live / 2016
Glenfeliz: Helping LA Grow
Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?
Please describe your project proposal.
This year, Glenfeliz Elementary School became the first LAUSD School for Advanced Studies (SAS) focused on Farm-to-Table Garden and Culinary Arts. Our program integrates gardening and cooking into the Common Core curriculum, stimulating student interest in learning while promoting good health. Now that the first of our program is complete, our goal is to expand our cooking program and to grow into the model elementary school in Los Angeles for health, nutrition and sustainability.
Which of the live metrics will your proposal impact?
- Access to healthy food
- Resilient communities
- Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- East LA
Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to live?
Obesity, access to healthy food and the environment are all major concerns in Los Angeles. Several years ago, Glenfeliz Elementary School began a multi-year collaborative process to help address these concerns within our school and our community. We were incredibly proud earlier this year when Glenfeliz was designated the first ever Farm-to-Table Gardening and Culinary Arts SAS Program in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The kitchen garden and outdoor classroom we built with our partner EnrichLA is the first public school garden certified by the Department of Agriculture, County of Los Angeles. Our goal is to increase student interest and achievement in school, while promoting good nutrition and the health of our community, both in Atwater Village and throughout Los Angeles.
As a diverse Title I public elementary school located in the heart of Atwater Village, Glenfeliz Elementary is ideally situated to implement this new and innovative Farm-to-Table Gardening and Culinary SAS Program. Over 70% of our students qualify for assisted lunch. For some of our students, the meals and snacks they receive at school are their primary source of nutrition. Because families in Title I schools often lack the education and resources to provide balanced nutrition at home, our program aims to improve both our students and their families’ awareness of health and nutrition, while meeting key LAUSD education metrics. We serve over 300 local families and also open our doors for many community events, including our annual Harvest Festival and Friday Night in the Garden.
With our new SAS distinction, our hope is to grow our Farm-to-Table Gardening and Culinary program in order to draw students from all over Los Angeles, as well as to open our door for even more community involvement. Over the past several years, with the help of our community partners, including local restaurants like Forage, we have placed an increased emphasis on health, nutrition and the joy of cooking within our curriculum. Our students learn lessons in math, science, English language arts and the fine arts all while working in our garden and preparing healthy and delicious food.
Due to our passion and commitment, non-profits EnrichLA and Common Threads have chosen Glenfeliz as their flagship school. This grant will allow us to expand our program by building three fully-equipped kitchen classrooms, increasing our gardening hours with EnrichLA’s Garden Ranger Program, offering more cooking classes for both our students and parents through Common Threads, as well as providing us opportunities to share our gardening and culinary expertise through more nutrition-oriented community programs.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
Numerous studies have proven a connection between good nutrition and performance in school. J. Michael Murphy, an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, noted that ‘when students in large urban communities are given the opportunity to learn about ecology in a real-world context, they are more enthusiastic about attending school, make better grades, eat healthier food due to wiser food choices, and become more knowledgeable about natural processes.’ We have access to several key metrics which can help measure the effectiveness of our program:
1) We anticipate an increase on our standardized test scores of five percentage points per year over the next five years.
2) Fitnessgram results. Each year, fifth graders go through a set of physical fitness tests. In spring of 2016, [averages data from the most recent fitnessgram results]. In Los Angeles City Council District 13, where Glenfeliz is located, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health estimates that 27.6% of children are obese, compared to 22.4% across the County and with rates under 10% in many more affluent communities. We expect that over the next five years, Glenfeliz’s average performance on fitness tests will improve by 25%. In five years, the fifth graders who are being tested will have mostly been enrolled in the SAS program since Kindergarten.
3) We administer two different health and nutrition awareness surveys to our students each year, at the beginning of the year and again a
How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?
- Advisors/board members
- Technical infrastructure (computers
- Community outreach
- Network/relationship support