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30 Jun 2016 3:00 PM (PDT) • Kits House: 7th and Vine
07 Jul 2016 3:00 PM (PDT) • Kits House: 7th and Vine
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SPEC School Gardens Program

The Idea

Food gardens at schools are where kids learn about how the sun, water and soil connect with plants, people and our planet. 

What we do?

Our goal is simple: connect children to their food, to each other, to nature and to their community.

Started by SPEC volunteers in 2008, the SPEC School Gardens Program brings food gardens and food education to 12 schools in Vancouver. 

School children learn about food security and how to grow their own organic fruits and veggies, while teachers learn to incorporate fun and thought provoking agricultural topics into their curriculum. Discussing food issues has proven to be a powerful way to engage children in various science, social studies, math, and health and nutrition topics already written into the BC curriculum.

Hot off the press!!! SPEC just published a garden curriculum package, named “Green Thumbs at School: SPEC Food Garden Lesson Book, comprised of 9 lesson plans for teachers, activity sheets, and 12 colourful posters. The lessons teach children about soils, worms, composting, how seeds travel, seed saving, leaves and how they work, flowers and pollinators, insects in the garden, and planning and designing food gardens. The lessons support the BC Ministry of Education Integrated Resource Package (IRP) Guidelines for Science. The package can be accessed for free here. These lesson plans will be used by SPEC educators to continue delivering high quality lessons to partnering schools, as well as accessible via the internet and in print to teachers and other organizations to use to deliver similar lessons in other classrooms in Vancouver and beyond.

The development of the Green Thumbs at School lesson book was made possible by funding provided by the Vancouver Foundation

Vancouver Foundation logo


School Gardens Program Coordinator
Nikoo Boroumand
nikoo@spec.bc.ca

The Schools

We have helped establish organic food gardens at Bayview Community School, General Brock Elementary, Henry Hudson Elementary School, Kitsilano Secondary School, L'Ecole Bilingue, Queen Elizabeth Elementary, Sir Wilfred Grenfell Community School and Thunderbird Elementary. These 8 schools are the core participants of our program.

This fall of 2015 we decided to do a pilot in three new schools (Britannia Secondary, John Norquay Elementary and Tillicum Community Annex School), and thanks to new funding we are now able to extend our program there as well as add a new school, Carnarvon Elementary.

There is a growing demand from teachers, parents and schools to get involved in the program. Our challenge is to obtain the necessary funding to cover lesson expenses as well as expenses related to garden materials and tools.



View SPEC School Gardens Projects in a larger map

Our supporters

This program is primarily funded by:

  • West Coast Seeds,
  • Vancouver Foundation,
  • Think & Eat Green @ School,
  • Telus
  • SPEC individual donors,
  • School Parents,
  • Millard and Gow-Jarrett Family
  • Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
  • Lululemon Athletica,
  • Whole Foods Market,
  • TD Friends of the Environment Foundation,
  • Home Depot,
  • Gaia Green,
  • BC Hydro
  • BC Gaming Community Grant,
  • Acme Delivery Company

Testimonials & Thank-You Letters





Media

Starting a School Garden

Looking to start an organic school food garden or new ideas for your existing project?

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