April 3, 2012
For CALS undergraduates only. Contact Marcia Eames-Sheavly email@example.com for more information or to apply.
Title of project: Orange County 4-H Urban Gardens
Worksite Location: Middletown, New York
Faculty sponsor: Marcia Eames-Sheavly
County Cornell Cooperative Extension Association(s) and extension educator collaborators:
CCE Orange County, Jerome Christie, 4-H Issue Leader
Project summary and intended outcomes:
Recently, 4-H Youth Development has identified the need to increase professional development for educators in working with vulnerable children and youth with disabilities, as well as those who are culturally different and academically challenged. This internship is critical at both the county and state level, in working with skilled educators to deepen an exemplary program model that will serve as a model statewide. From 1997 to 2001 the Orange County 4-H Urban Gardens program operated gardens in the cities of Newburgh and Middletown, NY with the support of AmeriCorps Interns that served as learning labs for youth, and springboards for service. In 2009, the 4-H Urban Gardens program was reinstituted in Middletown without the use of any interns, applying a new focus on educating court-adjudicated youth in local area group homes. The demand for this program has grown considerably, and there is tremendous benefit in engaging a Cornell summer intern; the intern would have a range of experiences and would gain skills in garden-based learning, horticulture, working with vulnerable populations, service learning, serving as a leader and collaborator, and creating documentation to influence statewide 4-H Youth Development program direction and professional development.
Brief description of the student intern’s role and responsibilities:
Work with community members and vulnerable youth with considerable guidance from faculty and county leadership. Become confident in, and lead, facets of garden-based learning, including composting, all aspects of gardening and growing vegetables. Identify and lead age-appropriate garden-based summer activities from the Cornell Garden-Based Learning curriculum offerings, as well as harvesting and cooking with program participants. Lead service learning activities in the community. Create image release forms, and document all program efforts.
What qualifications and previous coursework does the student need in order to be prepared for this internship?
It is more important to have a genuine interest in and experience with gardening than coursework in horticulture, although course work in agriculture and the plant sciences is ideal. People skills are critical, as is willingness and interest to lead activities for children and youth, and serve as a dedicated team member. Ability to speak Spanish is helpful. The intern needs to be a participant action researcher and willing to learn with the groups.
What benefits/skills will the student gain through this internship?
Working with children and youth, leading garden-based learning activities, service learning, communicating with a diverse population of community members and faculty-staff leadership.