One Cool Earth believes that every child deserves a place to grow. Beginning in 2001, our mission is to create school gardens that grow healthy, happy, smart youth. This school year, we’ll work at 29 public schools reaching 11,000 students in Paso Robles, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Cambria, Creston, San Miguel, Oceano, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Carissa Plains and Guadalupe.
Our program works directly with public schools to address issues of health and science achievement and make healthy eating fun. We first build new or restore existing gardens at our partner-schools, creating engaging outdoor classrooms available to all students on campus. Next, we hire talented and inspiring garden educators who work directly with students each week throughout the school year teaching a series of rigorous, evidence-based and standards-aligned lessons. The core of our lesson sequence involves planting, tending, harvesting, preparing and eating fruits and vegetables. Harvested produce is used in cooking lessons and tastings available to the entire school or given away to students, families and the cafeteria. We host volunteer workdays twice per year at each school garden to involve the community and maintain school gardens. We provide Family Cooking Nights that gather families for a community cooking night that uses culturally appropriate recipes.
Studies show that programs like ours increase student fruit and vegetable consumption by 3x, improve standardized science test scores, and improve student mood, attitude, and connection with their campus. Last year we provided over 20,000 garden fruit and veggie taste tests, taught 2,100 lessons to 8,700 students, grew 1,600 pounds of produce, hosted 13 Family Cooking Nights and 46 garden workdays. For more information and to be a part of our growing movement visit www.onecoolearth.org or call (805) 242-6301.