How It Works

“First we plant it, then we wait for it to grow, then we eat it!”
— David, second grader and Edible Schoolyard NYC student

Students who participate in Edible Schoolyard NYC’s comprehensive program learn how sustainable, organic food choices can totally transform their health and the health of our planet. We build gardens and kitchen classrooms on the premises of every Edible Schoolyard NYC Showcase School, where we provide kids with hands-on learning experiences that arm them with the knowledge and skills needed to combat childhood obesity and embrace sustainable eating practices.

In the garden, students get their hands dirty learning how to grow a variety of organic fruits, vegetables and grains. Then students bring their harvest into the kitchen classroom where they come together to prepare, cook and share a seasonal, garden-fresh feast.

This experiential education feeds more than just curious mouths. From kindergarten through the fifth grade, garden and kitchen classes are integrated into each grade level’s academic curriculum all year round. Each lesson supports at least one of the common core standards in math and ELA and/or one of the New York state standards in science or social studies.

Our students aren’t the only ones having all the delicious fun. Edible Schoolyard NYC offers resources and events for parents and the greater school community, including monthly family cooking nights, community garden workdays and our community farmstand.

An Edible Education For All

At Edible Schoolyard NYC, we believe that educating our children means more than teaching them reading, writing and arithmetic. We believe that every student has the right to learn EATING, reading, writing and arithmetic.
Nowhere does this ring truer than our Showcase Schools.

Showcase Schools serve as our demonstration sites, offering valuable professional development and resources for teachers and principals throughout New York City. Educators and students visit these schools to get the firsthand knowledge and skills only Edible Schoolyard NYC can provide, offering an education teachers and principals can then weave into the fabric of their own school curriculums.

Edible Schoolyard NYC is working hard to establish five showcase schools, one in each borough of New York City. Our goal is to provide New York City’s one million public school students with access to an Edible Education.

Evaluating Our Program

Continuing to evaluate and improve our model is just as important as our commitment to bettering our students and our community. In partnership with the Center for Food & Environment at Teachers College of Columbia University, Edible Schoolyard NYC will measure and evaluate the program at P.S. 216 and future showcase schools using quantitative and qualitative methods.

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During the 2011-2012 school year, they will collect data to measure the impact that the program has on changing students eating behavior, including:

  • Increased fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Decreased processed food consumption

Data will also be collected to measure students academic performance, including:

  • Overall increased performance in the classroom
  • Increased performance on standardized tests

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