How it all Started
Located in the heart of Washington, DC, Walker Jones Education Campus has lot of great things going on. In the Spring of 2010, Walker Jones built DC's largest school garden. Since then, the faculty and staff have been able to incorporate the garden into their classes, teaching our kids the importance of growing and eating our own food.
Shortly after, with the help of a few donations and dedicated faculty members, an empty classroom began budding into Walker Jones' Food Lab. We had a few basic supplies to start, but we still lack some essential needs for the lab. When Kristy came to volunteer in the Fall of 2011, she quickly became a weekly addition to Walker Jones, teaching the basics of cooking and healthy lifestyles, and thus, the Food Lab went into full swing.
Our goal for the Walker Jones Food lab is to make this a full time, real working classroom, because we believe that improving test scores, and doing well in math and english and the sciences goes hand-in-hand with a healthy body. We pride ourselves in not being a “Home Ec” class, because we’re not here to teach the students the basics of baking and cooking. No, while that is certainly a remarkable trade, we believe that the students at Walker Jones would benefit most from learning to build a healthy relationship and understanding of the food we eat, where it comes from, and what it can do for our bodies. In order to make this happen, we would like to hire a full time teacher and build our classroom to be a fully working kitchen. It will take some money, a lot of time, and a group of dedicated folks, but at Walker Jones, we tell our students that anything is possible, and we like to think the same.
About Walker Jones
The students at Walker Jones are an energetic and enthusiastic bunch, and excited to learn about the culinary world and eating healthy. Some of this enthusiasm comes from an unfortunate need for the students to cook at their own homes, as Walker Jones Education Campus serves a predominantly high-poverty population where children often have to fend for themselves out of necessity. That being the case, we think the students will greatly benefit from a confidence in the kitchen and a better understanding of natural, wholesome foods. It is also worth noting that the rise of some very nice grocery stores in our neighborhood has been a very recent addition, and most of our students have grown up in a classic example of a food desert with expensive, junk food laden corner stores being the preferred place to shop, often still despite other choices.
Anyone that has ever seen an 8 year old coming into school at 8:00 in the morning eating chips washed down with a soda for breakfast understands the sense of urgency we feel as a staff to show them another way, a better way. Our wellness initiatives are at the top of our priorities as a community as we seek a better education for the whole child where great health fuels academic achievement.
What your donation will go towards
- Supplies: The supplies budget will be utilized for additional food items required for cooking classes that are not available from our own school gardening project, The Farm at Walker Jones.
- Equipment: The equipment budget will be used to purchase kitchen supplies, including: induction burners, mixing bowls, aprons, cooking mitts, food processors, refrigerator, pots and pans, and cooking utensils.
- Personnel: A stipend for Kristy to work here as a full time teacher.
A special shout out goes to Richard Brown and Benji Brucker for helping with the video! Thanks guys!