2019-2020 Literacy for Life Grant Recipients
Suzanne Squires, Outstanding Educator
"HELP - Help Energize Local Produce"
Los Olivos School, Santa Barbara County
"Our project is focusing on our our school garden renovation. Our school garden needs a lot of work and this grant would help bring it back to life. This garden will be available to all grade-level teachers at the school. We also will be starting a salad bar in hopes of using the garden to furnish some produce. I will have an elective in the second trimester that is Agriculture/Health and an elective in the third trimester that is general agriculture. The garden will be a part of these classes."
"Hyrdoponics and Nutrition"
Foulks Ranch Elementary, Sacramento County
"Students will learn about alternative growing methods for fresh herbs and the nutritional components of root vegetables. They will have an opportunity to record growing observations while watching herbs and root vegetables grow in the classroom. Then students will take part in cooking and tasting root vegetables with fresh herbs."
"What is Grown Locally"
El Vista Eleentary, Stanislaus County
"I would like to visit conventional and organic farms in our area. Students will have the opportunity to learn the difference between the two types of farming. After the field trips, students will write an argumentative essay on which they prefer. We would also take a trip to our local Farmers Market to provide students the opportunity to interview different vendors on the farm to table process."
"Agriculture Exploration Field Trip"
Blaker Kinser Junior High School, Stanislaus County
"My project is to host two separate field trips for my middle school agriculture students. Through the agriculture course students have the opportunity to work with plants in the school garden, however it is difficult to give them expose to animal agriculture and agriculture mechanics. These field trips will allow them to see both animal production and agriculture mechanics industries in action. The animal science field trip will consist of touring a local dairy, swine production operation, and a sheep dairy in our area. These three stops will allow students to see the differences in operating procedures with different species of animals. The second field trip will begin in the morning at a metal works company followed by a tour of a woodworking company, where students will learn about key skills needed to obtain a job, the importance of safety protocol, and employ-ability skills (i.e. coach-ability, teamwork, etc.)."
Hillcrest Middle School, Sonoma County
"We are building our school garden. We got a grant last year to build two raised beds and purchase basic tools. We will use the additional funding to continue construction. We are constructing our raised beds with cinder blocks because they work really well to build what we have in mind, are affordable, and we can create more growing surfaces."
"Captain Ray's Corral Refurbishment"
Captain Raymond Collins School, Los Angeles County
"Our 500 square foot garden has been in continual use since its founding 6/2010. The redwood beds have deteriorated to the point where it is a safety hazard for the children to garden in some areas. Although the District has provided temporary fixes, we need to begin rebuilding the beds with cedar Mini Farm Boxes."
"Urban Farm to Table: Ending the Cycle of Hunger"
Norte Vista High School, Riverside County
"Our community is located in a food desert where hamburgers are cheaper than produce and obesity is an epidemic. Our students are limited on what they eat based on what is available and what is cheap. Our Urban Farm to Table project seeks to expand our school garden to address food insecurity and teach students how to grow food in unconventional surroundings."
"Fruits of Our Labor"
Dunsmuir High School, Siskiyou County
"This grant funding will be used to purchase a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts to teach students the variety of options that are available to us. This will give the students the opportunity to try new things!"
Helen Carr Castello Elementary, Sacramento Cunty
"Uncle Jerry's Traveling Bee Show is available to come to our school for an interactive, educational assembly about the importance of bees. Students will see honey frames, giant photos and film clips of various bee activities. They will also see live bees working."
"Free Little Library Grand Opening in the Garden"
Darnall Charter School, San Diego County
"Last spring we established a School Garden with nine garden beds at our school. We recently purchased a Free Little Library that we are placing in our school garden. We would like to hold a Free Little Library Grand Opening Event. At this event we will give out free books to students and families that are related to gardening and agriculture. We will also have garden activities such as planting and tea making for families to participate in. This grant would provide us with the funds to purchase books related to gardening and agriculture."
"Worms! Worms! Galore!"
Big Picture Elementary, Fresno County
"This project will educate our students about earthworms, through literature, and their purpose in the garden. They will learn how to care for the worms, with the food waste from our cafeteria, reducing our garbage load on a daily basis. We will also recycle the shredded paper from the office through the Vermi Huts as well. Each pod, K-2; 3-5; 6-8 will have their own assigned vermi-hut to care for and harvest castings, which will be used in our raised beds to grow vegetables and flowers. They will be able to observe the difference between plants with and without worms, seeing a notable difference."
John H. Pitman High School, Stanislaus County
"The project I am requesting the grant for is designed for our agriculture mechanics pathway upperclassmen. At Pitman High School, we have been wanting to do more fabrication and to broaden our horizons on what else is out there in the agriculture world, specifically tractors. This years seniors have been asking to do a unique project for our county fair -- their goal is to restore an old tractor."
"Garden to Table"
Otay Elementary School, San Diego County
"Through the Sage Garden Project, our entire school will be exposed to garden and nutrition lessons for the first time ever. While we are excited to be embarking on this new journey, we need more funds to implement the nutrition curriculum. Students will be harvesting fruits and vegetables and use them to create a snack or meal. However, many of the recipes have additional ingredients that need to be purchased. Our grade levels (Kindergarten to 6th grade) will be participating in 12 nutrition lessons each. Each grade level has approximately 80 students each. That’s a lot of students, recipes and supplemental groceries that need to be purchased."
