Olympia High School Freedom Farmers
In 2013, the Olympia High School Freedom Farmer Program was created to provide farm-based, non-traditional learning opportunities for students who thrive when they can apply academic learning to meaningful community work.
Our program was developed through a partnership between Olympia High School, the non-profit organization Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB), and the Olympia School District’s Career and Technical Education Department.
What We Do:
SUMMER JOB TRAINING PROGRAM: Utilizing a beautiful farm owned by the Olympia School District, participating students engage in the production of fresh vegetables for the district’s cafeterias. Student employability and leadership skills while learning to manage a small, sustainable farm. Summer produce is directed to the Olympia School District’s central kitchen for processing and freezing. Produce is also used for the district’s Summer Nutrition Program at Jefferson Middle School and Madison Elementary feeding approximately 50+ kids per day. Students earn $1,000 for the summer in educational stipends and a full science credit through our partnership with the New Market Vocational Skills Center. 7 week program (July - August)
SCHOOL YEAR BLOCK CLASS: Students can continue their work on the farm through our 4-period block class. Students earn credits in Biology, Social Studies, and Sustainable Agriculture. Student learning is applied to the management of the farm including extended production of fall and spring produce for all 18 schools in our district. (4th thru 7th periods)
COMPETITIVE APPLICATION PROCESS: Students must apply, interview, and be selected for entry into the programs. Typically we offer 24 slots in the summer (with 70+ students who apply) and 30 slots in the school year (again, 70+ students typically apply). We prioritize selection of students who are either low-income and/or credit deficient. And we welcome anyone to apply. Students can apply for both programs or just the summer or school year. Applications are available in April (counseling center), interviews and selections happen in May.