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Unveiling of Community Garden Designed by Local At-Risk Teens

Federal Stimulus Money Used to Fund Service Learning Project

Dignitaries cutting purple ribbon with ceremonial scissors

The hard work and commitment of a group of dedicated teenagers, teachers, and volunteers drew thunderous applause on Friday, August 21, as students involved with Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) community school programs unveiled the results of a summer-long employment and service/learning project.

Students designed and built a community garden adjacent to the campus of Elinor L. Hickey Jr./Sr. High School as part of an employment training project. This service/learning project, involving 32 students in the SCOE LINKS program, was funded with federal stimulus money and was used to provide job skills training and summer employment for at-risk teens in Sacramento County. The project was sponsored by the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA) which utilized funding received through the American Recession Recovery Act.

"While we are exposing our students to opportunity through service learning we are also teaching them the types of job skills that employers want," said Deputy Superintendent Marty Cavanaugh.

Also in attendance for the ribbon-cutting and unveiling: David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, Harold Fong, Vice-President of the Sacramento County Board of Education, Greg Geeting, Sacramento County Board of Education Trustee, Don Nottoli, Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, and Robin Purdy, Deputy Director Workforce Development SETA/Sacramento Works, Inc.

Other partners in the community garden project include Home Depot, Golden 1, City of Sacramento, Taqueria Garibaldi, Green Acres Nursery, and Iglesia Cristiana Emmanuel Catholic Church.

LINKS stands for Leadership in everyday life, Ingenuity in thought and practice, Navigating choices, Keeping promises, and Sufficiency in preparation. The program helps at-risk students get on the right track, find a new direction, build a better future, and take control of life. The program includes individual learning plans, extra support, role models, career development, and job skills training.

The goal of LINKS is to actively engage every student in an individual learning plan that leads to career opportunities.

Popup tent covering picnic table in garden
T-shirt: LINKS Corps Community Service Project, Summer 2009