Home > Faculty > FSU College of Education and Leon Schools’ partnership facilitates mutual aid between adolescents and the community

FSU College of Education and Leon Schools’ partnership facilitates mutual aid between adolescents and the community

50 Large farm

Dr. George Boggs

In 2009, Leon County Schools established the 50 LARGE program through a Gang Free Schools and Communities Grant. 50 LARGE, which is an acronym for Leadership Achievement Responsibility Growth Education, is aimed at redirecting energies of young men within targeted populations and changing lives by inspiring hope, molding character, teaching responsibility, and providing ‘real’ economic opportunity.

Dr. George Boggs, assistant professor of English Education, helped 50 LARGE develop a new entrepreneurship program to complement mentoring and academic support efforts already in place. Beginning in May 2014, a handful of the 30 adolescents who participate in 50 LARGE began converting residential land in Tallahassee into an incubator for food and agriculture-related businesses. Besides the sweat, anticipated and ongoing action is facilitating the development of socially significant literacies in marketing, STEM fields, and interpersonal communication.

50 Large market

Frenchtown Heritage Market

50 LARGE’s first trip to market with produce they had planted, tended, picked, packaged, and priced coincided with this year’s opening of the Frenchtown Heritage Market, a new initiative born out of spirit of partnership among the City of Tallahassee, Frenchtown Neighborhood Improvement Association, Inc., Tallahassee COPE Coalition, and the Greater Frenchtown Revitalization Council.

50 LARGE members, like Tyge Williams, are taking leadership in the project, making money, and making decisions on the farm. The market day was a first for Williams; he sold produce to the community that he’d grown as part of an apprenticeship Boggs hopes may have many positive consequences in the future.

Through 50 LARGE, the students are learning how to create jobs for themselves in economic growth areas designated by federal, state, and local government. “This project was inspired by a sense of mutual opportunity as the College of Education and Florida State University promoted an initiative for entrepreneurship,” said Boggs. “I wanted to create an entrepreneurial educational goal for communities at risk for low school achievement.”

This project builds upon a mutually beneficial relationship between the 50 LARGE students, Leon County Schools, the Tallahassee community, and the College of Education (COE). Boggs coordinates a longstanding, mutually beneficial partnership for academic support between the COE School of Teacher Education and 50 LARGE.

Read more about this partnership on pg. 7 of the 2015-2016 TORCH Magazine.

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