"Project Farm to Desk"
Chris Jesperson Therapeutic Learning Program, San Luis Obispo County
"We are working to bring agriculture and gardening to students with Emotional Disturbances with a goal to increase nutritional health and therapeutic activities."
"Farm Smart Educational Trip"
Pine School, Imperial County
"Pine School is located in rural Holtville, CA. We have opportunities to have science lessons in our playground area. We can learn about crops and agriculture due to our location. We have fields all around us and this also includes teaching the students about bugs and how they play a part in our lives."
"Chickens Beyond the Nuggets!"
Firebaugh High School, Fresno County
"Most children love a good chicken nugget, but where does that come from? How is it made? Why is all of this even important? I will be working with the local Transitional Kindergarten through 2nd grade school to install a chicken coop to instruct the students about the development of chickens, eggs, and the importance they play in the world we live. Not only do we eat chicken, but they also produce eggs, giving us a reliable and sustainable source of protein. Students will have the opportunity to interact with the flock by partnering with the local high school agriculture leadership and communications class. These lessons will allow for the high school students to become the teachers, and educate themselves on the challenging, but rewarding process of helping students learn and grow."
"Sustainable with Chickens"
Paso Verde School, Sacramento County
"Money would be used to build a chicken coop, purchase chickens, feed, and other materials needed to add chickens to our edible school yard program."
"Vegetable and Herb Garden"
Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Riverside County
"This grant will fund materials for a vegetable and herb garden at our school. A greenhouse and raised beds have already been donated, but we need additional funds for basic gardening tools, equipment, seeds, soil, and fertilizer. Students will construct the raised garden beds and design a watering system for the area. They will install a barrier to prevent weeds from growing into the planter, as well as a barrier around the garden area itself to prevent pedestrian traffic from damaging fragile plants. Students are excited to see seeds sprout and develop into plants. They plan to test different variables in order to understand what plants need and the best conditions to grow each variety of vegetable and herb."
Paulding Middle School, San Luis Obispo County
"Our project is "Garden Renaissance" for 7th & 8th grade students in the garden elective class called "Green & Growing." We are currently restructuring the physical garden space, cleaning out planting beds, rejuvenating a worm bed with plans to add a composter. This is providing hands-on experience for students in the set-up process. The course curriculum and projects will include: learning about and how to grow seasonal vegetables, companion plants and how they work together, the importance of pollinators/insects/worms, composting and its benefits, the environmental impact on agriculture and how agriculture impacts the environment, growing and selling tree seedings to support the environment and garden program and expanding agricultural literacy through field trips to established local agricultural programs."
"Students for Seed Starting"
Mark West Elementary, Sonoma County
"Mark West Union School District has a vibrant school garden program at the Larkfield Community Garden & Learning Center. This center was chosen in 2015 as suitable public property next to an underserved elementary school for organic food production and land-based learning. During the 2019-2020 academic year, students will learn how to grow, harvest, and prepare healthy and seasonal food, plus receive instruction in nutritional sciences, tips for eating well at home, and essential outdoor physical work/play."
"Agriculture for All"
St.Anthony School, Merced County
"We live in the Central Valley and our locality is surrounded by agriculture. We will introduce different types of jobs realted to agriculture that are present in our local area (Dairy, farming, etc). We will also invite local farmers, dairy men, 4H and FFA members to come talk to our students. As part of the grant funding, we will also purchase books about agriculture for all of the students at the school to enjoy."
Kim Schouten- Williams
"Veterans of Foreign War- Veterans Day Memorial Garden"
Washington Elementary School, Sacramento County
"Our students will be building a Veterans Memorial Herb Garden at Sacramento VFW Post 8762 on Veterans Day. Students participate in Unsung Heroes Veteran interviews, and document the stories of the veterans as a class project. We would like to have a day of service, build a sustainable herb garden for the Veterans to use, and for students to visit and work on during patriotic holidays as a service learning project. In addition, we would like to add a potting table to our school garden area. Students will grow seeds at school and transplant the seedlings each year for the Veterans to use."
"McKellar Family Farms Field Trip"
Sequoia Union Elementary, Tulare County
"My class and the other kindergarten class will go on a field trip to McKellar Family Farms to have first hand experience of what we have been learning about in the classroom."
"Our Voices in the Garden"
East Palo Alto Charter School, San Mateo County
"Students will help create signs and labels for our school garden. These signs will include drawings, quotes and photographs of and from the students. I will use lamination, and professional sign printing to turn their work into long-lasting signs that highlight their voices in the garden and teach others about the space. To make their signs, students will research plants and insects, draw pictures from observations, and take photos of the garden and their experiences in the garden. Elevating their voices and images will create greater ownership and pride in their school garden, as well as teach other students, family members and visitors about our special space."
Cressey Elementary School, Merced County
"Every trimester at Cressey school we do a project-based or STEAM lesson with a focus on agriculture. My team teacher and I would love to do an aquaponics lesson, integrating the importance of sustainability, science, and literacy standards. First, we will read a story to introduce the topic of sustainability. I have a few books in my room and would like to order more. Class discussion and charting of ideas would follow. Next we begin using the scientific method to assemble and observe a Back to the Roots Water Garden, learning about aquaponics. The fish will be considered our class pets. I am also looking for an aquaponics farm we can tour to enrich our research. Two options are Ouroboros Aquaponics Farms and possibly a local family farm. Then, we will invite families, students, and school staff to hear about our results - how to use Awesome Aquaponics to promote sustainability."