AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Samantha Gullion will be leaving her post as the STAND Foundation’s Media Specialist this August. The Hendrix College graduate will be moving on to a new position in service with the North Little Rock Community Farm.
The North Little Rock Community Farm is one of several community and school-based garden programs that receive aid from GardenCorps, which is an Americorps program native to Arkansas. The program is hosted by the Childhood Obesity Prevention Program at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Little Rock, Arkansas. You can learn more about Gardencorps at their website found here.
“As a VISTA with the STAND Foundation,” began Samantha, “I honed the skills I learned in college revolving around producing photographs of events and all processes involved in creating effective videos. Now I will get to use those skills to promote the program that focuses on my true passion, which is the issue of hunger in our state.”
Samantha will be working with the Lakewood Middle School students and the students from North Little Rock High School to integrate the farm further into the surrounding community. “Part of my job will be to garner further community involvement in the farm,” says Samantha. “From what I’ve seen, the students from the North Little Rock High School EAST program have really taken ownership over the farm and are very hands-on with its development. However, they can’t always be focused on the farm, so getting the community more involved will bolster our output.”
Much of the produce from the farm will go to feed hungry students in the district. The farm will also serve as an outdoor classroom as the teachers at Lakewood Middle School add farm days to their curriculum. Sam notes that, “Kids can learn a lot of information regarding science from working within a garden. The life cycle of a plant can be seen firsthand rather than in illustrations.”
We look forward to hearing more about the work she is doing with the North Little Rock Community Farm and wish Samantha the best of luck in her new service position!