Jezra Thompson, Program Supervisor
The Berkeley Public School Gardening and Cooking Program is woven into student life District-wide to ensure the academic, physical, emotional, and social development of all students from preschool through high school. We engage all learners with hands-on instruction as they cultivate positive relationships with the world around them and their peers.
Our goal is to enable and inspire our diverse student body to achieve academic excellence and make positive contributions to our world!
We’ve developed a Garden-Based Learning Curriculum, © Berkeley Unified School District, that directly supports BUSD learning and teaching goals. Each lesson is designed to be an interactive teaching tool, co-taught with classroom teachers and garden instructors as leads. These hands-on lessons 1) connect academics to real-world experiences; 2) include all learners; 3) invite curiosity; and 4) provide opportunities for reflection.
Complete Curriculum PDF (Color)
Complete Curriculum PDF (Printer-Friendly)
Download Specific Lessons:
Click through the live hyperlinked scope and sequence to download or print out only the lessons that you are looking for.
Printer-friendly versions are black & white and do not include posters, diagrams, or cards in the Resources section. Please check out the cover page of each link to learn more about the curriculum, including the intention, design, and user guides.
– BUSD Classroom Teacher
– Garden Coordinator, Ukiah Unified School District.
– Seeds of Hope, Wilson, NC
– Middle School Student
Career Technical Education in Public Health
Students at Berkeley High School and Berkeley Technology Academy are offered courses in Career Technical Education (CTE) in Public Health; and students at Willard and Longfellow Middle School are offered CTE in gardening and cooking and Growing Leaders electives This year-long course focuses on career and learning opportunities for better understanding diet-related disease and local policy intended to curtail health inequities. Students practice communication and collaboration skills, while building confidence as problem-solvers.
– BUSD High School Student
Food Pantries are Available Free to the Public
Program staff and students studying Public and Community Health manage the high school food pantries in partnership with Berkeley Food Network and Growing Leaders. Together, we are able to provide fresh produce, ready made meals, and pantry items for free to our school and City community. Students get real-world experience working with the community on healthy food access and are paid hourly as part of their Career Technical Education internship.
The Berkeley Technology Academy food pantry is in service every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 2:30 – 4:00 pm at 2701 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The Berkeley High School food pantry is in service on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 3:00-4:00 pm on MLK between Bancroft and Allston Way.
These projects are funded through a Healthy Berkeley grant with matching dollars from BUSD General Fund, Extended Learning Opportunities from California Department of Education (CDE), Strong Workforce Development Grants from The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), in partnership with the CDE, and California Department of Food and Agriculture Farm to School Incubator Grant Program. Supporting projects are funded through generous grants from our community and with donations from our community.
Your financial gift will support our work in serving BUSD students in the gardens and kitchen classrooms. We rely on generous donations to provide additional support for innovative projects that uplift students’ learning. You can send your check payable to: Attn: Jezra Thompson, Gardening & Cooking Program, 1005 Parker St Berkeley, CA 94710. In the memo section of the check, please add “Gardening & Cooking Program.”
Volunteer With Us
Volunteers are an important part of our work. 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 and specify that you’d like to volunteer with us.
Reports and Special Committees
- Outdoor Learning Environments Working Group
- District’s Comprehensive Wellness Committee
- School Lunch Initiative