By David Bjorkgren
This article was originally published on June 16th, 2022 on VistaToday
Hands-on learning, like making a garden grow, engages students in an impactful way.
That’s why the educators and administrators at the Lincoln Center Leadership Academy in Audubon are always searching for new ways for students to access resources and acquire knowledge.
The Lincoln Center Leadership Academy partners with local school districts to provide an innovative and transformative education to youth in grades 7-12.
Its goal is to maintain a safe, nurturing learning environment that supports the academic and social-emotional needs of students, with a focus on high academic standards and leadership development.
And so, TLC Leadership Academy is unveiling a new educational and community program.
TLC celebrated the grand opening of a new school space in Audubon in August of 2021.
Along with the increased classroom space and innovative layout, the new building includes a sizable plot of land to house a garden. This garden could potentially produce 2,400-3,000 pounds of organic produce annually.
With this garden, students will be able to learn about horticulture by planting, nurturing and harvesting their own fresh nutritious produce. Through thoughtful instruction, they will acquire the skills to prepare healthy dishes. Additionally, because of the size of the garden, they will be able to engage in community service by sharing their produce and gardening knowledge with others.
The new space offers the promise of new beginnings and possibilities for the future, but the garden will also help us to remember TLC’s history and the people who have made it possible to experience this new chapter.
The garden will include a memorial for former CFO Beth Mueller, whose incredible work touched the lives of many, both professionally and personally.
As the Chief Financial Officer, she played a crucial role in the continued work TLC does in the community.
The work of TLC’s incredible teachers and counselors are often highlighted as they work with students and clients in the field. But none of that work would be possible without people like Beth Mueller and the passion she put into her work to keep our organization active.
This memorial dedicated to her life and work will be a place of new life where she can be celebrated, along with the new beginnings that the garden represents.
The Lincoln Center is committed to the mental health and education of the community. This garden allows TLC to achieve both goals as it provides education on food, the impact it can have on our bodies and minds, and how it ties into living a balanced lifestyle.
A key TLC goal through its mental health work is to help clients and students reach their full potential. The Lincoln Center wants to see the community flourish. The hope is this new garden can help them reach those goals and bring the community together.
The Lincoln Center for Family and Youth (TLC) is a social enterprise company serving the Greater Philadelphia Area. Founded in 1970 by a behavioral health hospital, TLC is an entrepreneurial nonprofit providing innovative education, coaching, and counseling services to individuals and families, as well as grant writing and management services for school districts and universities.