Life Lab

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

California School Garden Training Program

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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Have you heard?! Life Lab is one of New Leaf Community Markets' recipients of their EnviroToken program for 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!
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We are so grateful to be starting 2018 with such strong support! Because of so many generous gifts from our supporters like you, we surpassed our 2017 fundraising goal of $124,000, with all campaign donations totaling $125,835.

These funds will help make Life Lab field trip and summer camp programs possible for children from families and schools that could otherwise not afford them. We believe that ALL children deserve the chance to love learning, healthy food, and nature. Thanks to your support, this year we will serve even more children in Santa Cruz County and across the nation.

THANK YOU!

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Happy almost 2018, Life Lab fans! We are only $809 dollars away from reaching our $124,000 year-end fundraising goal! Before you ring in the new year, will you help us ensure a promising 2018? 100% of the funds necessary to do this important work come from grants and from individuals like you. Will you join us in ensuring that we can continue to deepen and expand our reach, so that even more children can experience the joy of loving learning, healthy food, and nature? Your tax-deductible gift made by midnight tonight will go directly to supporting our programs.
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End the year making a life-chaning difference!
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With women and people of color still underrepresented in scientific fields, "I'm a scientist!" is a powerful statement coming from a 2nd grade girl in Watsonville. It came during a field trip to our Blooming Classroom field trip program. Young students look at flowers on living plants in the garden, see pollinators interacting with them, and pick a flower to dissect and explore its parts. Then they draw the flower and label all the parts they learned about in a lesson with our garden educators. This hands-on, garden-based science in action, and the feeling it gives students is exciting!

These ah-ha moments happen all the time at Life Lab, inspiring children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature. 100% of the funds needed to create these life-changing experiences come from grants and from individuals like you. Will you join us in ensuring that thousands of children each year can experience the joy of hands-on garden-based learning? Your tax-deductible gift will go directly to supporting our programs.

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We all know that hands-on experiences are critical to learning. No one would dream of teaching technology without computers: in fact, in many schools today they are mandating 30 minutes of screen time per student, per day. Why on earth with this understanding are we trying to teach earth and life science without giving them exposure to earth and life? School gardens are spaces--outdoor classrooms--where students can learn science and apply math and language arts, in a context that feels relevant to them. And what might happen if we elevated the status of hands-on, experiential, outdoor learning? What might happen if schools started mandating 30 minutes of dirt time per student per day? This would be time where they could apply what they're learning in the classroom outdoors to the world around them and develop a connection to it. Well that’s what we’re here to find out!
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"This field trip was a fun experience that taught me how to eat healthy food in a fun way." -6th grader on a Feeling Fine with Fresh Foods Field Trip
Help grow the next generation of healthy eaters!
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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