Summer of Solutions Oakland comes to a stellar close

By Ruby Levine

I was extremely lucky to be able to visit the Summer of Solutions Oakland for their closing ceremony last night. Before I get into the bulk of my blog post and the fantastic work that the program leaders and participants have done with and for the Fruitvale community, I want to start out by asking you, the person reading this blog, to send $10, $20, $50, or $100 to their crowdfunding campaign. I just donated and I invite you to join me in supporting the locally driven efforts of Summer of Solutions Oakland. Here’s why.

Image

SoS Oakland campers await their turn to graduate from camp.

Continue reading

Advertisements

What have you missed in Oakland?

By: Anahi and Sergio

Location: Oakland, CA

Dear friends and supporters of Summer of Solutions Oakland, we are happy and excited to bring you updated news of what has been going on during the past 4 weeks of camp. First of all, sorry for not keeping up, but we will assure you that here we provide you with all details of what we have been doing.  We started our camp on July 9, and started with 32 accepted kids, Sergio was able to get things going in order to provide free lunches and snacks for our kids and youth in the community. Our first week went really well even though there where 7 of us staff members; our 2nd week went even better we welcomed 9 more youth to our team.  Our staff are wonderful. They show us that they are very passionate about working with our kids. Continue reading

Murals and Chickens in the Valley

Location: Arleta, CA

The team joined the farmer’s market at kaiser today where there was a great turnout. I can say that it was a great success and a wonderful opportunity. We will have the chance to vend next week as well. It was a great feeling to be able to speak with members of the community about our projects. It was also really refreshing to see familiar and interested faces who believe in the things that we want to keep pushing for, more community involvement.

Below are photos from the past couple of weeks. Enjoy!

 

Here we are with the chicken/roster we're still not sure..

Here we are with the chicken/roster we’re still not sure.. Continue reading

Proud to be a Dirty Farmer

Author: Emilee Gaulke
Location: Middleton, WI

Even without campers this week at Growing Food and Sustainability, the farm has been bustling with activity. Activities included planning for our second camp session, building a produce wash table, planning for our harvest festival, and our main focus, “beautifying” the farm in preparation for our on-farm dinner.

The beautification process included a lot of weeding and mulching of pathways, two tasks that involved a lot of time in the sun and physical effort. In other words, after a day on the farm we left covered in dirt and sweat. Although at times it was hard, uncomfortable work, the dirt and sweat didn’t fail to make me feel like I had done a good, hard day’s work that made a positive impact on the program.

DSCF1319 Continue reading

Painting Windows and Building Community

By William Perry of the Iowa City, Iowa program

After a week long orientation with our group leaders Nick Gerken, Eli Shepherd, and Kate Anstreicher, we split up into subgroups run by each leader geared toward specific causes.  Eli is in charge of ‘Our Power,’ which is an energy sustainability initiative with an end goal of addressing the split incentive issue for city counsel in regards to rental properties in Iowa City.  Kate leads ‘Iowa City Roots,’ which is a community gardening force working with the Iowa City landfill to implement a composting collection service for downtown businesses.  Then there is ‘Sustainable Art,’ the program that I am in.  Nick heads this subgroup and our weekly activities for a range of summer camps with the goal of educating about waste and waste management through hands on activities and recycled artwork.  Our group of about four people just recently came up with an idea we are very excited about: downtown window painting.

Children painting windows as part of the Iowa City Downtown District’s ‘Kidows’ initiative. Continue reading

Gaining momentum through community engagement

Image

LR Summer of Solutions hosted a booth on 12th Street to sign up residents for free home energy assessments.

By: Kara King
Location: Little Rock

The Little Rock Summer of Solutions team is officially half way through our 8 week program and our projects are really beginning to take off! We began the week by tending to the 12th and Oak garden. When I stepped into the garden this week after being away for over a week, I was blown away by the appearance of our garden! Despite some failed attempts in some of our beds and having to uproot some of the seasonal plants, the rest of the garden is flourishing. Our sunflowers are the height of most average adults and our tomatoes are constantly producing fruit! We continue to expand our garden by clearing new beds and planting new seeds. Continue reading

Watch-out Hollow, West Virginia’s Youth are Inspired and on a Mission!

by Jenny Totten and Build it Up! West Virginia Participants

As a born and raised West Virginian, I can say that my state has gotten some pretty bad raps in the past.  Sure, we’ve been last in a lot of things, we’ve been first in some others like obesity rates and unhappiness, but the recent release of the interactive documentary Hollow has ignited a passion and a fire in several of our Build it Up! West Virginia participants to design and create community and economic development activities across southern West Virginia.  Below are their comments about the future of this state, the future of McDowell County, and their place in it.  I hope you feel inspired, I know I do.

McDowell County Build it Up! WV Participants Learn  About Financial Literacy

McDowell County Build it Up! WV Participants Learn About Financial Literacy

Continue reading