Dear Friend of The GreenHouse, 


A few weeks ago an 11-year-old boy named Ivan pulled a GreenHouse staff member aside and confessed a secret anxiety. In a quiet moment he told Deborah, our Elementary Program Director, "I'm nervous about summer." "Why?" she asked. Ivan whispered, "I'm worried that I'll have nothing to do."


In our imaginations, summer is a joyful time. We picture kids spending blissful hours in the pool, reading books, and riding bikes. But the reality for many GreenHouse youth is quite different. While parents work all day, many kids find themselves with vast tracts of unstructured time. Youth spend long summer hours unsupervised, wandering outside or alone indoors with the TV and video games on all day for company.


The impact of long, unstructured summers is well-documented. "Summer learning loss" occurs when students don't apply their academic skills over the summer, and can cause students to lose between one and five months of academic learning. Practically, this means that some students backslide half a grade level in reading and math over the summer.


Rates of summer learning loss are highest among lower-income students because they often do not have the same access to high-quality summer programming that their middle class peers do. Quality summer programming is not "bonus recreation" for students - it's a justice issue with long-term academic implications.


In response to this need, The GreenHouse offers three five-week, high-quality summer programs that are absolutely free for local students.  Read on below for details!


  • Adventure Zone, our program for 1st-6th graders, includes all components that students need to keep growing over the summer: academic enrichment, skill-building workshops like art, cooking, and STEM, team-building activities that develop social skills, adventurous outings, weekly swimming trips, and opportunities to hear about God's love through skits and discussion.
  • Summer Cooking Camp, an innovative program for 7th-9th graders led by a local Waldorf teacher, gives youth daily, hands-on opportunities to learn. Students harvest from the garden, try new recipes, and eat delicious healthy foods, while practicing fractions, ratios, multiplication, and other vital middle school math skills.
  • Liquid, our summer program for 7th-12th graders, gives students access to unforgettabl experiences including regional field trips, team-building activities, group games, 21st century skill-building workshops, faith formation, leadership opportunites, "girls" and "boys" groups, and an overnight camp weekend.
  • And there's always more happening at The GreenHouse! Additional summer activities include a christmas-in-july themes play called "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." Youth are already fine-tuning their literacy, public- speaking, and artistic skills as they rehearse and memorize lines. Other students will be doing a "garden internship", working in the garden as part of the Cooking Camp. All of this takes place in the context of caring relationships with GreenHouse staff, volunteers, and parents.

In order to offer these free Day Camps to 65+ youth in our community, we need to raise $3500 through one-time donations to help off-set the costs (approx. $22,500 total). Summer Sponsorships support all the elements of the programs - field trips, educational materials, art supplies - as well as the six part-time summer staff that implement the programs and build caring relationships with the kids.


Please consider making a big impact on the life of deserving youth by becoming a Summer Sponsor. When you give $50 or more, you will receive a letter from one of our youth, describing the new opportunities they are having at The GreenHouse this summer.


Thank you for your partnership in ensuring that every child has the summer opportunities that they deserve!


With Gratitude, 

Rena Crocker, Executive Director

...and the Kids, Parents, Staff, and Board of The GreenHouse



Become a Summer Sponsor!  Donate HERE