Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on December 18, 2012.
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LA’s first comprehensive K-5th garden-based curriculum that will get thousands of kids learning, growing, eating, and thriving outside!

Over the last seven years the Garden School Foundation has worked with teachers, students and parents to build a daily program of garden-based education for elementary schools and we’re now raising the funds we need to turn this program into a book that can be shared with schools all over the city, and beyond! The book will contain 120 fun and engaging lessons and recipes, using gardens and growing food to connect kids with the world around them. We need to raise $25k for the design and layout of the book, which will also be made available on our website. We get asked all the time how others can re-create our program at other schools and we can’t wait for the day when we can help make that a reality by having this incredible resource at hand. 

Each k-5 class at the 24th Street School comes out to the garden every other week for an hour-long class on anything from Science and Math to Cooking and nutrition. On any given day the garden sees between 3-5 classes being taught! They grow, tend and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, using the produce for cooking classes or for various experiments. The lessons we’ve developed are all standards-based, meaning that they teach the same material in the classrooms as required by the CA State Department of Education. But out here in the garden children learn for themselves why the world works the way it does, rather than having to memorize abstract facts and figures that have no relevance in their lives. 

 Over the years we’ve seen some pretty incredible things happen in this garden – kids eating green kale smoothies they made by pedaling a bicycle-powered blender; or mouthfuls of kale chips they made in the solar oven; strawberry and spinach salads, even sushi and fresh pasta made by hand! They’ve written biographies about compost worms they’ve examined under a magnifying glass. Once we held a beauty pageant for all of the different citrus fruits growing in the garden. 

 With obesity rates staggeringly high and thousands of children in urban Los Angeles that have little to no access to nature, gardens hold great potential to make a difference in their lives. There’s huge pressures to perform well on standardized tests and very little time or resources to break out of the mould – school gardens are a really incredible way to let kids be kids, investigate, experiment, use their innate sense of curiosity and wonderment at the world to guide their learning. Please help us create this book that has the potential to get thousands of kids out learning in the garden every day, and teachers excited about how easy it really is to use gardens as a teaching tool. 

Thanks very much for watching this video and for helping turn years of work into something that can be replicated across Los Angeles, or even the country. Everything we’ve done up until now would have been impossible without our volunteers and supporters – it really is up to people like you to give kids a chance to grow food, connect with nature, and gain the tools to make healthy choices. With your support right now we’ll very soon be able to share our work in a meaningful and impactful way.

GIFTS:

Our wonderful supporters will be rewarded with various and sundry gifts from the garden made by the students, from lavender aromatherapy dream bundles to special heirloom varieties of sweet pea seeds that we’ve discovered grow well in hard, clay soil. Beautiful GSF bags are also on offer, as are recipe booklets and composting manuals. Even though the recipes are geared for kids adults love them, too, and everyone who donates will receive a collection of our best ones! Furthermore, every donor will receive an email with a link to the final GSF curriculum upon its completion so that you can see what you've helped to build. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenge is partnering with the right designer so that the curriculum is laid out in a way that makes it easy to understand and eminently feasible to implement. Many curricula already out there are confusing and difficult to navigate, something we want to avoid. Part of the reason that we're raising this amount of money is so that we can hire the best person for the job. We rely a huge amount on volunteers to run the program, doing everything from helping with PR and Marketing and curriculum development to teaching and maintaining the gardens. For this project, however, we want the end result to be perfect and to happen quickly - something we can't be 100% sure of when working around volunteer's schedules and work commitments, no matter how wonderful and talented our volunteers are.

Once funded, we'll collect bids from a group of designers we've already identified through our current network and work with our team to choose the best one. This designer will also be responsible for creating illustrations to go along with the lessons, and will need to have great passion for the subject matter.

Aside from that, this project is pretty straightforward. It is a huge project, no doubt, and highly ambitious, but the wonderful thing about where we are right now is that the hard part of building the actual lessons and recipes and putting them into a standardized format is already nearly finished. The design and layout phase is the very last phase of nearly 7 years of work - with your help we'll sail through the home stretch!

FAQ

  • Since the finished curriculum book is going to be over 400 pages, the quotes we've gotten for a full-rate designer run about $20k, plus $500 for the first run of hard copies, $1k for online set-up, and another $3,500 for other fringe costs and overages. We hardly ever pay full-price for anything (in fact, many professional services are 100% donated to the Garden School Foundation), and hope that we will find a way to bring down the final design cost, but we've budgeted the full cost so that, once funded, we are 100% sure that we'll be able to get the project done fast, and get it done right.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    34 backers

    A special Thank You email including a tax deductible donation certificate and PDF booklet with 10 recipes from the GSF curriculum. In addition, you will receive an email with a link to the final curriculum pdf upon its completion so that you can see what you've helped to build!

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    29 backers

    A special Thank You letter including a tax deductible donation certificate, a packet of seeds featuring artwork by Seed to Table students and a booklet of 10 recipes from the GSF curriculum. (add $0.60 for international mailing) In addition, you will receive an email including a link to the final curriculum pdf upon its completion so that you can see what you've helped to build!

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    5 backers

    A holiday gift in the name of a friend or family member, who will receive a special gift message at the close of the kickstarter project. They will also receive the gifts corresponding to the $25 giving level listed above no later than January 2013. (add $0.60 for international mailing)

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    5 backers

    A holiday gift in the name of a friend or family member, who will receive a special gift message at the close of the kickstarter project. They will also receive the gifts corresponding to the $50 giving level listed above no later than January 2013. (add $0.60 for international mailing)

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    Gifts listed above from $25, a pamphlet on composting and a shout out on our website--we will happily keep your name private if you wish (add $0.60 for international mailing)

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    5 backers

    Gifts listed above from $25 and canvas tote bag with GSF logo (add $7.80 for international shipping)

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    2 backers

    A holiday gift in the name of a friend or family member, who will receive a special gift message at the close of the kickstarter project. They will also receive the gifts corresponding to the $100 giving level listed above no later than January 2013. (add $7.80 for international shipping)

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    Gifts listed above from $25 and Lavender Dream Bundle Sachet created with garden school grown lavender (add $7.80 for international shipping)

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    Gifts listed above from $25 and an acknowledgement in the GSF official curriculum--we will happily keep your name private if you wish (add $7.80 for international shipping)

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer

    Gifts listed above from $25 and an invitation to tour the 24th Street garden where you will also receive a box of 6 seedlings (add $7.80 for international shipping for gifts up to $500, box of seedlings only available for delivery within the greater los angeles area)

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    Gifts listed above from $25 to $500 and basket planted with seasonal veggies for your porch or patio (add $7.80 for international shipping for gifts up to $500, basket only available for delivery within the greater los angeles area)

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    1 backer

    Gifts listed above from $25 to $500 and a tree named in your honor with a commemorative plaque at the 24th street school (add $7.80 for international shipping)

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    Gifts listed above from $25 to $500, a tree named in your honor with a commemorative plaque at the 24th street school, and a personal garden consultation with Julia Cotts at your home including installation and planting of one 3'x8' vegetable bed (add $7.80 for international shipping for gifts up to $500, consultation available only within the greater Los Angeles area)

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Funding period

- (52 days)