Tomas O’ Grady to teach at CWI’s Summer WEST—a founder of the non profit EnrichLA,which as a community based non profit has supported the introduction of an unprecendented number of school gardens in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), one of the largest and most challenged school systems in the nation. Tomas is a farmer’s son from the west of Ireland who brought an ethic of locally grown food with him when he immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1980′s. EnrichLA’s give-back ethos permeates the programs they support in schools and communities in the Los Angeles area. EnrichLA is an environmental non-profit focused on adding edible school gardens to public schools. Their school gardens are inexpensive, promote community involvement, encourage respect for our delicate planet, act as outdoor classrooms, cheer up school campuses, help students build a good work ethic, and promote thoughtful and healthy eating habits. EnrichLA’s goal is to have young kids appreciate whole foods so that by appreciating it, “their taste buds become more sophisticated.” Not only do palates evolve, but student morale, test scores and class involvement improve drastically. The efforts of Tomas O’Grady and his colleagues at EnrichLA have been endorsed by a wide group of city businesses, LAUSD itself, and the many local schools they have supported.
CWI’s Summer WEST is set on one of the most beautiful college campuses in the U.S. LMU is situated on a breathtaking hilltop campus that overlooks both the city of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean—from Malibu to Santa Monica. The Institute is focused on integrating service-learning, sustainability, and place based education within the curriculum. Experience curriculum and program workshops, drawn from one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse urban settings. This is a premier international event not to be missed.
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“The Institute exceeded my expectations and fed my spirit in a way that will accelerate my impact. It offered a rare opportunity to connect to other educators and look at purpose and intention on a deeper level. The Institute pushed my limits on thinking about ‘participation’. It also allowed me an opportunity to live through how to foster a community by how you structure activities.”
Paula Cohen, 6th Grade Language Arts & History
Orville Wright Middle School
Los Angeles, CA
from CWI Summer WEST Institute WORKSHOP-PRESENTATION descriptions
Gardening, Service, and Nutrition: Across the Curriculum and Through the Community
DESCRIPTION: Join us for a conversation with Tomas O’Grady, a founder of EnrichLA, [linked] an environmental nonprofit that has supported the introduction of an unprecendented number of school gardens in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), one of the largest and most challenged school systems in the nation. Tomas will share with us best practices for supporting school and community based garden work, especially those that lead to curriculum integration.
School based agricultural and nutritional education is on the rise. Thousands of schools and communities across the U.S, have evolved their own unique forms of gardening projects. From bean seeds planted in cups on classroom windowsills to elaborate outdoor nature centers, gardening has many benefits, especially when thoughtfully integrated into the school or program curriculum. In this workshop, we’ll visit dynamic Los Angeles based examples of school gardening and discuss ways in which the challenges of planning and sustaining a school or community garden program. Participants will learn about service projects that can be done using school based gardens. These outdoor classrooms provide a perfect environment for providing the hands-on learner a real connection to science, math, health, and language arts curriculums. We will also make connections to nutrition and the local food movement and learn about successes and challenges inherent to projects that involve managing gardens throughout the school year. with Tomas O’Grady