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Mission Thrive Summer: Baltimore Teens Learn Farming & Yoga In 6-Week Pilot Program

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Summer vacation may be most kids’ idea of a good time, but research shows it also leads to some loss of what’s been learned the previous school year.

Alex DeMetrick reports a unique program is working to change that.

Here’s part of Monday’s lesson at Mission Thrive Summer:

“The people who are farming are actually going to be harvesting for the meal the cooking crew’s going to make. And that’s what we’re going to have for lunch. So we need everybody’s teamwork,” said an instructor.

That means harvesting tomatoes grown by students near Clifton Park.

The  experimental Mission Thrive program combines things most of these Baltimore high school students have never tried.

“It’s really, really fun. I like harvesting and cooking and doing yoga and all that stuff,” said Keasha Downing , student.

Yes, yoga is also in the lesson plan.

It’s not your typical summer school.

“That’s true, but we gain a lot of experience by having interactions  with things we don’t experience in other parts of our lives,” said Robin Yasinow, Mission Thrive.

And that keeps brains active.  The hope is it will also keep what’s been learned from slipping away over the summer.

“It gives you something to do with your school year and something to do with your extra time,” said Deshawn Booker, student.

“How much they influence you to eat healthier, and I love being on a farm, picking tomatoes and everything and pest control,” said Nijah Bonapate, student.

As to what these students  would do if this was a regular school vacation, the answer is pretty much unanimous.

“Just be hope sleeping all day,” said Joey.

“I would not be doing this, but now since I experienced it I will come back next summer,” Downing said.

It isn’t all farming and yoga. Mission Thrive also requires students to develop writing and presentation skills.

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