The Edible Schoolyard Project calls for a revolution in public education to infuse school curriculum with outdoor garden experiences, ecoliteracy, and an “edible” education. The project emphasizes three distinct areas: building an educational model, mapping and engaging the movement, and advocacy. By integrating interactive concepts of food and health, the Edible Schoolyard Project involves kids ranging from kindergarten to high school in the processes of growing, harvesting, and preparing food.
Beginning with the creation of the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley (ESY Berkeley), chef Alice Waters founded multiple organizations, foundations, and initiatives related to this educational movement. Funding from the Center for Ecoliteracy allowed ESY Berkeley to expand and continue to offer a curriculum that included aspects of the garden, the kitchen, and an interactive educational experience. The School Lunch Initiative developed as another collaboration of the Edible Schoolyard Project, aiming to connect academic lessons to real food in the cafeteria. Waters explains, “Right there, in the middle of every school day, lies time and energy already devoted to the feeding of children. We have the power to turn that daily school lunch from an afterthought into a joyous education, a way of caring for our health, our environment, and our community.”
The Edible Schoolyard Project continues to support ESY Berkeley and various programs throughout the country that offer an “edible” education. The developments of similar projects and curriculums have shown the successful applicability of the Edible Schoolyard Project. It is a model that demands global change by spearheading the issues of hunger, health, and environmental sustainability. Most importantly, the Edible Schoolyard project changes the relationship that students have with food and provides a lens of sustainability with which these future leaders view the world.
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