18. Norquay Elementary: Linking School Garden to Classroom “Kitchen”


Project Title

Linking School Garden to Classroom "Kitchen"

Organization Name

John Norquay Elementary School


Related Course Concepts

Food justice, Asset based community development, Social class/income inequality, Cultural identities

Organization Information

Organization Name

John Norquay Elementary School

Mission and Vision of Organization

We are a 30 division public elementary school that consists of just over 600 students. We also have the Early Mandarin Bilingual Program where students learn Mandarin half of the time from Kindergarten to Grade 7.

Guiding Principles + Values

All students have the right to education in schools. it is our job to ensure to teach the whole child, socially, emotionally and academically.

Contact Information

Preferred Method of Contact

  • Best method(s) to contact: Email
  • Best day(s) to contact:Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
  • Best time(s) to contact: Mornings, Afternoons

Project Description

Context: What challenge or issue does the project aim to address?

Our school garden composes of 18 garden boxes which is signed up by different classroom teachers. We also have a 3 bin compost. The challenge we have is to encourage teachers to harvest their crops and prepare the food in the classroom. Our school garden is usually overgrown, and we learned that it is a sign of not harvesting enough and not eating the food we grow.

With the support of the PAC and a very dedicated parent, we were able to purchase and equip two "cooking carts." Each cart includes a comprehensive list of different cooking equipment and utensils for serving. Sadly, the carts are still not being used as frequently as we would like. We would love to find a solution that includes thoughtful and intentional crop planning that leads to harvesting and preparing the food with the students.

Main Project Activities

We hope students will:

  • Speak with teachers to better understand their concerns, constraints, and areas of excitement related to cooking and gardening with students
  • Work with teachers to understand how age-appropriate cooking and gardening activities can be designed to align with learning outcomes and the BC Curriculum
  • Use this information to develop a crop plan
  • Use this information to recommend an effective, educational and fun harvesting system
  • If there is time: Connect the crop plan with ideas on cooking in the classroom (e.g. creating recipes that will use the anticipated harvest)

Expected Project Deliverable(s)

  • A garden crop plan
  • Recommendations for an effective, educational, and fun harvesting system (e.g. harvesting workshops)
  • If there is time: Design simple food preparation workshops with recipes that will use the anticipated harvest
  • A guide for teachers to continue this process in the future years

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Strong understanding of gardening and crop planning
  • Interest in education, food literacy, and school food
  • Interest in curriculum design
  • Interest in working with children

Student Assets and Skills (to be developed through the project)

  • Community planning
  • Creating relationships with students, school, teachers, parents and the community
  • (Social) curriculum development
  • Teaching skills

Are there any mandatory attendance dates (e.g. special event)?

  • Depends on the type of activities/lessons that the team plan for the project

Is a criminal record check required?

  • Yes

If a criminal record check is required, when should the process be initiated?  

  • Before the first community partner meeting
  • To facilitate fast turnaround for the criminal record check, students should compile the full names of all group members into one email and send to Ivy Chang asap

Project Location

4710 Slocan Street, Vancouver

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

Mondays - Fridays between 9am-3pm

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

Please ask about volunteering opportunities.

Required Reading

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

Students should review these materials prior to the first partner meeting:

Additional Project/Partner Orientation Materials

The following will be provided at the first community partner meeting:

  • Building tour, garden tour, kitchen/classroom tour
  • Emergency manual for the school
  • Volunteer guidelines

General Resources

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about...

  • diversity of the school (students, teachers, SES, culture, needs etc.).

I think students will come to appreciate...

  • how valuable their work will impact the future generation's idea on food and our natural world.

Through this project, students will develop...

  • social skills to work with a variety of different groups of people and critical thinking and planning skills that can extended to future program planning.

Organizational Outcomes

Intended Project Outcome

  • To maximize our garden boxes so the students can truly see the connections to healthy living and healthy eating. To combat food waste. To teach the First People's knowledge to our students.

Medium Term Outcomes

  • This project can allow teachers in the school, or perhaps other schools in the VSB or other districts to be able to bring their teaching outdoors. In addition, it is giving teachers the confidence to be able to teach healthy eating beyond teaching the Canadian food guide. Teachers can teach students and their families about growing food at home and cooking healthy foods for the families.

How does the student project contribute to your organization's mission and long-term vision?

  • This project promotes lifelong healthy living and healthy eating, and supports our mission to teach the whole child (socially, emotionally and academically).
source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2020/Norquay