Garden education reaches more than 11,000 Central Coast youth
Non-profit organization One Cool Earth partners with 23 public schools
– Local non-profit One Cool Earth has partnered with 23 Central Coast public schools in the 2021/22 school year. With over 11,000 students taking part in their “Earth Genius Program” which teaches science, nutrition and well-being in school gardens, their impact has been tremendous.
In the past school year, their team of garden educators taught 2,133 hands-on lessons using school gardens as living labs that bridge the gap between textbooks and the real world. They also served 20,773 taste tests that exposed students to whole, fresh foods and helped encourage healthy eating. The families and wider communities of these schools also participated in the program, ensuring that the garden was a place for all.
The association has organized 46 gardening days where families get together to put their hands in the ground and maintain the garden. Additionally, it hosted 13 home cooking nights where students and families took home a recipe kit, connected, and cooked together from their homes with instruction from a garden educator.
With partnership agreements with five additional SLO County schools over the coming year, One Cool Earth says it aims to make school gardens a staple in Central Coast elementary schools.