Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

The California School Garden Training Program (CSGT) trained over 1,700 educators from 2012 – June, 2014. It included workshops on Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) and Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE). CSGT conducted Train-the-Trainer Workshops, where new leaders were trained to replicate the CSYSG and GENE workshops.

View these extensive resources for school garden educators and trainers

Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden

Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education

View GENE and CSYSG Trainer Materials

 

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California School Garden Training Program Final Numbers

Additionally the CSGT training model and resources were shared at 6 statewide conferences reaching 229 people.

 

Workshop Participant Final Survey Highlights

GENE

77% of final survey respondents stated that they increased the amount of fruits and vegetables they tasted/ate with students

67% said they increased time spent using the garden to teach nutrition education

97% noted some (56%) or significant (41%) marked improvement in their effectiveness in implementing garden-enhanced nutrition education

75% noted some (59%) or significant (16%) marked improvement in student's families' consumption of fruits and vegetables

CSYSG

27% installed a school garden

76% improved an existing school garden

73% shared what they learned from the Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden workshop with colleagues

93% noted some (45%) or significant (48%) marked improvement in their abilities to access resources to support their garden program

 

Quotes from Final Survey

“I never ate a snow pea pod before, now I will eat millions!” – Student

"Can we have some MORE kale chips?" – Student

"[My favorite thing I learned about in the garden was] drinking strawberry water. It tastes good and it's good for you." 4th grader, after making strawberry lemonade on a hot day and talking about the vitamins in strawberries.” – Student

“After my kindergarten students experienced "eating a rainbow" and the rainbow body… while eating their mid-morning snack at the snack table, they would hold up vegetables and fruits and bring them to the part of the body that the vegetable or fruit made healthy and say things like "my carrot is eye food" or "my grapes are brain food" – Teacher

“One of my high school students is on the football team. One day when we were working on our school garden I saw him staring at the football field. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, "I was just thinking about how much food we could grow if we converted this football field." – Teacher

“I am a community partner working in an elementary school that has a majority of youth in the free and reduced lunch program. They often get vegetables they do not like in the packaged meals and have a bad association with eating their vegetables. We grew fresh carrots in the garden and the kids came out of the garden so happy to be carrying their harvest! In fact, it has made them more adventurous to try new items that the school district is implementing. Some kids I never expected to be trying new items are eating and enjoying raw sweet potatoes! Just like me, when you invest time into something and care for it, you are that much more likely to try it and be empowered to grow more!” – Student

“I didn't know worms and bugs were so much fun to play with! I didn't know I liked Kale! Now I know I like 3 different kinds of kale!” – Student

 

 

 

 

 

 

California School Garden Training Program Summary:

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3 days ago

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Thanks Sage Garden Project for supporting Watsonville School Gardens. ... See MoreSee Less

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1 week ago

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Have you heard?

Ella King from Ella's at the Airport and Cafe Ella will prepare the brunch at the Life Lab Annual Benefit at T. S. Macquiddy Elementary

Register here to join us on May 20th! bit.ly/1hvR2kr
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1 week ago

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Registration is open for the Life Lab Brunch. Enjoy brunch and celebrate growing healthy, inspired children across Santa Cruz County and beyond!

Register here: bit.ly/1hvR2kr
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3 weeks ago

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Life Lab Benefit Brunch registration is on! We are excited to host our brunch at MacQuiddy Elementary School in Watsonville on May 20th. Please join us for our complimentary brunch, inspiring program and a reception in the garden. More information and Registration here: lifelab.org/brunch ... See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

Teaching a Growing Classroom Workshop at @OakSpringGardenFoundation in collaboration with @dcgreens.org. I feel like I’ve fallen into a small French village. This is the former estate of Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon in Virginia. Mrs. Mellon was an avid horticulturalist who designed the White House Rose Garden! I am staying in the room where Jackie Kennedy stayed when she visited here!! Sharing a weekend in this space with teachers who love kids and gardens is a truly unforgettable experience. ... See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

Just when I thought we’d seen it all ... this is an agrophotovoltaic school garden underneath massive solar panels at @Manzo.Ecology in Tucson. The elementary school students here gather and analyze data on how the shade from the panels helps the plants grow and how the plants help cool the panels and increase their efficiency. What?!?! It’s amazing and gives me hope. Oh, and also they have a desert tortoise in their courtyard. ... See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

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Have you heard?! Life Lab is one of New Leaf Community Markets' recipients of their EnviroToken program at their Westside Santa Cruz store! So get your shopping on, bring your reusable bags, and donate 10¢ to Life Lab with every bag you use! Thank you, New Leaf!
#thankyou, #grateful, #ReduceReuseRecycle, #isupportlifelab
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Life Lab has been the most innovative and relevant organization in this field. From providing the best curriculum to their cutting edge professional development, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration.
Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside
Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom