Life Lab

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

Mini-Grants to replicate the CSYSG training across the state have been awarded to the following organizations. To search upcoming workshops across California visit the California School Garden Network's event calendar.

View list of Mini-Grant funded Organizations on the bottom of this map: 2012-2013 CSYSG Proposed Locations.

 

CSYSG Trainer Materials

The Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden (CSYSG) Mini-Grant Program was established by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to support the statewide training efforts of organizations that have participated in the Creating and Sustaining School Gardens Trainers’ Workshops.  The purpose of the program is to increase the availability of comprehensive, affordable training for new school garden programs, with the goal of providing CSYSG content to over 450 people representing 100 schools across California.

 

ALL MINI GRANTS HAVE BEEN AWARDED

Content below is informational only:

Download Mini-Grant information sheet and a copy of application questions. Applications must be submitted on line at the links below.

Mini-Grant applications will be processed and reviewed by the facilitators of the CSYSG Train the Trainers (3T) workshop you attended. Click on the 3T workshop location you attended to apply for a Mini-Grant:

 

  • Santa Cruz or Hayward Mini Grant Application
    questions? contact Whitney Cohen, 831-459-3833, education@lifelab.org

  • Davis or Modesto Mini Grant Application
    questions? contact Jane Pickney, jppinckn@gmail.com

  • Los Angeles or San Diego Mini Grant Application
    questions? contact Russel Levan, 760-802-5690, levan@recycledproducts.org

 

Mini-Grant Eligibility
Individuals and organizations that attended the CSYSG Trainers’ Workshops are eligible to apply for mini-grants. If more than 30 qualified applications are received, applications will be evaluated on the comprehensiveness of the training plan and the potential impact of the training, to be determined by the estimated number of workshop participants, the number of schools represented, and the geographic location of the training site. Applicants may apply for more than one mini-grant. If applying for one than one mini-grant please submit a separate application for each training plan/location.

Mini-Grant Guidelines
Mini-grant recipients are responsible for planning, promoting, offering and evaluating one or more CSYSG workshops for California schools. Specifically, mini-grant recipients are required to:

  • Work in a team of 2 or more trainers to conduct at least six hours of training using the CSYSG workshop materials. The training may take place over multiple training sessions, but the total training time must equal at least six hours.
  • Train at least 15 people. CSYSG training is recommended for school garden teams of 3-6 people, with 4 or more schools per workshop. We recommend school garden teams include at least one teacher. They can include parents, community volunteers, school administrators or other garden supporters.
  • Offer free or low-cost training. Workshop registration fees may not exceed $40/person.
  • List their workshop(s) on CSGN’s event calendar (www.csgn.org).
  • Collect written workshop evaluations from participants.
  • Submit an online final report survey that will include the workshop agenda, a roster of participants, and a summary of participant evaluations. Reports are due within 30 days after the training. 

Funding
During the 2012-2013 school year, Life Lab will use CDFA funds to award up to 30 mini-grants of $550 each.

Mini-grant funds may be used for the following purposes:

  • Workshop materials and supplies
  • Publicity costs, such as printing and mailing
  • Staff planning and workshop implementation time
  • Staff travel expenses to and from the training location
  • Beverages and snacks for workshop participants

NOTE: Indirect costs are not allowed on these mini-grants.

Timeline
  • Applications must be received by July 6, 2012.
  • Mini-grant recipients will be notified by July 20, 2012.
  • Training must take place before August 30, 2013.
  • Funds will be awarded after training is complete. A class roster, agenda, and final report (summary of activities and feedback) are required for funds to be awarded.

Administration
Life Lab, the UC Davis Children’s Garden Program, and the Resource Conservation District of San Diego County will serve as regional grant management sites to oversee the funded trainings. Each mini-grant recipient will be contacted by staff from one of the above organizations. The regional grant management sites will provide consultation as needed on workshop content and logistics and collect final event reports. 

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Headed to New Leaf Community Markets for some shopping?

You can cast your Envirotoken Vote for your favorite non-profit (Hint: Life Lab 😄 ) every time you shop until December 16th.

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Vote for Life Lab to be a New Leaf Community Markets Envirotoken recipient every time you shop! Paper ballots will be in every New Leaf store until Dec. 16h! See MoreSee Less

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We’ve kicked off our Year End Giving Campaign by raising $4600 on #givingtuesday. Thank you!

For 2019 Life Lab wants to bring more children into school gardens than ever before. More hands in dirt, more love of healthy foods and more kids saying, "I’m a scientist!"

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"Wow, these seeds are so tiny. It’s hard to imagine that they are going to grow into something so big!"

Your donation to Life Lab awakens curiosity in children, join us for #GivingTuesday and plant seeds of hope for the future!

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We share our work nationally through workshops and curriculum for teachers and our School Garden Support Organization Leadership Program. Participating educators tell us this impacts over 500,000 students annually!

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We look to our work with children and understand that now, more than ever, we must raise our children to be loving stewards of the Earth. For the next generation to protect, defend, and preserve the Earth, they must understand and love it. A gift to Life Lab connects 500,000 children each year across the nation to the natural world, and allows them to discover their potential to care for it. YOU can influence change today by supporting Life Lab’s work.

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“Kids participated in garden lessons right before recess. Once recess began, however, they didn’t want to leave the garden! They thought it was better than recess!” ~1st Grade Teacher & Garden Champion at a Santa Cruz County school

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Last school year, Life Lab’s Santa Cruz County programs served:
-5,193 students
-over 900 lessons
-143 teachers’ classes
-37 schools

This #GivingTuesday, help ensure we can offer these hands-on, life-changing programs to children regardless of what they can pay.

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“I love making the rainbow smoothie. It had something new for me–that was the spinach. I made it at home. I love it and my mom made something new!”

~ Amesti Elementary School 4th Grader as part of our Kids Cook program

Your gift today helps us offer 70% of our garden-based programs FREE to children whose families/schools could not otherwise afford them.

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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