Greenhouse Club Progress!

Kristina is presenting this week’s lesson, covering soil and soil quality.


We worked on “Mud Shakes” that show the kids whether soil is suitable for planting: shake the jar for two minutes and study the way the contents settle! We also sorted cards and discussed what items we may find in soil and what items we should not.

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The kids planted even more seeds and the greenhouse is filling up quickly. They have enjoyed planting new seeds and observing their earlier weeks’ work begin to sprout.

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The kids love being able to see and track the growth of their plants!


Week 2 of the Edgewater Greenhouse Club

The Edgewater Elementary Greenhouse Club is off to a great start! Our second group of volunteers met with the Monday group for the first time this week. Between both groups, we have about 50 second and third graders participating in the program along with a waiting list for our next session.


The Thursday group has already planted their seeds and we have some plants beginning to sprout!


Students were also learning to examine soil samples and choose the best type for planting.

Both groups will be using journals to track their progress as well as take notes from gardening and nutrition lessons.


We look forward to tracking the students’ progress in coming weeks!


Greenhouse Program Kickoff

The new Greenhouse Club at Edgewater Elementary was officially underway on January 15, 2015. This program is an after school activity for Edgewater third graders. Volunteers spent the day preparing the greenhouse for the first group of students.


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So far we have 40 third graders enrolled in the program and 30 on a wait list! Thursday was spent on orientation. The kids were very excited to get started!


Mrs. Finnegan led introductions and fun introductory activities. We also decorated our garden journals!


Two groups of volunteers will be at Edgewater Elementary on Mondays and Thursdays for an hour each day. On behalf of all the volunteers, we look forward to working with this great group of kids and helping them learn about gardening and nutrition.


Garden Party – January 25, 2015


What a fun party!! We had over 20 people show up and a ton of food.

We are overwhelmed and humbled by all the wonderful support and people that have helped create Jovial Gardens. Thank you all very much.

I want to send a special thanks to AJ again for all of his outstanding work! I also would like to special mention Chris Grant and Vicki Peterson for all their work and support as well! We couldn’t do it without gracious folks like you!

We also want to sincerely thank Shannon and Alyssa for all the work they put into making this party happen. The food was delicious and you lady’s did a great job organizing everything. Thank you!

Thank you all again and we can’t wait to see you next month!

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Jovial Futures Will Meet on Fridays!

20140528_145710We are excited to announce Jovial Futures will be meeting 2 extra days each month at Wheat Ridge 5-8!

We have noticed that the grades of several of our students have been dropping. We though maybe they didn’t understand the homework or weren’t doing it, but the real reason they are doing poorly is absolutely shocking! Our students are actually completing their homework on time, but they are not turning it in! One student showed me a paper that was months old crumpled in the bottom of a backpack! Almost all of our Futures students had at least one completed assignment that hadn’t been turned in and a whole laundry list of reasons for why they it didn’t make it to the teacher!

“I forgot”
“I didn’t know when it was due”
“My teacher’s email address is wrong”
“My Ipad is broken”
“I have to many other things to carry”
But overwhelmingly, “It doesn’t matter” “I don’t care” and
“I’m not motivated”

To address this issue we will be meeting twice a month to explore new organizational tactics! We are going to motivate our students by demonstrating how easy it is to get A’s and showing them the importance of good grades down the road. We will even be rewarding students who demonstrate their organizational skills as well as A’s, B’s, and C’s with raffle tickets for their own Ipad, Ipod, or Apple Headphones!!



Good Luck Futures students and we will see you next Wednesday where we will be announcing the decision for our 2014 community project!



What are your best tricks to staying organized?
Please share below!

Join us for Peace Day 2014!

Join us for our celebration and educational event for the 2014 UN International Day of Peace event on September 21st, 2014.

Click through the gallery below to view past Peace Day images


Peace Initiative Contest 2014

What will YOU do for Peace? For Jovial Concepts, Peace is about having a safe place to sleep without fear of violence or weather, having adequate healthy food for your family, having the ability to provide for those you care about, having access to education, fair public media, health care, clean water, and most importantly having access to all basic human needs in a way that is sustainable from one generation to the next.

To do this alone would be impossible, Jovial Concepts has designed several different programs to engage communities in Colorado and globally in examining their community, educating residents, and creatively and actively problem solving. In 2013 Jovial Concepts awarded $5,000 in project funding to the best entry in our Peace Initiative contest.This year, we are expanding our contest to include Elementary, Middle, and High School submissions!

