
- School and youth events including the school carnival, the Boys and Girls club fair, stone soup harvest event, etc.

Community Need Addressed

Across the 9 counties of the Rural Alliance for Dignity, 18% of students will not graduate from high school. Studies have shown that increases in the standards of academic performance are correlated with decreases in high school graduation rates. This demonstrates that in counties with lower standards of education, a high school diploma may not actually be a predictor of future success. This fact coupled with a myriad of cultural and community problems demonstrate that in order for youth to become successful adults, they need much more than basic academic support.

The San Luis Valley is home to three of the four poorest counties in Colorado. Valley wide, the isolation, poverty, geographic expanse, and limited economic opportunities give way to great human need. As a result, financial, housing, and food insecurity are major problems in the region. The Rural Alliance for Dignity AmeriCorps program will provide emergency services to those who are hungry, homeless, or on the verge of becoming homeless, as well as engage the community in the cause through event planning, and volunteer recruitment and management. AmeriCorps members will serve over 700 homeless individuals, stabilize more than 2,000 individuals on the brink of homelessness, and provide emergency food services to more than 11,000 food-insecure individuals.

Position Outcomes

The Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI) is a program of La Puente Home, Inc. and is collaboration between local schools, nonprofits, and community members to teach gardening and nutrition to children. VEGI also provides produce to families in the community, the food bank and at La Puente Home’s shelter. The focus of VEGI is to educate students about the important connection between growing food, living a healthy lifestyle, making good nutritional choices, caring for the environment and being involved in the community.


Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Relocation allowance (if applicable), Student loan forbearance, Training

A Colorado experience picked by the members.

Education Benefits

GED/High School Diploma

Competencies You Will Develop

Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment
  • Activity Types Hands On Activities
  • Focus Areas Education & Youth, Health & Nutrition
  • Length of Service 12 Months
  • Education Requirements High School Graduate
  • Placement Individual and Team Placements
  • Service Setting Community-based Nonprofit
  • Weekly Training Hours 4

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