Special thanks to all who came out to join us to volunteer on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service. It was truly a pleasure, working with you all to improve the garden and the landscape of Oakland Tech.

I would like to acknowledge some really valuable players out there. Special thanks to School Board Representative Jody London. Jody did not just show up on her bicycle, but got off it and declared weeds her number one enemy.

And then there was Urban Releaf. Their task was to plant trees on 45th street. On occasion, volunteers came in search of Urban Releaf throughout the day. The first crew in search, I decided to escort them to 45th street (which is on the opposite side of the school from where we were). The later crews, I pointed in the right directions because we had our own thing going on in the garden area.

When I escorted the first crew, we walked and talked along the way, I recall they were from Dublin and had gone on-line in search of volunteering…anyway, as we turned the corner of 45th, we noticed a crowd of people eagerly awaiting to volunteer. One of the young men asks me, “do you know where I can plug in?” “plug in?” I think. “I’m the DJ,” he says. A few minutes later a big white truck, full of trees arrives. Co-Founder, Kemba Shakur and Kevin Jefferson jump out the truck. We do the pound thing, the hugs, I ask Kevin, “your DJ needs to plug in?” “We have a generator”, he responds.

Special thanks to The Green Club of Oakland Tech led by science teacher Mr. Senn. The students worked throughout the day in the garden, but on occasion, they did things that reminded me of my younger days. For example, when it comes to watering the plants, the one with the water gun, seemed to take a little pleasure, “accidently” getting others wet. Also, a couple of students seemed to leave with more paint on them, than they painted on the container beds. Being outdoors actually brings out the child in us all.

Special thanks to Kinchasia from Gen X for coming and supporting, Dawn Humphrey from Techs staff for helping coordinate, parents like Mr. Carroll Moore, thanks for coming out ready to work! You were a one man wrecking team on those leaves and weeds on 45th street. There were others I met, and excuse me for forgetting your names, but thank you!

Also, special thanks to Yolanda from Pollinate Farm and Garden for the seeds and Wanda Stewart for your seeds too!!

Its amazing what we can do in 3 hours once a month together.

The next 1st Saturdays is February 3rd.

We will meet at 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Urban Releaf will join us once again. This time Urban Releaf will conduct a workshop on how to maintain the trees the trees they planted on MLK day of service.

We have yet to recruit representatives from the schools Student Government Association, Parent Teacher Association and Alumni Association to join us and share updates.

Like a healthy body needs a healthy heart, lungs, kidney’s, etc, we believe a healthy school needs to have these three main organizations not only functioning on campus, but in collaboration with one another.

This collaboration is what we call #Familyhood.

#Familyhood identifies schools as the hub for community development. #familyhood is inter-generational approach of developing community from the people up!
#Familyhood is driven by two motto’s: 1) every school shall have functioning Student Government Association, Parent Teacher Association and Alumni Association.” 2) every school shall have a garden, a farmers market and a grocery store.”

#Familyhood promotes collaboration between these three main school based organizations. Together, they run their own garden. Together, they run their own farmers market. Together, they run their own grocery store.

1st Saturdays is the “do now” strategy to advance communities towards #Familyhood.

We work towards this vision, one month at a time.

The above, is one high school in Oakland, CA.

We seek others!

Start your 1st Saturdays at your school.

Tell your story as I have shared mine.

We would love to help promote!


David N. Roach

start: 1stSaturdays.com