Through submitting a project to Jovial Concepts students will look at their community, learn about current social and economic problems, and come up with creative solutions. The Peace Initiative Contest process gives youth much needed experience with budgeting, planning, organizing, and application skills that will be useful for the rest of their life. Their projects will be a practical addition to college and job applications, as well as useful insight for schools and employers into the community mindfulness of Colorado youth.

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Jovial Gardens

Combating Hunger in Colorado

Nearly 1 in 4 households with children reported food hardship1 and more than 25% of working families in Colorado do not have enough food to meet their basic needs2.

Colorado has one of the fastest growing rates of childhood poverty in the nation. Between 2002 and 2010, the rate of child poverty increased 86% in the state.3 Children aged 0-5 are most at risk of living in homes without enough food.3

By transforming lawns into organic gardens, we can provide the produce to feed 120 Colorado families throughout the growing seasons. Using gardens as a classroom, participants learn sustainability, environmental awareness, healthy food practices, and how to combat obesity and other health issues associated with food hardships.


Problem 1- Food Scarcity

  • In many urban neighborhoods, it is all too convenient to buy fast food and soda but nearly impossible to find fresh fruits and vegetables. These areas with limited access to affordable, healthy food are predominantly composed of low-income communities.4
  • Convenience markets with sweet and salty snacks are frequently the main dietary source for residents of low-income, inner-city neighborhoods which leads to high obesity rates among these areas.4
  • Research has shown that the presence of grocery stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables in a community helps residents maintain a healthy lifestyle.4
  • Increasing access to nutritious food that is lower in fat and calories is a crucial interim step in helping poorer communities reduce their rate of chronic disease and improve the overall health of Coloradans.4

Our Solution

  • By gaining the support of local residents, we can provide the access to fresh produce by growing it in the neighborhoods that have a lack of accessibility and need healthy food most.
  • All of our food donated goes directly to the nearest local area in need from where it is grown.

Problem 2 – Food Insecurity

  • Studies show that there is more than enough food to provide the World with enough nutrition to live a healthy life.5
  • The cost of fresh produce and healthy food restricts families from being able to provide proper nutrition in their homes.4
  • Even when provided with fresh fruits and vegetables, many at risk and low income households do not know how to prepare their food.

Our Solution

  • By providing fresh produce to those in need through active local food banks, we can make sure that everything we grow goes to a good home.
  • Through food education classes, we are able to give opportunity to teach people techniques of how to prepare and cook food. The provision of easy to follow recipes for the produce we give will reduce the need for pre-packaged unhealthy food and provide equal nutritional opportunity for entire households.
  • Having gardening classes and providing resources to create their own gardens, low income households will be able to provide for themselves and start to be part of the independent sustainable process.

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Jovial Futures

The Colorado Gap

Colorado suffers from an unequal balance of trade in terms of its talent. While the Rocky Mountain state ranks near the top in the number of residents with a college degree, it comes in nearly last in number of students who complete college. Nearly half of its residents with college degrees are transplants from other states. For every 10 students that graduate high school in Colorado, just two will go on to finish college.
Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 high school students in Colorado won’t graduate on time
  • 15,000 high school students in Colorado drop out each year.
  • 42 of undergraduates in Colorado won’t finish in 4-6 years.
  • An average dropout will make $10k a year less than a high school graduate and $36k less each year than someone with a bachelor’s degree.
“[Communities] that invest in their young people reap the benefits through greater [economic] growth and social well-being for generations to come.” – Ban Ki Moon

How can Jovial Futures help?

Our program, set to launch in 2014, is aimed at supporting the futures of 100 children in Colorado.
Jovial Futures is applying 50 years of research from the Search Institute for adolescent development via the creation of a powerful network of educational youth camps, experiential education programs, mentorships, internships, service learning, and career placement.
By removing financial barriers, providing youth with more opportunities, and creating community support systems, our program will help close the gap that keeps Colorado from growing its own professional talent!

“Research shows that the more opportunities and experiences a child has, the more successful they will be”

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Jump For Joy – Event Results!

Thank you to all of the fabulous talent that came out to support our Jump for Joy event!

Because of the wonderful support we had from so many talented artists and performers, we will be able to help over 500 kids recieve jump ropes and hula hoops in Cape Town, South Africa!

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