A new program has started in Scioto County that works to teach valuable life skills to local youth.
Watch Me Grow, an agriculture and entrepreneurship program providing rural and inner-city youth with hands-on experience in small business development, is a free program allowing kids to learn how to grow and harvest their own food while instilling important values.
“Watch Me Grow is a 12-week agriculture and entrepreneurship program providing area youth across the county with hands-on experience and small business development, while establishing a sense of self sufficiency, leadership and confidence. Participants will plant, grow, harvest and sell produce at local farmers markets while learning to operate their own small businesses. They will also receive experience in raising and caring for livestock, learning farm-to-table processes and responsibly managing their own finances,” explained Drew Carter, who teamed with Leanne Johnson to develop the program.
On a recent Saturday, 37 children, ages 9 to 17, were in attendance as the groups planted vegetables and cared for livestock.
The program will rotate groups into the different activities, allowing the children who participate to learn fishing skills, livestock care, tending garden and visiting the farmers market. The children will also be keeping journals to make notes on what they’ve learned.
“One of the things about a garden is understanding success and failures. This will be an opportunity to learn to overcome failures, and learning from successes as well.,” said Leanne Johnson.
“We are still continuing to accept any children that want to be involved. We understand that they’re still in school activities and sports. The program is open to any child in the community, and is free of charge.”
The Watch Me Grow program provides lunches to children within in the program, as well as offering some transportation between events.
The program is being made possible by a generous donation from Wesbanco Bank, allowing the Watch Me Grow program to be offered at no cost. Other sponsors of the program include Drew Carter, Leanne and Joe Johnson, Mike Clark, Noble Family Farms and other program volunteers who have donated valuable time and resources, along with personal donations.
Reach Ivy Potter at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932