Life Lab’s Partner School Program strives to create a culture of garden-based learning in elementary schools to enhance science and nutrition education during school day instruction. Our team of Life Lab Instructors lead lessons alongside classroom teachers at our partner schools every other week at seven elementary schools. We host Next Generation Science in the Garden classes for all TK-2nd graders and Kids Cook Nutrition Education and hands-on cooking classes for 3rd-5th graders. All second graders also experience an enriching three-hour field trip to our Blooming Classroom on a western Watsonville farm. We facilitate school garden workdays and plant donations, and provide teacher training. Our partner school teachers report that our NGSS in the Garden program improves students’ scientific knowledge, enthusiasm for learning, school pride, and connection to nature. In our Kids Cook program, over 70% of students report that they like or love what they are tasting, and 50-60% are trying a new fruit or vegetable for the first time each class. Learn EVEN MORE about Life Lab’s Partner Schools Program
Life Lab is committed to advancing equity and inclusion as we cultivate children’s love of learning, nourishing food, and nature through garden-based education. Fulfilling this mission requires that we learn about and confront the barriers of oppression encountered by the communities with whom we work. We understand that racism is at the core of many intersecting inequities, operating on personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural levels. Therefore, Life Lab values and builds partnerships with communities where systemic racism creates barriers to nature, wellness and experiential education. Life Lab knows that a staff with diverse lived experiences, reflective of the communities we serve, is essential to the work we do. We also recognize that equity and inclusion are both goals and daily practices. We strive to grow and support an organizational culture that centers ongoing learning, justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and solidarity. We believe that liberatory garden-based educational opportunities and organizational practices support a more just future.
MOTION To adopt the following organizational Equity Commitment for Life Lab as the first part of our Equity Rationale to inform our vision, planning and daily work. (Approved by the Board of Directors May 20, 2022)
(This commitment is the first part of a five-part Equity Rationale we are continuing to develop.)
Life Lab staff working at our PVUSD Partner Schools sites are required to follow school district policies regarding COVID-19 safety and vaccination requirements. Life Lab staff working at our UC Santa Cruz Garden Classroom and office site are required to follow University policies regarding COVID-19 safety and vaccination requirements.
Currently, the University is requiring all staff and visitors to campus to be vaccinated. Life Lab encourages all of its team members to be vaccinated for their own health and community safety, while respecting that individual needs and circumstances may create barriers to vaccination.
KidsGarden Community Job & Internship Postings
The Community Food Security Coalition ComFood-Job List-serve ran by Tufts University a a nation-wide job board subscribe at https://elist.tufts.edu/wws/subscribe/comfoodjobs
The Ecological Farming Association hosts a sustainable agriculture job list. Join their job e-list at www.eco-farm.org/
The Farm-Based Education Network job postings.
Sustainable Agriculture Education Association suggested sites.