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by Sam Levin, one of three coordinators of Project Sprout. Project Sprout is a student led and inspired onsite garden that supplements food served in the Monument Mountain High School (in Great Barrington, MA).

The best part of the beginning of a new year is when everyone makes their resolution. Every New Year’s Eve, sitting around the table, my family and I set our goals for the coming year. Tasting roast leg of lamb and swallowing bites of chocolate cake, we throw out suggestions like trying to do something that scares us once a month or doing something special for one of our neighbors every two weeks. Most of the time one of my brothers suggests something that cripples us with laughter, and someone else tosses out a hallmark card suggestion that gets dismissed with a little disgust. Usually after dinner, in honor of an old Latin American tradition, each of us eats twelve grapes to bring good luck to every month of the coming year. However, it’s not just that I love setting goals for myself, or hearing Will tell me with a grin that his goal is to cover his clothes with duct tape every day. That piece of it is great, but this year, I discovered something even better. That piece of it is great, but this year, I discovered something even better.

On New Year’s Eve I decided that I would resolve to get garden projects initiated in six other high schools. And as I thought about what that meant, I have to admit, I started to get a little excited. As I sat at the table listening to my family members laugh and eat and talk, I began to think about all of the other people in the world sitting at their own tables, counting down to 2009, and resolving to accomplish their own goals.