2020 SGSO Leadership Institute
Tentative Dates: Late January, 2020 – Santa Cruz, CA
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2019 SGSO Leadership Institute Participant Comments
This Leadership Institute is designed for teams of 2 from School Garden Support Organizations (SGSOs). A SGSO may be a nonprofit organization, university, government agency, foundation, school district, or other entity focused specifically on supporting garden-based learning for multiple schools in their region. SGSOs work to elevate the quality and sustainability of school garden programs across their region, serving thousands of children each.
Each SGSO is invited to attend will send 2 key leaders to the Institute. We are particularly seeking SGSOs that:
- Have been actively supporting school gardens in their region for 8 years or fewer
- Primarily support elementary school gardens
- Have relevance with racially and economically diverse communities
- Have a primary focus on providing trainings for garden-based educators in their region, and
- Plan to host garden-based professional development for educators between February – June 2019
At the 5-day institute we will be working towards the following goals.
- Learn from one another about how we accomplish common Key SGSO Activities so that we can better our practice
- Make organizational sites plan for Professional Development and School Garden support
- Develop and update resources to share with a wider national audience
School Support Organization Key Activities
- Creating, Finding, Modifying, and Sequencing High Quality Lessons
- Sustaining School Garden Programs
- Designing Programs for Maximum Impact
- Networking and Communications to Support School Gardens
- Leading Excellent Garden-Based Education Professional Development
- Addressing Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in School Garden Programs
The institute will take place at Mission Springs Conference Center located in a Redwood forest near Santa Cruz, CA. Participants are responsible to pay their own travel expenses to/from San Jose or San Francisco Airport and a nominal fee* based on your organization’s capacity. Lodging, meals, and airport-to-conference center transportation will be provided.
Draft Institute Agenda
Sunday – Arrival by 4pm Dinner, Meet and Greet
Monday – Key Activity Discussions, Lunch and Tour Pacific Elementary FoodLab, Evening Fire
Tuesday – Key Activity Discussions, Explore Downtown Santa Cruz for Dinner
Wednesday – Best Practices in Professional Development at the Life Lab Garden Classroom on the UC Santa Cruz Farm
Thursday – Team Planning Time, Open Space, Networking Dinner with Local School Garden Leaders
Friday – Departure by Lunchtime
School gardens have tremendous lifelong benefits for children. Research has shown that when children participate in a school garden program, they show marked improvement in healthy eating; social emotional skills; environmental attitudes; scientific achievement; and attitudes toward learning (www.lifelab.org/whyschoolgardens).
But school garden programs need support in order to unlock their full potential. Without well-trained educators, strong curriculum, and supportive networks, garden programs often become underutilized or even forgotten. With support, however, they thrive, become institutionalized into school cultures, and inspire children for decades.
Regional School Garden Support Organizations have emerged as a key determinant in the success of school garden programs across the country. This Institute is designed to provide SGSO leaders with the inspiration and information they need to effectively support school garden programs in their regions, and to share best practices with other SGSOs nationally.
View what took place at our 2019 School Garden Support Organization Institute.
View what took place at our 2018 School Garden Support Organization Institute.
View what took place at our 2016 School Garden Support Organization Institute.