It’s National Agriculture Day! Not everyone knows how deeply The Tutorial Center is rooted in local agriculture! Did you know we operate the only food network in southwest Vermont? We do! The YAP FOOD NETWORK was launched out of our successful YAP! program and it’s thriving! Here’s a glimpse of our success and growth to date!
Sometimes it’s easy for us to view the work we do as just another day at The Tutorial Center. But sometimes others remind us of the impact we regularly have on the people we serve.
Former YAP! (Youth Agriculture Project) crew members Elyse Hardy and Renette Gonzalez were both featured in the September issue of New England Literacy Resource Center’s magazine The Change Agent. It was the magazine’s “food issue.” Renette and Elyse each wrote about their personal experiences in YAP!, sharing how the program helped them achieve success in the working world.
Parts of their stories were more recently included in World Education’s October Newsletter. World Education is a widely-known and well respected global organization whose mission is to raise the quality of lives through education. Tackling such important topics as HIV, poverty, literacy, the organization does on a global scale what we at The Tutorial Center do in our part of the planet. We’re proud and pleased to be included in their network.
We teach all of our students that success is rarely reached by a sprint, it’s more of a cross-country run. That’s why we introduce them to three supportive running companions: Pace, Perseverance, and Patience.
By training with this important trio students learn how to set attainable goals, manage expectations, and achieve their dreams.
Let’s face it, the beginning of every new endeavor is fun. When you start out on a project—any project—like returning to school or renovating the bathroom, it’s easy to confuse excitement for momentum. It’s after you’ve been at it a while and the scenery doesn’t seem to be changing that it’s easy to lose motivation. That’s when it’s good to call on the Triplets for help.
Pace will happily remind you that you’ll get there as long as you don’t try to go too far too fast. Getting ahead and getting ahead of yourself are not the same things. Divide a long journey into smaller manageable lengths and before you know it there will be more work behind you than ahead of you and you’ll cross that finish line.
Accept that the road to success is a hilly, winding one. Perseverance steps up when you feel like you need to rest, or worse, you want to quit. Perseverance gets you around the obstacles in your path and helps you believe in the great things ahead even when you can’t see around the next corner.
Patience is the one who will offer a refreshing cup of self-confidence when you feel like you need to walk for a stretch to catch your breath, or because your shoe’s become untied. When the goal seems so far down the road—so far into the future—Patience will assure you that it will happen. So relax. It may take longer than you hoped—but you’ll get there.
And you will. The Triplets and we can help
When you’re enjoying your next stroll through the Manchester Educational & Community and YAP! Gardens you can thank MEMS students Tonya Merrow, Eric Sheldon and Richard Mattison. They’re hard work in spreading new wood chips along the paths was invaluable, and illustrates the “community” aspect of this wonderful place.
Two friendly faces often seen at our YAP Farm at Hiland Hall Farmhouse this season were those of Sam Lawson and Sylvia Maderes.
Both students are Bennington College juniors and each has their own reasons for taking advantage of this Tutorial Center work experience.
Sylvia, a literature and dance major from southern Pennsylvania, has always had an interest in science and nature, taking several science classes throughout her educational career. She likes knowing about food, growing food and food systems. As she says, “It’s good to know where your food comes from.”
Sam, from slightly closer Holyoke, Mass., is studying biology and anthropology at the college. He admits that since interning at the YAP Farm under the guidance of farm manager JJ Beck he’s beginning to think about future career pathways that include agriculture. “Not in producing food,” Sam said, “but perhaps in the areas of biology and chemistry.”
Sylvia and Sam have been with the part of the YAP farm team since early June which has allowed them to experience all aspects of the farm from planting, to weeding, to harvesting, and now putting the farm to bed for the winter planting cover crops such as buckwheat.
This is the second year that Bennington College students have had the opportunity to work at YAP Farm. This is one element of the growing connection between The Tutorial Center’s YAP and Bennington College.