Greenfield Garden brings produce to South Kern

Wealthier communities in Kern County enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables from weekly farmer’s markets, but for the Latino communities in South Kern, the very products they pick and grow are far-flung.  One ray of hope for South Kern is the continuing growth of the Greenfield Community Garden. “I’ve noticed a huge difference in quality between what we grow in the garden and what I get in the store.”  Read about all that residents are doing to optimize the garden, on South Kern Sol.

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How I overcame losing my grandparents

A granddaughter shares her experience of grieving for a close family, and the complicated feelings that follow.  Support groups like Grieving Teens help young people cope with loss when their family members can’t help. “When going through grief, you want comfort from those who are close to you. But whom do you turn to when everyone around you is in the same situation?”  A powerful perspective piece by Victoria Contreras is on Coachella Unincorporated.

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A suspended education

Benjamin Thomas was first suspended in third grade, then expelled in fourth grade.  The trend continued until he reached Sunset High, where he says the adults understood more about his experiences, and encouraged him to stay in school instead of kicking him out.  “They got to know me on a personal level. They understand the kinds of things kids are going through, and they connect with them on a level that is more than just that of a teacher and student.”  His story is on Redwood Voice.

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Corazón del Pueblo holds a place in local hearts

Corazón del Pueblo translates to “heart of the community,” and the name reflects the goal of the arts and community space. Residents say there is no other place like it — people gather there for music and poetry, as well as community meetings and fundraisers.  “We weren’t sure about the ultimate vision, but we knew we needed a community center.  We are able to freely build something, with our heart rather than with just our mind.”  More about Boyle Heights’s Corazón, on Boyle Heights Beat.

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Respected on the street, but not in the industry

With over five skate parks in the city, Long Beach youth have plenty of space to practice their sport. But like most sports, girls and women have to go farther to prove that they can compete.  “I think the missing link right now is visibility.”  Skateboarders Rebecca Syracopoulos and Tierra Cobb share their struggles in the skating scene, in a video on Voicewaves.

 

Seniors struggle, and wait, for adequate housing

In his single room at the hotel, he often has to wait to use the bathroom or the shower, and because he doesn’t have his own cooking place, he must also wait in line to fix something to eat.  Long Beach is an inconsistent home to many seniors living in substandard conditions as they wait for permanent, affordable housing.  In the meantime, they struggle to stay visible.  “A lot of times seniors are overlooked. We can’t give everything to youth.”  The full story is on VoiceWaves.

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Community organizations join forces against harsh school discipline

Parents and community leaders Kern High School District is still employing discipline practices that unfairly target minority kids.  With high rates of suspensions and dropouts, community organizations and local ministries say minority students in the district are kicked out of the classroom and put into the school-to-prison pipeline. They’re sparking a new effort to engage parents to stop this trend. “We are trying to let parents know and inform them of their rights so that they can get their children through high school.”  Read more on South Kern Sol.

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Free trees, and a program for the formerly incarcerated

Self Sustaining Communities is a Richmond nonprofit that promotes growing food locally, has distributed hundreds of fruit, nut, and olive trees to Richmond families and local gardeners.  The organization tries to engages residents - especially youth, elders, and the formerly incarcerated.  At the last tree, seed, and vegetable giveaway was a volunteer team from The Remember Us People Project, or TRUPP.  The group supports the integration of recently released offenders back into society.  The two organizations have a common goal: to grow a sustainably healthy community in Richmond.  Read the story on Richmond Pulse.

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The GMO’s hiding in your food

With nutritional labels everywhere, people tend to not worry too much about what is in their food. The scary truth is that the ingredients produced with genetically-modified organisms are not labeled as such in your food’s ‘nutritional facts’.  Learn about common foods commonly produced with GMO’s in a video on Access Sacramento.

‘Hydration station’ in high school encourages more water, less sugar

As part of the Rethink Your Drink campaign, Coachella Valley High School constructed a “hydration station.” The president of the school’s Environmental Club talked about the impact she wants the water bottle filling station to have at her school, on Coachella Unincorporated.

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