Life Lab

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

FoodCorps California, managed by Co-Host Sites Life Lab and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, has selected ten organizations to place twelve service corps members across the state in 2013-2014. 

Visit the California FoodCorps Page.

www.facebook.com/FoodCorpsCalifornia

The following organizations, which include a mix of school districts, non-profit, and university organizations, will be included in the AmeriCorps Education Award application to bring FoodCorps to California.

Ventura Unified School District – 1 service member (Ventura)
Garden School Foundation – 1 service member (Los Angeles)
Center for Nutrition and Activity – 1 service member (Chico)
Sierra Harvest – 1 service member (Grass Valley)
North Coast Opportunities – 1 service member (Ukiah)
Oakland Unified School District – 2 service members (Oakland)
San Diego Unified School District – 1 service member (San Diego)
UC Cooperative Extension Central Sierra -1 service member (San Andreas)
Life Lab – 2 service members (Santa Cruz) second service member shared between CAFF and Life Lab programming.
Community Alliance with Family Farmers – 1 service member (Sonoma)

Interested in being a California Service Site and hosting a service member? Fill out this form so that we can email when we are opening applications for organizations to apply as California Service Sites.

Related Press

CA FoodCorps State Training at the Life Lab Garden Classroom

Santa Cruz will soon be hub of a California food education initiative – Santa Cruz Sentinel 1/26/13

FoodCorps' California service sites announced – LA Times 1/31/13

 

View CA Food Corps Service Sites in a full screen map

2013 Service Site Selection Process NOTE This is outdated content for archival purposes. If funding becomes available to expand we will contact interested sites. Note your interest in being a CA Service Site on this form
 
Service Sites Explained
Service Member Benefits
Service Site Selection Criteria
Service Site Selection Timeline
Application Information Conference Call (not required for applying)
Service Site Application Link 

Clearly there is high demand for the program – we have received requests for over 90 service members for our application to FoodCorps! At this point FoodCorps can support somewhere between 12 – 20 members in the inaugural year in California, and as a result we have to use a more rigorous process to choose potential Service Sites. The exact number of FoodCorps members we are allotted in California depends on the funding distribution from AmeriCorps at the national and state levels. CAFF, Life Lab, and FoodCorps will be submitting grant proposals for the AmeriCorps funding, and we need to select sites as part of our proposal. We cannot guarantee that all Service Sites selected as partners in the grant to AmeriCorps will be funded, but we will try our best to accommodate those service sites selected. Final decisions will be made in June 2013.
 
Service Sites
FoodCorps is a nationwide team of leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy. We do that by placing motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service. Working under the direction of local partner Service Sites, we implement a three-ingredient recipe for healthy kids. FoodCorps service members:

·      Teach kids about what healthy food is and where it comes from

·      Build and tend school gardens

·      Bring high-quality local food into public school cafeterias

 
Service Sites are crucial to supporting the FoodCorps’ members and will become members of a strong California network of Farm to School and school gardens. While the Service Sites will be able to extend their reach through FoodCorps, it is important to know that it is a commitment to support the FoodCorps service members’ development and to contribute to meeting the mission of FoodCorps: Through the hands and minds of emerging leaders, FoodCorps strives to give all youth an enduring relationship with healthy food.
 
Service Sites, grassroots nonprofits, public schools or districts, and community-based organizations chosen by the co-Host Site must commit to:

  • Direct the work of FoodCorps service members in a specific community or school
  • Collaborate with the Host Site on recruiting and selecting service members
  • Share responsibility for evaluation and accountability

 
Service Sites must be able to place FoodCorps members in positions where they can address the following service pillars:
 
Knowledge: Service members teach children about food and nutrition in the classroom by developing and teaching lesson plans to grades ranging from kindergarten through high school, integrating activities into subjects such as math, science and history, working with teachers and school administrators to increase food and nutrition education in curricula, and more.
 
Engagement: Service members grow healthy food with students, teachers, and community members in school and community gardens, dynamic educational settings where kids can get their hands dirty and experience what they’re learning first-hand. While some service members expand/maintain already-existing school gardens, greenhouses and hoop houses, others work to establish new gardens. Members may assist or lead the planning process: meetings with school administrators and teachers, fundraising, garden design, etc. Service members develop garden sustainability plans and recruit community volunteers to ensure that the projects they start last into the future.
 
