US: Campaign connects youth with plant-based solutions

Seed Your Future announced the launch of its expanded BLOOM! campaign to excite young people about the power of plants and their unique ability to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Teaming up with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, BLOOM! provides free eye-catching, fact-based content delivered both inside and outside of the classroom. The new campaign also includes a new contest and sweepstakes activity for kids and families.

The expanded BLOOM! campaign marks year two of this initiative of Seed Your Future, a coalition of more than 150 partners – including horticulture companies, gardening organizations, schools, colleges, universities, public gardens, youth organizations, nonprofit organizations and individual advocates – united in their mission to promote horticulture and careers in the green-collar industry.

“Youth have told us that they want to help solve some of the most pressing problems in our world today,” said Susan E. Yoder, executive director of Seed Your Future. “They hear about air pollution, noise pollution, food deserts, climate change, world-hunger and more and they’re anxious to do something about it — but they don’t know how or even what would make a difference. BLOOM! helps them to identify the root of each challenge and opens their eyes to how plants and the people who work with them can make a positive difference.”

Seed Your Future, along with Scholastic, has expanded its educator website – to include an online learning module, sample lesson plans, activities and a new contest for teachers and out-of-school time youth program leaders to teach kids about challenges in their own communities and the plant-based solutions that can make a difference. Families can also participate in a new sweepstakes to discover the plant power in their own communities. New materials include “Make Your Community Bloom,” “The Wonderful World of Plants,” “Barriers to Healthy Ecosystems,” “Map Your Community’s Challenges,” and “Plants as Problem Solvers.”

The contest takes the learning a step further and engages students in imagining their own solutions to environmental challenges. In the “Planting Your Solution Contest”, ( students identify an eco-challenge in their own community. They describe their own plant-based solution and illustrate their ideas. Prizes are awarded for both the student and the teacher/youth program leader/parent of the winning submissions.

The sweepstakes invites families into the learning and fun. The Family Plant Hunt ( encourages families to go out into their own communities to snap pictures of eco-challenges as well as places where plants are part of the solution. Posting their images on social media with #PlantHunt enters families in a sweepstakes contest for prizes.

“Busy families don’t always have the time to fully understand what our kids are inspired about in school or youth programs,” said Yoder. “So, we wanted to create a fun family activity that lets the student teach what they’re learning, while getting the family outdoors exploring their local community. I can’t wait to see the #PlantHunt social media posts from families!”

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