This spring has been a whirlwind of activity as the Settlement School slowly returns back to business after the pandemic. It seems though, Spring was late this year. The overwhelming green has just started, nearly a month later than normal. I am late as well, just now realizing I have missed last month’s blog. The signs of spring bring a sense of renewal, and this year it means even more. We have spent the greater part of the Winter, dreaming, designing, and reinventing our programming and the Spring brings to fruition the new direction and abundance of new programming.

Life here on the North side of Pine Mountain has been very fulfilling lately. Over 1400 students have been through our environmental, cultural, and agricultural programming, our Grow Appalachia program has enrolled nearly 55 families, and our traditional arts program has launched to increase community involvement.  As hectic as things have been, the reward of making a difference keeps our small staff moving forward and excited about the work.

I cannot describe my excitement for our Grow Appalachia Families this year. Enrollment is up and over 70% of our families are new to the program. The excitement and energy of these folks is catching and makes awe inspiring experiences with new knowledge, especially with the scuffle hoes.

As we quickly transition from spring into the sweltering heat, I am reminded it is better late than never.