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 to the national school garden movement.
The 2021 School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute will be entirely virtual (surprise!). In this new format, we will gather Key Activity Working Groups of 6-8 SGSO Leaders virtually from across the country. These teams will work together to prepare digital resources and a Webinar or other, virtual presentation in which they will share best practices on a SGSO Key Activity with a national audience. Each Working Group will have 2 facilitators, and 4-6 other team members.
View questions and answers from Applicant Information Session
View recording of SGSO Leadership Institute Applicant Information and Q&A Session – October 21, 2020, 11am-11:45 PST
Apply by November 6th via the links below.
All of the Working Groups will gather together from 9am-2 PM PST on Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri of their given week to:
In the face of the myriad challenges of 2020, all of you in SGSOs across the country are innovating in creative and inspiring ways to sustain and enhance garden education for their students. We are eager for other SGSOs to learn from you! We want to honor the time and expertise you all bring to the table and, therefore, with generous support from Whole Kids Foundation, we are so pleased to be able to provide stipends for peoples’ contributions to these Working Groups.
Each Working Group Leader (WGL) will work with Life Lab staff John Fisher or Whitney Cohen to plan and facilitate their week-long virtual institute with their Working Group. Following the Institute, the WGL is responsible for ensuring that Working Group Outcomes are met by finalizing updated materials on their Key Activity, and planning and presenting on their Key Activity.
Time Estimates = ~ 50 hours
5 hrs Institute Prep with John or Whitney, in early January
28 hrs of Institute time in Feb or Mar (dates above)
15 hrs of work beyond the Institute to finalize and disseminate updated materials and prepare the Virtual Presentation
2 hrs Participation in the Virtual Presentation on the Key Activity on the date listed above
Working Group Leader Stipend: $1,500
Each Working Group Member (WGM) will share their experience and expertise on their Key Activity with their Working Group. With facilitation by 2 Working Group Leaders, the team will review and synthesize best practices related to their Key Activity, and prepare digital resources and a Webinar or other, virtual presentation in which they will share best practices on their SGSO Key Activity with a national audience.
Time Estimates = ~ 30 hours
2 hrs of Key Activity resource review prior to the Institute
23 hrs of Institute time in Feb or Mar (dates above)
5 hrs of work beyond the Institute to prepare the Virtual Presentation
Optional: Participation in the Virtual Presentation on the Key Activity on the date listed above
Working Group Member Stipend: $750
October 21, 2020, 11am-11:45 PST 2021 SGSO Leadership Institute Applicant Information Session Register Here
November 6, 2020 Applications Due
January 27, 2021, 11am – Noon PST Whole Group Launch (all 4 working groups)
Working Group Week Date dependent on topic
Working Group Key Activity Virtual Presentations Date dependent on topic
April 23, 2021, 11am – Noon PST Whole Group Reflection & Celebration (all 4 working groups)
Pre-Working Group Tasks On your own, review existing materials related to your Key Activity Working Group, review your working group agenda
Monday – Get to know one another, Share experiences and expertise in Key Activity, Reflect on existing materials on Key Activity, Discuss potential deliverables, Decide on most useful resources to update or create
Tuesday – Work together to update existing resources and create new resources on Key Activity, Learn from guest presenters when relevant
Wednesday – Day off
Thursday – Continue working together to update existing resources and create new resources on Key Activity
Friday – Finalize updates to existing resources and new resources on Key Activity; Plan presentation for the SGSO Network
* Each day will include synchronous and asynchronous activities, as well as breaks.
This Leadership Institute is designed for leaders from School Garden Support Organizations (SGSOs) working to elevate the quality and sustainability of school garden programs across their region. 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 local region. Typical SGSOs serve thousands of children each year. This year’s Leadership Institute is open to newcomers and Institute Alumni!
The strongest applicants will:
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 2021 SGSO Leadership Institute? Contact Whitney Cohen firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
View SGSO Key Activity Best Practices Documents