Access: Service members change what's for lunch by sourcing food from local farms for cafeterias, promoting local foods through cafeteria taste tests, working with school food directors and staff to integrate healthier foods into breakfast, lunch and snack programs, and more.
 
FoodCorps Service Member Benefits include:

  • A $15,000 living allowance
  • $5,550 AmeriCorps Segal Education Award: Upon successful competition of a 1,700 hour term of service, service members will receive this monetary award which can be used to pay for education at qualified institutions of higher education, educational training, and to re-pay qualified student loans.
  • Health insurance: FoodCorps will provide basic health, vision and dental coverage.
  • SNAP eligibility (dependent on total income)
  • Student loan forbearance (if eligible)
  • Partial childcare reimbursements (if eligible)

 
To find out more information about the FoodCorps program, please visit http://foodcorps.org/.


Criteria for Service Sites:
Due to extremely high demand for FoodCorps members in California, we have chosen specific criteria to ensure the best Service Sites for FoodCorps members.

  • FoodCorps members must work on all 3 FoodCorps pillars: local food procurement, garden based education, and nutrition education
  • No more than 3 members per service site
  • FoodCorps members must work in a school setting or closely with a school
  • FoodCorps members must be able to deliver at least 10 hours of instruction per student per year
  • Ability to commit $5000 for the FoodCorps service member
  • Stable organizational finances
  • Diverse geographic distribution of Service Sites

 
For frequently asked questions for Service Sites, please visit: http://foodcorps.org/our-structure/faq.

California Service Site Selection Timeline
Selection Site Conference Call: December 18, 2012
Selection Site Applications Due: January 4, 2013
Selection Site Notification: By January 21, 2013
AmeriCorps Education Award Grant Due: February 6, 2013
Notification of Americorps Education Award Grant: June 2013
Service Site Confirmation: June 2013
FoodCorps Member Selection Process: May – July 2013
FoodCorps Members Term at Service Sites: August 2013 – Aug 2014

For More Information:
If you’d like to learn more or ask questions about the process, please join a conference call on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:30am PST. This is an informational call only and is not required to apply.
 
Conference Call Line: (218) 339-4300
Passcode: 714537#
 

To Apply:
Fill out the application at http://fluidsurveys.com/s/2013-foodcorps-servicesite-application/ by January 4, 2013.

Preview and download a read only version of the application here https://foodcorps.box.com/s/uzv1mwrco1nh43bqh9xu
 

                     

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6 days ago

Life Lab

🌱Moment of the Month🌱

Life Lab Summer Camps are always a beautiful and nurturing way to share the interconnections of nature with children. Although our campers could not join us in the Life Lab Garden Classroom this summer, we wanted to make it possible for them to have fun at home! So our camp team assembled Summer Activity Care Packages full of materials, recipes, and advice for 225 children who had already registered for camp. They then carefully and lovingly hand delivered them to each family, occasionally getting to say Hi! from a safe distance, too.

"Thank you so much!! I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for pooling your ideas together for non-screen fun and learning opportunities. We can’t wait to dive in!
With much gratitude,"
Ellie

We are grateful to each and every camp family for their kindness, generosity, and patience as we all navigated the new realities of this year. As a community, the camp families even donated more than $12,000 of their camp fees towards ensuring that Life Lab will continue cultivating children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education during this challenging time.

While we cannot deliver care packages to everyone in our broader Life Lab community, we hope that our growing BackPocketLearning.org website will help families seeking simple, fun, nature based activities and healthy family recipes to enjoy together at home this summer!🌈🐝🌻🌞

#lifelabmomentofthemonth #mylifelab #lifelab #summercamp #summerfun #gardenbasededucation #gardenlife #garden See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

Our “Share Your Garden Saturday” video series continues with a sweet share from Emma Christie in the Life Lab garden at Starlight Elementary School in Watsonville🌸#shareyourgaredLL #school gardens PVUSD Food & Nutrition Services #LifeLab AmeriCorps See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Life Lab

