Join us on November 16th!
Growing Minds, Cultivating Change
Last spring, the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club approached us with an exciting opportunity - could we expand our programming to include a nutrition class for the next school year? With quick mulling, we knew students would love learning in a Maria Kitchen.
Now, on Wednesdays, Guilmette Middle School students enjoy a nutrition class at the club with Maria, our Healthy Living Programs Manager. Maria has been teaching healthy cooking classes for adults at Groundwork for years, and relishes the chance to take her model and adapt it for her "smaller people." A Maria Kitchen buzzes with energy as students center on a mixing bowl, or cutting board, or try a hesitant spoonful, all while she smiles and coaxes out each child's inner chef.  
Maria  approaches each lesson with three things in mind:
1. Nutrition is key
2. Youth lead decision-making 
3. A curious taster makes a seasoned chef
With these in mind, Maria searches for recipes that fit and offers options to her students for them to choose. Through the semester, students begin offering their own ideas, and Maria will look for matching recipes. 
This approach is simple, but Maria says it's essential to ensuring her students are curious and engaged. By giving them decision-making authority, they learn the power of their choice and voice. At Groundwork, our goal is to develop tomorrow's leaders. Giving youth the power and skills to make healthy choices leads them on a pathway of lifelong health and success. This is the core to every successful education program Groundwork offers.
Another great partner, Lawrence High School, approached us around the same time, seeking to include us in their new Early College and Career Pathways programs, which aim to make the next generation prepared for the changing workforce. They asked us to lead sessions in a variety of fields, including public health, urban planning, and environment. We knew our approach to education and youth development would work wonderfully with Lawrence High School students. However, this new opportunity didn't have funding for program development or implementation.  
Taking on new programming without funding is daunting. Fortunately, we have friends and donors just like you that support Groundwork and the Youth of Lawrence, and we know that supporting Lawrence High School and its students is worth any challenge. 
At this year's Glow Gala, we're honoring Chet Sidell, an amazing friend and donor who has supported Groundwork Lawrence since day one. When there's a community need, or a partnership opportunity that needs funding to launch, Chet has repeatedly stepped in. To honor his lifelong dedication to the revitalization of Lawrence, and his continued commitment to Groundwork, we're launching the Sidell Impact Fund ,  which will be used to support ventures just like these programs with Lawrence High School - offering seed funding for innovative ideas to nimbly respond to opportunities for growth and community need
With your time and generosity,  countless youth are empowered through environmental improvements, increased fresh food access, youth development and education, and community engagement. 
Help ensure we can continue supporting the Youth of Lawrence by attending the Glow Gala. With Eco-Art and silent auctions, chance and special vacation raffles, delicious food and drinks, and live music by Los Sugar Kings, it's a one-of-a-kind party where you can really make the difference in building a stronger, healthier Lawrence.
We hope you will join us at our Glow Gala. If you are unable to attend, please consider supporting Lawrence youth with a donation today.
Check out our Calendar for upcoming events, workshops and volunteer opportunities.