Life Lab

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

School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute
December 4-9, 2022 - Santa Cruz, CA

What and Who?

Every year, the School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute provides an opportunity for school garden professionals from across the country to collaborate, learn from one another, and develop resources to share with a national audience. In this way, we all become able to better support school gardens in our regions, and also advance the national school garden movement.

School Garden Leaders
2020 Leadership Institute

The 2022 SGSO Leadership Institute will prioritize school district-based programs. These are programs that have district school garden program staff, have a strong partnership with one or more school districts, or are working toward partnership with a school district. Each team invited to attend will send 2 key leaders to the Institute. Teams can be comprised of two people from the same organization, or two individuals from different organizations who work closely together to support multiple school gardens in their region.

We are particularly seeking teams interested in enhancing:
– Trainings for garden-based educators planned for 2023
– Educational program design
– Strategies and systems to support multiple school gardens

Working Together to Build a Diverse Cohort, and an Equitable and Inclusive Event: Having a group that brings a diversity of perspectives will make the Institute, and also the broader school garden movement, stronger. 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 barriers of oppression. We understand that racism is at the core of many intersecting inequities. For these reasons, we are particularly seeking applicants from communities where systemic racism creates barriers to nature, wellness and experiential education (such as a lack of access to nature areas, to fresh fruits and vegetables, or to experiential education programs). We will also take into consideration other identities and life experiences that are often underrepresented and/or marginalized in the field of garden education. Here is a study where you can learn more about the need for antiracism in the field of environmental education: http://beetlesproject.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Examining-Equitable-and-Inclusive-Work-Environments-in-Environmental-Education.pdf

If you applied in previous years, and would like a copy of your previous application responses for reference, please email Han Zhang at admin@lifelab.org.

Key Dates

  • Application Opens by June 10
  • Deadline to Apply August 1
  • Invitees Notified by August 31
  • Invitees Commitment Letters Submitted by Sept 24

Cost – Sliding Scale Fee Schedule – Meals, Lodging, & Airport Transportation Included

  • $0 – Fee for individuals from organizations with annual budgets of $0-$250K
  • $150 – Fee for individuals from organizations with annual budgets of $251K-$500K
  • $300 – Fee for individuals from organizations with annual budgets of $500K-$750K
  • $450 – Fee for individuals from organizations with annual budgets of $751K-$1M
  • $600 – Fee for individuals from organizations with annual budgets over $1M
  • Travel stipends available

Where?

The Leadership Institute takes place at Mission Springs Conference Center just outside of Santa Cruz, CA. 40 minute drive from San Jose Airport and 1 hour 15 minute drive from San Francisco Airport. 

Why?

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 and sustainability 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.

Questions about the the 2022 SGSO Leadership Institute? Contact Whitney Cohen education@lifelab.org

 

Past SGSO Leadership Institutes

The 2021 Virtual Leadership Institute Compiled These Promising Practices Documents

2020 SGSO Institute to be added

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.

 

 

Join the School Garden Support Organization Network E-list to be updated on upcoming events & webinars or join our Google Group to be part of a national dialogue of school garden support organizations.

 

Hosted by Life Lab in partnership with the SGSO Network. Made possible with generous funding from Whole Kids Foundation.

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