Barebones Philanthropic Initiatives with Roots High School

By Brianne Dela Cruz, Gather & Grow


 

Roots Charter High School

Roots Charter High School is a farm-based school in Salt Lake City, Utah that helps struggling youth remain in school and graduate. Students learn their curriculum through hands-on gardening and farming. This academic approach of land-stewardship-learning helps students, who might otherwise leave traditional high school, develop the knowledge, skills, and ability to live healthy, productive, and sustainable lives.

Roots Charter High School is a farm-based school in Salt Lake City, Utah

Students attain graduation through credit-recovery options, realistic goal setting with teachers, and hard work to gain proficiencies in core subjects. Moreover, they develop ecological literacy, academic accomplishment, strong character, and a commitment to the community.


The Barebones’ Connection

When Tifie Humanitarian and Barebones Founder, Robert Workman, met the High School’s Director, Tyler Bastian, he was immediately drawn to his passion for providing character-based education and hands-on learning. Robert has a long history of gardening, farming, and animal husbandry, so their kindred values immediately brought them together.

Learn more about Barebones' founder >>> 

 

When Tifie Humanitarian and Barebones Founder, Robert Workman, met the high school’s Director, Tyler Bastian, he was immediately drawn to his passion for providing character-based education and hands-on learning.

 

Since the beginning of the partnership six years ago, Barebones has jumped in wholeheartedly to support service projects, mentorship opportunities and provide monetary donations and garden tools. Barebones employees of all levels continue to get excited about participating in philanthropic initiatives for Roots High School


Barebones Philanthropic Initiatives with Roots High School

In the first year, Barebones learned that many students were coming to school hungry, going without dinner, and asking teachers for snacks during the day. A handful of Barebones employees organized a food drive and helped create a school food pantry so that hungry students could grab healthy snacks and take food home to their families. 


One of Roots' priorities is to give free lunch to everyone. This allows students and teachers to gather together and enjoy great food daily.


One of Roots' priorities is to give free lunch to everyone. This allows students and teachers to gather together and enjoy great food daily. To make this possible, one Barebones employee rallied her connections to help fundraise for a new school lunch caterer. Later, Barebones, Tifie, and a few other donors, built a kitchen so the school lunch program would be sustainable. 


Six years running, the annual Barebones Thanksgiving lunch continues to be one of the most anticipated company events of the year. Barebones employees gather to cook and serve lunch, then socialize with Roots High School students and teachers. 


Barebones employees have also participated in every Career Fair since 2015 and contribute to ongoing food and clothing pantries whenever there is a need. Over the years, the list of projects between Roots and Barebones has grown exponentially. Some years include field trips to Tifie Preserve and funding to jumpstart the school CSA (community supported agriculture) program. Other years include a Barebones employee service day at the farm and the option for employees to donate a small portion of their paycheck to the school directly. 

 

Barebones employee service day at the farm

Barebones employee service day at the farm

Positive Impact For Roots High Students

Robert's steeped experience in philanthropy allows the partnership to function differently than most. Often donors come in with lofty or unrealistic expectations that may not be congruent with daily needs or pain points. Barebones takes the time to listen and understand current needs, ask about the solutions believed to be the best, then follow through with supporting their ideas. 


“Barebones has always trusted us in letting us define successful outcomes and letting us define what success looks like - never hoping that success be defined as it is commonly defined in academia. They have always loved and supported Roots without stipulations or expectations.”

- Roots Charter High School Principal


Barebones employees are often actively involved in ongoing projects at the school as well. This style of philanthropic partnership operates within the student social and cultural framework, which better meets the school's needs and leads to student empowerment. 

 

It is not a partnership rooted in only financial contributions.
It is a partnership rooted in community, nature, and growth.

 

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