Impact

Impact 2019-12-30T16:04:07-04:00

Common Ground is …

Planting Seeds

Impact Now
  • 10,000+ pounds of fresh, local produce grow in our gardens

  • Last year, this harvest grew 3,000+ opportunities for kids and families to connect with the sources of their food; 51 paid jobs and credit-bearing internships for young people growing and sharing fresh, local food with the community; 1850+ meaningful learning opportunities for students at Common Ground High School; 75 seasonal farm shares for students, staff, and community members; and much more.

  • 24,000 pounds of waste, including 8,000 pounds of food waste, diverted in the first year of our new on-site compost system.

Growing Leaders

Impact Now
  • 18,000 children and adults per year join us for summer camp, field trips, NatureYear, free family programs, professional development workshops, after-school programs, and other educational opportunities.

  • 23 New Haven public schools are working with Common Ground to create and use school gardens, schoolyard habitats, and outdoor classrooms — helping thousands more public school students connect with the natural world and grow into their full potential.

  • Five years ago, 396 kids joined in Common Ground’s after-school and vacation programs; 18% were children of color. Last year— thanks to free buses, off-site programs, and financial aid—1111 kids joined in these programs, and 35% were children of color

  • Before joining in Kids Unplugged, 41% of participants were adventurous eaters, and 63% of participants chose to play outside on their own time. After Kids Unplugged, an additional 46% of families report that their children are likely to try healthy foods at home, and an additional 30% of families report their kids choose healthy outdoor exercise

Cultivating Community

Impact Now
  • 225 students from 16+ towns, chosen through public  school lottery

  • 70% are from New Haven, 78% are young people of color, and 63% qualify for free or reduced lunch

  • 100% successfully defend a portfolio showing their growth as an environmental and social justice leader before they graduate.

  • In each of the last 5 years, between 97 and 100% of seniors were accepted to college. Last year, 74% enrolled in college in the year after graduation, compared to 71% across Connecticut.

  • Common Ground 9th graders grow more in reading and math than 90% of their peers across the nation, according to results of the NWEA MAP assessment.

  • 92% of Common Ground students graduated on time last year, compared to 88% of students across Connecticut. Common Ground’s 4-year graduation rate has beat the state average in 4 of the last 5 years.

Next
  • Access: Work to ensure that students, staff and community members feel safe and welcome when they step on to the farm — because everyone deserves access to high quality, culturally relevant, locally sourced food.

  • Education: Talking to people about food justice. Demonstrating thoughtful farming techniques. Developing multiple points of engagement in farming, cooking, and cultural exploration. Cultivating leadership opportunities where people feel inspired about food systems work.

  • Community engagement: Building authentic relationships around food access and justice.

Next
  • Build the quality and impact of these community programs — creating lasting connections to nature and the sources of our food, and cultivating habits of health and sustainability. 

  • Make sure our programs are open to 100% of community members, regardless of income, and engage a genuinely diverse community

  • Cultivate habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practice beyond our our own site — through our CT Schoolyards program, professional development opportunities for educators, and strong partnerships with like-minded organizations

Next
  • Deepen our commitment to educational equity and social justice education — closing the opportunity and achievement gap

  • Step up as the nation’s greenest high school & a model for urban education that works.

  • Continue to build the rigor and relevance of learning at Common Ground — making sure we hold every student to high expectations, and that they have the supports then need to thrive.

  • Make sure every student is on a path to college success, powerful environmental leadership, a meaningful career, and a healthy, happy, sustainable life — and give students more choice & voice in shaping their future path.