Achievements by Green Our Planet since March, 2013
Since March 2013 when the program began, Green Our Planet has raised nearly $900,000 on its crowdfunding website with donations from corporations as well as donations from individuals in the community and grants to build Outdoor Garden Classrooms in schools across Las Vegas.
Green Our Planet has funded 77 Outdoor Garden Classrooms - 67 in elementary schools, 3 in middle schools and 7 in high schools. According to Life Lab of California, a national leader in the garden-based learning movement, Green Our Planet’s program is one of the fastest growing school garden programs in the United States. It is already the largest school garden program in the western United States.
NUMBER OF STUDENTS IMPACTED:
More than 50,000 students attend these 77 schools.
CREATION OF NEVADA’S FIRST GARDEN STEM CURRICULUM TO NEXT GEN STANDARDS:
Green Our Planet with partner Three Square received the American Honda Foundation grant in February, 2014 (chosen from 400 applicants) to create the first Pre-K-5 garden curriculum for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in Nevada. The curriculum—designed by teachers for teachers—is aligned to Nevada State and Next Generation Science Standards and is now being taught in all elementary schools with outdoor garden classrooms. In late 2015, the curriculum was revised after incorporating teacher feedback during the first year. It is now in its 2nd edition and was expanded to Pre-K.
PARTNERSHIP WITH DESERT OASIS TO CREATE CURRICULUM FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS:
In 2015, Green Our Planet secured funding for Jennifer Davis, a special education teacher at Desert Oasis High School, to create a new curriculum to train special needs students in vocations related to gardening so they can find employment after graduating high school at a nursery or in landscaping. This curriculum is to Nevada State Standards and became available on November 2, 2015. It can be used by middle and high school teachers throughout Nevada.
Green Our Planet has created the largest Chef-to-School Program in the Unites States, with professional chefs from over 60 different restaurants volunteering to provide cooking demonstrations for students using vegetables from their school gardens.
FARMERS MARKETS/“FARMPRENEUR PROGRAM”:
Green Our Planet launched the first farmers market at an elementary school in Nevada at John S. Park ES in November 2013. In the fall of 2014, Green Our Planet created the “Farmpreneur Program,” which teaches fifth grade students how to create and run their own farmers markets. Since the program’s launch, more than 40 CCSD schools have run their own farmers markets at their schools.
SCHOOL GARDENS AS BUSINESSES:
Green Our Planet is working to connect local CCSD schools to restaurants and grocery stores that will buy produce from the school gardens. More than 10 elementary schools currently sell food regularly to Honey Salt Restaurant in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Whole Foods Market regularly hosts student-run farmers markets in front of their stores so that students can sell the vegetables from their gardens. In all of these cases, students are learning about business concepts and entrepreneurship.
FIRST SCHOOL GARDEN CONFERENCE:
Green Our Planet hosted Las Vegas’ first school garden conference on March 20, 2014. The second conference was held on May 13 2015. More than 200 teachers and principals attended and shared best practices from across the CCSD.
FIRST GREEN SCHOOLS SUMMIT:
In October 2015, Green Our Planet partnered with the USGBC and the Desert Research Institute to create the first Nevada Green Schools Summit in order to share best practices for furthering the green school movement.
CORPORATE PARTNERS FOR SCHOOLS:
Green Our Planet has partnered schools with over 40 corporations and foundations to help fund the school gardens and for the long term benefit of the schools. Among those are Control Power Concepts, NV Energy, KJS Family Foundation, JBA Consulting Engineers, the Cosmopolitan, Wynn Resorts, Sands Corporation, the Consumer Electronics Association, Pardee Homes, Norgren Engineering, Santa Fe Casino, Mentors Foundation, CVS, Diamond Resorts, Walmart, Zappos, Lowes, Downtown Project, Innevation, Jamba Juice, Honey Salt Restaurant, Logistical Solutions, and Whole Foods.
FIRST SUMMER GARDEN PROGRAM:
In June, 2015 Green Our Planet helped secure the sponsorship for Crestwood ES to create the first summer garden camp in the CCSD. Forty students from Crestwood participated in the program for the month of June from 7am to 1pm. Students studied science, math and art in their Outdoor Garden Classroom and prepared their lunches with food from the garden each day. A curriculum was also created for the program, so that other schools can run similar “garden camps.”
PILOT STUDY WITH UNLV AT VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL:
Green Our Planet has partnered with UNLV’s education department in order to carry out a long-term research and mentorship program at Valley High School. During this program, students from the school’s Garden Club will be partnered with engineers from JBA Consulting Engineers, who will mentor the students and help ready them for college after graduation.
Green Our Planet has partnered with the University of Nevada Las Vegas Health Sciences Department and the CCSD to conduct a school garden impact survey in 2015 among schools with Outdoor Garden Classrooms. The survey was completed in September, 2015. This is the first such survey since 2002. Green Our Planet has also partnered with the Department of Education at UNLV to carry out research on the impact Outdoor Garden Classrooms are having on high school students.