Norfolk, VA – Teens With a Purpose – The Youth Movement is a community based peer-led youth development organization that encourages youth to make healthy decisions. Teens With a Purpose (TWP) will be working on a project that combines service, environment, peace and harmony. On March 18th, April 15th and May 13th TWP presents Hoop Dreams Service Project events along with the Norfolk Police Department. Teens will use the garden as just one of the ways they plant seeds of love, inspiration, community and family. The Purpose of the Hoops Dream is to continue positive engagement between youth and officers specifically through athletic interaction and community service in a safe and welcoming environment. Teens With a Purpose will kick-off our the series with the community garden service project day. Teens will continue working the garden all spring, summer and fall and produce organic vegetables and herbs that will be distributed to families in need. Following the Service project, the teens and the Officers will go to the YMCA to play basketball (Hoops Dream).

TWP started this garden at the VCM Teen Center in 2013 with a salad garden where youth grew tomatoes, basil, green peppers, zucchini, eggplant, watermelon and onions. There were over 150 youth volunteers that worked on the garden during the spring and summer. They also had the support of the local community with several mentors including a Visual Artist, a Master Gardner, an Engineer and a Norfolk Police Officer.

The garden project brings together teens and community members while promoting healthy eating habits; this garden project also plants a different seed. Growing their own food inspires a mind-shift in these budding urban gardeners. Teens transform from mere consumers to producers! These young people explore the roll of producers who are responsible for and capable of sustaining life, caring for the earth and providing food for themselves and for others. It also instills a sense of responsibility for the earth and neighborhood pride. Youth will be cleaning the VCM Teen Center yard and perimeter and begin building an additional raised garden bed. Youth, seniors and groups are invited to attend.

Later in March, TWP and NPD will present a free spring break mini-day camp to help build stronger community relationships. The camp is open and free to middle and high school students. Families can register online for free.

 Hoop Dreams Service Project

March 18th, 2016, 4:30-8pm

VCM Teen Center

700 E Olney Road, Norfolk, VA 23504

Service Project

 Y on Granby Street

2901 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23504

Basketball Game