Erie CCE Seed to Supper (S2S) Garden-Based Learning

Worksite Location
CCE Erie County
Project Dates
June 5 - August 7, 2019
Faculty Sponsor
Marcia Eames-Sheavly
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Sharon Bachman, CCE Erie County
Wages Up To
$4,000
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

Seed to Supper (S2S) is an established statewide program, with numerous undergraduate students and county educators collaborating to lead garden-based workshops in communities with gardeners who want to grow food on a limited budget, as well as grow in confidence and community connection.  Erie CCE serves as a statewide leader, conducting statewide program evaluation of the S2S project.  Necessary to furthering the work of S2S in Erie CCE and the western NY region, this summer intern will continue the work of reaching community partners; help develop and deliver summer S2S workshops with input from leadership; collect evaluation data; and share the results of the approach through diverse documentation which will include a web-based success story, to be distributed through the Extension Insider.    

Roles and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the collaborators listed above, the intern will observe best practices of volunteer development, and use these skills to develop and deliver S2S educational programs for adult audiences with guidance in using the S2S curriculum, seeking to provide S2S participants with an understanding of and access to garden-based resources available to them through Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Collaborate to create, enhance and lead activities which deepen community partnerships. Assist in evaluating the Buffalo area S2S activities through the lens of best practices for those community partnerships; assist new community partner S2S host agencies in: establishing S2S implementation plans, using evaluation tools, gathering evaluation feedback and sharing findings regionally and statewide.  Provide S2S Garden Educators prepared through educational programs with the opportunities to share information and learn from each other through such avenues as weekly garden gatherings; assist those trained in food preservation to address relevant sections of the S2S curriculum with S2S host agencies.  Work with educator and host agencies to identify barriers to offering S2S trainings and how to overcome these barriers, and explore current communication strategies among S2S partners, making recommendations to enhance communication using technology and social media.  Share results statewide by documenting summer efforts and drafting an article for the Extension Insider.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Since S2S focuses on equity; mutual respect; setting clear expectations; establishing responsibilities, ownership and performance; open communication; and recognition of different interests and perspectives, a genuine interest in working with people will be vital. The candidate will need excellent written and oral communication skills.  S/he should be attentive to detail and should possess a general knowledge of, and enthusiasm for gardening and home food production; a desire to work with a variety of audiences; and an interest in, and the ability to perform light physical work in outdoor conditions.   Students who have taken the Engaged Learning S2S two-course sequence are particularly encouraged to apply.

Benefits and Skills

• Investigate the role of garden-based activities which may foster community food security.   • Use tools (including but not limited to reflection, gardening, supported facilitation/teaching practice, evaluation) to help you connect and extend your academic knowledge to the Seed to Supper (S2S) activities in which we engage.  • Articulate the foundations and best practices of an Extension program and volunteer engagement approach, and work with a team to inspire adult learners to dedicate their time to S2S. • Discover approaches to communicate with different audiences and use those approaches to engage with adult learners. • Demonstrate the capability to work both independently and in cooperation with others and use strategies to deal with dissonance and difficulty as it arises.