YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

At Conetoe Family life Center, we are youth-planned, youth-led, and sowing the seeds of change.

For more than 60 Edgecombe children participating, the Conetoe Family Life Center gives children a voice in their community, their health, and their future. We believe it’s about so more than a gardening effort; our unique program empowers children with the tools they need to develop leadership abilities, social skills and stress management techniques. They experience the benefits of eating well, sleeping well, and exercising.  They learn science, math, organizational skills and financial planning. They develop business acumen, environmental stewardship, and a  sense of community responsibility.

Many children who have participated in the program report that their involvement has increased their self-esteem and self-image, encouraged them to stay in school and provided a way for them to “belong” without having to join a gang. They are excited by their effort to improve their community, and are proud to have provided an impetus for other adult family members to change their eating, cooking and lifestyle habits alongside them.

By caring for the soil, their plants, their bees, and each other, the children at Conetoe Family Life Center learn what it takes to keep themselves and their community, thriving.

HEALTHY LIVING

Conetoe Family Life Center is growing a new, healthier community. 

Begun as a grassroots response to the poverty, malnutrition, and premature death affecting our community, the Conetoe Family Life Center is committed to encouraging healthier, more vibrant lives for all of Edgecombe County – and beyond.

With many families in our region lacking basic access to fresh, healthy food, Conetoe Family Life Center’s means the difference between experiencing scarcity and enjoying abundance. We make healthy living easy and affordable by donating half of our farm’s harvest to low-income families in need, and provide free fresh food for our community’s events and celebrations. We encourage new, healthier cooking habits, smoking cessation and, for those who participate in our gardening effort, access to outdoor exercise, water, and fresh air.

We are proud to remote that our efforts have made a major impact on the lives of Conetoe’s most disadvantaged residents. Active participants, both young and old, have experienced a dramatic decline in chronic ailments, necessary medications and hospital visits. We’ve worked hard to make a change in Edgecombe County – and our community is reaping the rewards.

BEE OPERATION

The Conetoe Family Life Center’s new “bee bus” project has our kids buzzing!

Since our inception, the Conetoe Family Life Center has grown by leaps and bounds – from just a two acre plot eleven years ago to more than five sites of large-scale gardening efforts today. Now, concerned about maximizing our pollination rate, our youth decided that we needed to expand the project even further. Under their direction, we’ve adding a few hundred extra workers to help us with our harvest – and a single bus for them all to live in!

The Conetoe Family Life Center “bee bus” project is a recycled school bus-turned-honey bee-hive that will help ensure better crop cultivation. The children have managed the project from the start – learning the science behind building hives, painting the bus to attract the bees back, and harvesting honey to sell at Farmers Markets around the region (proceeds go to Conetoe’s children’s education scholarships). Just one more way the Conetoe Family Life Center is making the world a little sweeter for our community.