Life Lab

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

Train the Trainers Workshop – Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education

The Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Train the Trainers (GENE 3T) is a unique training and networking opportunity for educators and organizations to provide professional development and technical assistance to California school garden and nutrition programs. GENE 3T workshops give school garden and nutrition promoters tools to offer Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education Workshops (GENE) in their own regions.

All Trainers-in-Training Will:

  • Observe a GENE workshop being taught.
  • Receive trainer outlines and appropriate participant handouts to use in your own trainings.
  • Discuss effective training strategies for adult learners.
  • Network with other school garden support professionals.
  • Learn ways to promote and support garden-enhanced nutrition education in your region.
  • Become eligible to apply for a $550 mini-grant to replicate a GENE Workshop in your region.
  • Join the California School Garden Training Program, which will train 1,500 people by 2014.

Mini-Grants for Regional GENE Workshops

Participants who commit to offering a Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE) workshop in their communities during the 2013-2014 school year may apply for a $550 mini-grant to support a local training. Information about mini-grants will be available at the 3T workshops, and mini-grants are only available to those who attend a 3T Workshop.

2013 Train the Trainer Workshop Dates and Locations

There are two mandatory components of these Train-the-Trainer Events: A Workshop Observation and a Trainer Debrief.

  • For the GENE 3T workshops in Santa Cruz, Pasadena, San Diego, and North Bay San Francisco the Workshop Observation will happen on Day 1 and the Trainer Debrief will happen from 9:00-12:00 on Day 2.
  • For the GENE 3T workshops in Davis and Bakersfield, the Workshop Observation and Trainer Debrief will all take place on one day and will include additional Webinar sessionsLearn more.

Lakeside (San Diego) Full
Thursday April 25, 9:00-4:00, GENE – Lakeside Middle School, Lakeside (San Diego)
Friday, 26 April, 9:00-12:00, GENE 3T – RCD Office, Lakeside (San Diego)

Pasadena Full
Thursday, May 9, 9:00-4:00, GENE – Muir Ranch, Pasadena
Friday, May 10, 9:00-12:00, GENE 3T – Muir Ranch, Pasadena

Davis Full
Saturday, May 18, 8:30-5:00, GENE and 3T One-Day Combo – UC Davis Children's Garden, Davis
Train-the-Trainers Webinar – Thursday, May 16  3:30-5:00pm

Santa Cruz Full
Wednesday May 22, 9:00-4:00, GENE – Life Lab Garden Classroom, Santa Cruz
Thursday, May 23, 9:00-12:00, GENE 3T – Life Lab Garden Classroom, Santa Cruz

Santa Rosa Full
Friday, May 31, 9:00-4:00, GENE – Cultivating Impact Farm
Saturday, June 1, 9:00-12:00, GENE 3T – Cultivating Impact Farm

Arvin (near Bakersfield) Full
Saturday, June 22, 8:00-5:00, GENE and 3T One-Day Combo – 
Grimmway Academy Edible Schoolyard, Arvin
Train-the-Trainers Webinar – Thursday, June 20  3:30-5:00pm



Click on a location above to register.
If registering with co-workers, please submit one registration for your team and list all team member's names and emails.

GENE 3T Workshops are offered for free for organizations and individuals that:

  • Have a strong knowledge of gardening and nutrition concepts.
  • Have experience gardening and cooking with children and providing adult training.
  • Have interest in offering a GENE training in your region during the 2013-2014 schoolyear.
  • Can ideally attend this event as part of a 2-member team.

1 semester unit of graduate education credit available for $60.

Past organizational attendees have included:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • School or school districts
  • Health and nutrition educators
  • University or college programs
  • UCCE and Master Gardener programs
  • Community gardening organizations
  • Botanical garden programs
  • Network for a Healthy California programs
  • City or county programs
The California School Garden Training Program is funded by a California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant. The program will train 1,500 people in creating and sustaining school gardens from 2012-2014. Learn more about the CSGT. 

Training partners include Life Lab, UC Davis Children's Garden Program, and The Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County, all in collaboration with the California School Garden Network.

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Teaching a Growing Classroom Workshop at @OakSpringGardenFoundation in collaboration with 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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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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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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What happens when Whole Kids Foundation partners with you to bring 50+ leaders from School Garden Support Organizations from across the country together to get to talk shop, inspire each other, problem-solve around shared challenges, and eat amazing food prepared and served by happy 5th graders? MAGIC. That's what happens. #sgso2018 ... See MoreSee Less

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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!
#thankyou, #grateful, #ReduceReuseRecycle, #isupportlifelab
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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.


#beapartofit, #startingstrong, #changinglives, #isupportlifelab
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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.
#beapartofit, #changinglives, #optoutside, #gardenbasededucation, #happynewyear
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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