La Colina Junior High School was selected by Whole Kids Foundation from over 1,300 garden grant applications from across the U.S. and Canada.
The Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant provides a $3,000 monetary grant to support new or existing edible educational gardens.
La Colina’s winning proposal focused on enhancing their existing garden with a new culinary creativity program, including health and nutrition engagement, taking edible garden education to a higher level.
They plan to bring in guest chefs for a series of fun and delicious organic plant-based cooking sessions throughout the school year and create an outdoor kitchen in their lathe house.
Students will learn valuable cooking skills, cultural awareness, and how to make good food choices using locally sourced produce.
La Colina’s Principal, Jennifer Foster understands the long-lasting benefits of an edible school garden. “The La Colina Garden supports health and wellness, encourages students to try new nutritious foods, and provides a beautiful and safe learning environment for students to connect with nature and their food,” said Foster. In addition to Principal Foster’s support, the Santa Barbara School District, La Colina teachers/staff/parents, and local non-profits like Explore Ecology, Santa Barbara Education Foundation, El Gato Channel Foundation, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Bucket Brigade are all behind this garden program.
The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) featured La Colina’s school garden in its July 2023 newsletter, highlighting the educational achievements of this outdoor learning program. Of La Colina Junior High School’s 41 teachers, 29 are using the garden in their curriculum -- getting students outside moving, observing, and participating in hands-on learning.
About La Colina Junior High School
La Colina Junior High School is part of the Santa Barbara Unified School District. It is the vision of the La Colina Junior High School community that everyone associated with the school, including students, parents/guardians, and staff, dedicate themselves to the goal that all students will demonstrate proficiency or higher with regard to the academic content standards and develop the skills necessary for success in high school, college, and career. La Colina Junior High School’s culture promotes equity, access, relevance, rigor, and positive relationships. Visit https://lacolina.sbunified.org
About Whole Kids Foundation
Whole Kids Foundation supports schools and inspires families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness. Founded by Whole Foods Market in 2011, the independent, nonprofit organization is based in Austin, Texas, and serves schools and organizations in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. For more information on the Foundation’s school programs, including school gardens, salad bars, bee hives, and nutrition education for teachers, visit wholekidsfoundation.org. For ongoing news and updates, follow Whole Kids Foundation on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.