In love with our @reneesgardenseeds flowers❤️thank you Renee for years of support & providing seeds for Life Lab gardens. We appreciate you! #reneesgardenseeds #lifelab #outdooreducation #gardensofgratitude #schoolgardens See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

“Education is a practice of Freedom” #emancipation #juneteenth #americanhistory #blackhistory #teachablemoments See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Happy National Eat Your Veggies Day!😋🥕

To celebrate today we wanted to share some of our impacts this past school year. In our seven PVUSD Partner Elementary Schools, 98% of kindergarten, 1st and 2nd teachers reported that the Fall 2019 NGSS in the Garden programs improved their 1,900 students’ attitudes towards fresh fruits and vegetables, their emotional well-being, and their connection with nature.

Our Kids Cook presentation brought exciting hands-on cooking and healthy eating to more than 1,500 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at these schools, too, in January, February and March. In tastings surveys 72% of the children reported liking or loving the fresh, healthful foods they ate, with 63% said they were trying a new fresh produce item for the first time.

278 second-graders from our partner schools enjoyed hands-on learning in field trips to our Blooming Classroom this school year. 59% reported tasting new healthy food items for the first time in lesson-based tastings, and 70% said they loved or liked what they tasted.

We would also like to remind you to eat a rainbow 🌈🥗

A diverse and colorful diet nourishes a strong and healthy body. All fruits and vegetables contain different combinations of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. In addition, they contain phytonutrients, which give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors and also play a wide range of roles in keeping our bodies healthy.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors for making this work possible. @sagegardenproject @pvhealth @pajarovalleyusd
@unfi @foodcorps

#eatyourveggies #EatYourVegetablesDay #mylifelab #vegetables See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Timeline Photos See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Life Lab

Life Lab Stands With Black Lives.

The injustice of systemic racism must end. Our work at Life Lab to foster empathy, love and inclusion with the children who are the next generation will continue, and it is no longer enough. This painful moment is an opportunity and a catalyst for us to take the next steps to more purposefully weave antiracist learning into all that we do.

This is a time of active learning for us, as we listen and dig deeper into Life Lab’s part in historical and present-day oppression. We see opportunities to provide foundational antiracist lessons and experiences more intentionally throughout our curriculum and programs, joining with others who are on this path.

There are seeds of hope in this moment that we can nurture in garden classrooms. Our work with children, educators and schools can motivate actions, large and small, individual and collective, to help create real change for a more just society.

Black lives matter, and Life Lab commits to countering racism through education and love.

We know this process will include learning, unlearning and relearning. We welcome this collaborative work, and we will report back to you on our progress.

~ The Life Lab Team See MoreSee Less

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1 month ago

Life Lab

🥕Meet Cara, our Garden Programs Manager!🥕

Cara began her current position at Life Lab in 2014, but has worked with Life Lab in a variety of roles since 2007. While going to school at the University of California Santa Cruz, she found her calling to be an outdoor educator while interning at Life Lab in the field trip teaching program. Graduating from UCSC with a B.A in Environmental Studies and a minor in Anthropology, Cara brings 12 years of education experience to her position, specializing in environmental education and professional development for beginning educators. Growing up in Chicago, she jumped on opportunities to volunteer and work at learning institutions, such as the Evanston Ecology Center and the Field Museum of Chicago. Cara moved to Santa Cruz in 2003 and loves living in a community that appreciates healthy living, eating well, and the natural world. When she is not hard at work, she is hard at play, hiking, dancing, cooking, traveling and doing yoga.🥘🌎😁 See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Our “Share Your Garden Saturday” video series continues with a sweet share from Abby Hauth at the Life Lab garden at MacQuiddy Elementary🌸 #shareyourgardenLL #schoolgardens #lifelab @foodcorps @pvusdschoolfood See MoreSee Less

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2 months ago

Life Lab

Eat a Rainbow this Memorial weekend! Fruits & veggies provide nutrients essential for good health 🌈🥗💪🏽 #chard #carrots #schoolgardens #lifelab #eatarainbow #nutrition #gardeneducation #teachtheyouth See MoreSee Less

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Life Lab 40th
Life Lab’s 40th Gala – Sunday, October 13th  Celebrate 40 years of bringing learning to life in gardens. Learn more  
Life Lab's 40th Gala
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
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