Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Denney Juvenile Justice Center Garden

on September 24, 2011

In a few weeks, I’ll be facilitating a six-week workshop that integrates art with writing at  Denney Juvenile Justice Center. The workshop is a part of the National Program Reclaiming Futures. Reclaiming Futures partners community members and juvenile justice centers to help kids overcome substance abuse problems. The program which has been created at Denney by community members of Everett and other teaching artists is called, PAIR, Promising Artists In Recovery. Kids who are participating in Denney’s Drug Court program have the opportunity to participate in the PAIR program.

I had an opportunity to go to Drug Court on Friday evening. Drug Court is a program for kids with addictions and substance abuse issues. They have to be referred into the program.  On Friday, for two hours, the kids check in with the Judge about their progress. He checks them for community service hours, positive reports from school, and progress in their sobriety. The kids attend with their parents and the first question the Judge asks is “What is your sobriety date?” When the teen responds, the whole room claps. The whole room also claps when the parent is introduced.

I felt like I had just walked into a room filled with my character, Christopher, in my upcoming young adult book, Weaving Magic. In the story, Christopher is a recovering addict, and during content edits of the manuscript, I’m going to have to add a scene with Drug Court!

After Drug Court, the teaching artist and I went out to see the garden which the kids at Denney worked on and planted. They cleared the land, built the box container, found the tire and filled it with compost soil, planted, water, tended, and now have a beautiful garden.

Enjoy the Denney Garden!

Sunflowers in the Denney Garden. The teens built the box themselves.

Beans growing in an old tire in the Denney Garden.

Pumpkins growing in the Denney Garden--not quite orange yet!

Tomatoes growing in the Denney garden

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3 responses to “Denney Juvenile Justice Center Garden

  1. Dawn M. Turner says:

    This is so wonderful, Mindy!! ;o)

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