Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Jersey Roots, Global Reach: 4-H Climate Science Educational Program: A Sustainable Communities Project at Rutgers NJAES]

About the New Communities Project

The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station's Cultivating Youth and Communities for Positive Futures New Communities Project is designed to build the capacity of children and youth in at-risk communities to become healthy and contributing citizens of their local communities. This program utilizes the collaborative expertise of Extension professionals in the areas of youth development, family and consumer sciences, and agriculture to develop and deliver experiential education programs in partnership with local schools and community-based organizations. This project is part of the national Children, Youth and Families at Risk Initiative of CSREES-USDA, and received funding of $150,000 in its initial year and $135,000 in 2004 through USDA's CYFAR Grant Program.

Cultivating Youth and Communities for Positive Futures currently consists of two community site projects: Roots of Knowledge in Atlantic County and Gloucester County's Seeds to Success. Both community projects capitalize on the strength of existing partnerships with other youth-serving organizations and also utilize the subject matter areas of horticulture, gardening, food and nutrition and entrepreneurship in meeting their project goals. In addition, a special project conducted in 2004, Outdoor Adventure Education, utilized challenge initiatives and adventure activities to help Trenton youth increase self-esteem and confidence, as well as to develop an appreciation for the environment and natural resources.