2020 Bonar Street, Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510.486.9350 | Fax: 510.644.8815
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Jezra Thompson, Program Supervisor
Mia Villanueva, Program Coordinator
The Berkeley Public School Gardening and Cooking Program engages students with hands-on instruction in the garden. As part of the 2020 Vision, the Program is woven into student life District-wide to ensure the academic, physical, emotional, and social development of all students to affect three main areas of student learning from preschool through seventh grade:
By utilizing a place-based, interdisciplinary, and experiential approach to the new academic standards, garden educators work closely with teachers to bring classroom learning to life in the garden.
With support from community partners, we promote health and nutrition with opportunities to taste delicious fruits and veggies found growing in the garden. Teaching students that taking care of the land and your body allows for the development of multiple intelligences integral to whole child education.
Essential Life Skills:
Through placed-based learning, students gain valuable communication and collaboration skills, while building confidence as problem-solvers. Students practice cultural competence and language development as they cultivate positive relationships with the world around them and their peers.
We provide this collaborative education with a focus on consistency and practicality in 17 schools:
Early Child Education School Gardens
Elementary School Gardens
Middle School Gardens
High School Gardens
Garden-Based Learning Curriculum
Last year, the District’s School Board approved an interim funding and revised Program plan that included a Garden-Based Learning Curriculum connecting the school gardens to classroom lessons. The Curriculum provides 17 lessons for all preschool through 7th grade students and connects directly to Next Generation Science and Common Core State Standards, CA Nutrition Education Standards, Environmental Education Standards, and the District adopted Social Emotional Learning Curriculum. The Curriculum is a critical component to a whole child education and provides unique tailoring of instructional support for the individual student and the full class.
A brief Program history, an outline on the structure of the curriculum, and assessment on our Curriculum structure and implementation are reported on in the Program Semester Reports. Click here for our Fall Semester Report!
Celebrate Food Systems and Education at Our Annual Gala!
On May 1, 2015, we will celebrate our unique Berkeley garden-based education at our Second Annual Gala held at the International House on the UC Berkeley campus from 6:00-9:00 pm. We had so much fun at our first gala last year that we decided to do it again this year with generous support from local Berkeley businesses, Whole Foods Marketplace at Gilman and Telegraph, Mendocino Wine Growers Inc, Shrub & Co, Calicraft Brewing, Andronico’s Community Markets, Elmwood Cafe, Horizon Beverage, Co., Moms Against Poverty, and many volunteers. We’ll be celebrating food systems and education with seasonal farm-to-table fare, regional drinks and cocktails, and music from Berkeley High School Jazz musicians. Don’t miss this party! You can purchase tickets here.
Dine Out with Us!
Thank you for joining us on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 for the Valentine’s Wine Walk in the Gourmet Ghetto. We appreciate your support, and the support from all of the generous wineries and stores that donated their delicious products and time.
Thank you for joining us on Thursday, November 13, 2014 when we partnered with generous local restaurants throughout Berkeley to co-host a wonderful food-filled day and night in support of a garden-based learning education for Berkeley Public Schools.
Your financial gift will support our work in serving BUSD students with a garden-based learning education. Please consider giving to enhance this work for your students. You can send your check payable to: Attn: Jezra Thompson, Gardening & Cooking Program, 2020 Bonar Street, Berkeley, CA 94702. In the memo section of the check, please add “Gardening & Cooking Program.”
Follow us on Twitter @BerkeleyDineOut
Like us on Facebook
Volunteer With Us
Volunteers are an important part of our work. They help inspire the many students who tell their parents and friends about the tasty veggies they tried in the garden and the seeds they planted in the dirt. Whether it is garden maintenance, instructional support, or event assistance, please consider volunteering your time by visiting the Berkeley Public Schools Fund to fill out the form for volunteering at one of our 16 school sites. Once this form is filled out, you will be contacted to attend a volunteer training and will be required to get fingerprints–paid for by BPSF. We will be provided with your certification to work with students and you will be notified of your placement.
Sustainability Projects We Facilitate
We lead district-wide initiatives for waste reduction and co-facilitate many school site sustainability projects with the Facilities and Maintenance Departments, and with support from Green Schools Initiative. We do this through our leadership efforts with Green Teams at all schools, partnership building with sustainability organizations, and integrating sustainability concepts and practices into our Garden-Based Learning Curriculum.
News and Media
Obama Signed A Climate Education and Literacy Initiative, December 3, 2014, FACT SHEET: Lifting America’s Game in Climate Education, Literacy, and Training.
“If you believe, like I do, that something has to be done on this, then you’re going to have to speak out. You’re going to have to learn more about these issues… You’ve got to educate your classmates, and colleagues, and family members and fellow citizens, and tell them what’s at stake.” — President Obama, June 2014, Remarks at the University of California-Irvine Commencement Ceremony
Change is Uncomfortable Blog, by Jezra Thompson, republished in Berkeley Times
Signs of Growth, October 24, 2014, Alex Berryhill
School Board Presentations to secure fiscally responsible and sustainable funding for BUSD GCP staff salaries and benefits:
Active Community Partners
UC Berkeley Student, Organic, Garden Association – SOGA