Building Bridges Youth Farm
Have you ever considered the life lessons a
child can gain from interactions with animals?
Building Bridges Youth Farm Mentorship Program, available to school age children (ages 5 - 17) seeking to participate in or gain benefit from a mentorship program. Designed to teach the child life and communication skills through farm activities and interaction with farm animals. Building Bridges also welcomes mentors/mentees from other community based mentorship programs to participate in farm activities and curriculum that may benefit the child’s needs.
Building Bridges Youth Farm matches adult mentors with children seeking mentorship based on a screening and interview process that pairs the child with the most appropriate adult mentor. Our goal is for the child to spend 60 to 90 minutes at least once per week at the farm with their mentor. They spend time completing an activity, farm chores and interacting with the animals. The activities and information provided are derived from the 4-H curriculum. The children learn valuable communication skills and how to read non-verbal cues from the animals. The life skills learned on the farm can be applied throughout their lives. What makes the farm different from other mentorship programs; it is the animals. The child must learn about the animals, where the food comes from, how much care animals need. Our program is designed to help children learn about life. It is about learning to do new things and how those things benefit others including animals and how those activities contribute to a positive society. We empower children to see the benefits of growing their own food,caring for animals and learning responsibility, this helps them build confidence. We strive to build positive beliefs, attitudes and coping skills to promote healthy communication and life skills. Besides working with the animals, we offer gardening activities. Gardening is a directed, quiet activity that doesn't require conversation. It allows the child quiet time to reflect, while learning skills needed to grow their own food and achieve a sense of accomplishment. Gardening teaches children about healthy food, which promotes a healthy body, and a healthy mind. Gardening includes soil and water management to promote healthy crop yield and demonstrate conservation and land management on a small scale. Other farm activities include chores such as cleaning animal pens, cleaning water and food
dishes, feeding animals, fixing fences or animal pens/cages, brushing and general grooming.
Our wish for the children that visit the farm is for every child to know that someone cares about them, that they can care for others, that they have a purpose and the ability to contribute to society in a positive way.