By supporting more than 60 school learning gardens on Hawai‘i Island through technical assistance, professional development programs, and mini-grants, the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network connects Hawai‘i’s keiki to real food, healthier eating habits, and the ‘āina itself. The Network also administers FoodCorps Hawai‘i and the statewide Hawai‘i Farm to School and School Garden Hui, both of which work to develop garden and nutrition programs for learning gardens and help schools procure fresh, healthy, locally grown food.
Hawai‘i Island students are producing their own food in school gardens and developing a taste for healthy, fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, and more. In turn, they and their families are learning about health and nutrition, how to nurture and keep island soils healthy, and how our ma uka or “uphill” work protects our oceans. And about how we—as individuals, families, and a society—can care for the island and its communities.
Numerous studies show that school learning gardens improve academic performance in a wide spectrum of subjects, foster positive attitudes toward learning, bolster healthy behaviors and nutrition, promote cooperation and teamwork, and instill children with pride in their work and the food they grow.
At public, private, and charter schools across the island—from cool, breezy South Kohala to tropical Hilo, from sunny South Kona to verdant Hāmākua—more than 16 acres (700,000 square feet) of school learning gardens have been planted, annually yielding 15 tons (30,000 pounds) of food for these students and their school communities to enjoy. And in the process, deeper learning of mathematics, social studies, language arts, fine arts, and the natural sciences is taking place in these vibrant, engaging outdoor classrooms.
Teachers Teaching Teachers is a monthly series of free professional development workshops for Hawai‘i Island’s K-12 teachers. The goal of this program is to bring teachers together to share knowledge and practices connecting school learning gardens with core curriculum, assessment and evaluation, and to deepen connections to student learning and outcomes. Click here to learn […]
KAMUELA, Hawai‘i—January 21, 2015—FoodCorps is currently recruiting service members throughout Hawai‘i who are passionate about teaching children what healthy food is, where it comes from, and expanding hands-on nutrition education programs. The deadline to apply for the 2015–2016 school year is March 31. » Read more
Ongoing workshops to develop FFVP and school food programs. This summer we began with two workshops: Gathering to Share Best Practices at the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, and Sessions with Carleton Gillenwater, creator of the Kona Pacific PCS Food Service. Contact Nancy Redfeather if you are interested in being on the workshop notification […]
March 7, 2015—Facilitated by Dr. Koh Ming Wei. Open to all K-8 teachers. Participants will learn and practice “systems thinking” skills and acquire tools that will be applied to learning gardens and other curriculum designs. We will practice making the implicit connections within and between systems in the garden explicit, for authentic assessment and exciting learner outcomes.
March 8, 2015—The Spring 2015 Honoka‘a Seed Exchange and Potluck will be held on March 8 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Honoka‘a People’s Theatre. All community members are invited to share and take home seeds from neighbors and practiced seed-savers of the area. There will be free seeds and catalogs from suppliers such as Baker’s Creek, Johnny’s Seeds, Territorial Seed, and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Local seed expert Lyn Howe will give a presentation on seed-saving and answer questions from the community about seeds and gardening. This is a potluck event so attendees are asked to bring a bowl and utensils.
March 28, 2015—Facilitated by Debbie Follett. Open to all K-12 teachers. Learn how to design and develop a school garden to not only grow healthy veggies, but also engage students with math, language arts, science, nutrition, and general learner outcomes. By showing children how to grow their own vegetables they will develop an awareness and appreciation of place—a place where they can create, nurture and expand. The workshop will include a tour of the Hilo Union Elementary School garden, a hydroponics demonstration and a discussion that will focus on sourcing funds and sponsors for your school garden program. Each participant will receive a free hydroponic kit.