From 1 Burien Apartment, 9 Americorps Members Are Helping Kids Grow
Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), team Gold One, consisting of nine members living in one apartment in Burien, is spending the summer not watching TV, but teaching kids about urban gardening in Seattle’s International District.
Here’s more info on what they’re doing:
In a city like Seattle, kids rarely have a chance to play outside. But at the Danny Woo Children’s Garden, kids from local day cares and low-income housing gather each day to celebrate and learn in a lively green space. The Children’s Garden is part of the larger Danny Woo Community Garden, run by InterIm, a neighborhood development organization.
Every day, members of NCCC’s Gold One teach the children to explore garden’s cycles, the plants and creatures in the garden, the compost and the worm bins. They dye plants with veggies from the garden, decorate signs, make bird feeders, and color “creature crowns” and rocks. The kids are encouraged to eat what they find in the garden, and play with the newly arrived chickens.
Through the program, NCCC hopes to engage the children in nature and pass on the older generation’s love and knowledge of growing food. NCCC has implemented the program, which is new this year.
NCCC also keeps the garden running after hours: they turn the compost, take care of the chickens, weed, and decorate the garden. They have also built a chicken run and a compost sifter, which will last for years to come.
The Danny Woo Community Garden has served the elderly of the International District for 35 years. Seniors can obtain a plot and plant at their convenience. The Children’s Garden is a new addition. Both gardens are run by InterIm, a community organization that develops low income housing and community spaces in the International District and Asian/Pacific community.
Gold One lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Burien. There are nine of them. They have lived and worked together all over the US since October of 2009.
AmeriCorps NCCC is part of AmeriCorps, a network of national service programs created to improve the environment, enhance education, increase public safety, and assist with disaster relief and other unmet human needs. The Pacific Region campus, located in Sacramento, Calif, serves Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and the territories of Guam and American Samoa as well as a continuing commitment to the Gulf Coast. The Pacific Region is one of five campuses in the United States; the others are located in Perry Point, Md., Vinton, Iowa, Vicksburg, Miss. and Denver, Colo.
NCCC members must be 18-24 years old and get to complete no less than 1,700 hours of community service during the 10-month program. In exchange for their service, they receive $5,350 to help pay for college or to pay school loans. AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about applying to an AmeriCorps program, call 1-800-942-2677 (1-800-94-ACORP) or visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.