Transforming the hearts, minds and eating habits of young New Yorkers through an integrated seed-to-table education.
“First we plant it, then we wait for it to grow, then we eat it!”
— David, second grader and Edible Schoolyard NYC student
How It Works
At Edible Schoolyard NYC, we aim to cultivate knowledge and skills for students in New York City’s historically disadvantaged communities to grow, prepare, and choose healthy food. Through a farm-to-table experiential education model, our students learn how choosing to grow and cook sustainable, organic food can transform their health and the health of our planet. Our Demonstration Schools host beautiful garden and kitchen classrooms, built to meet and adapt to the unique needs of each urban environment. These classrooms bring our education model to life as we watch the next generation of leaders and curious thinkers grow and take their health future into their own hands.
Beyond an innovative food curriculum, garden and kitchen classes are integrated into year-round elementary and middle school academic curricula. Lessons support common core standards in math and ELA and New York state standards in science or social studies. We also offer lessons to families and community members through family cooking nights, community garden workdays, and seasonal farmstands.
An Edible Education For All
We currently have Demonstration Schools in Brooklyn and East Harlem, and are working hard to establish Network Schools in each of New York City’s other boroughs. Students at our schools attend two garden classes and 1 kitchen class every month and receive over twenty hours of our experiential education each year. So far, our programs reach 1,200 students through direct classroom experience, and 35,000 more students through a growing teacher training initiative. We envision a future where all of New York City’s 1.1 million public school students may learn the invaluable skills and philosophies of an edible education.
Evaluating Our Program
At Edible Schoolyard NYC, we see that when students engage in hands-on gardening and cooking education, they are more likely to have healthy food habits that lead to better health outcomes. We are committed to implementing evidence-based programming that is proven to have significnet positive impact on the wellbeing of our school communities. As such, we conduct ongoing program evaluation internally and in partnership with a team of researchers from Columbia Teacher’s College.
We are monitoring changes in student’s attitudes toward healthy foods, and their eating habits at school, as well as working with their families to note how the program could be benefiting the whole family at home. Our evaluation team uses both qualitative (observations, assessments, and narratives) and quantitative (surveys, and studies) to look at how students respond to learning about, preparing, and eating plant-based foods.