Today I spoke with Bryan from Healthy Planet US, a San Francisco based organization that helps build school garden programs at schools in the greater Bay Area and Sacramento. They have worked with 8,000 children at 18 schools children so far, and are aiming to work with 18,000 at 40 new schools. They are working on recruiting people right now, and when the year begins they will be hiring site coordinators to work at each individual school. Each school garden costs around $4,000 which includes everything, all the tools, planning, resources needed, as well as a small stipend for the site coordinator. A big part of their model is community development and ensuring that there is an engagement with the broader community. They ask everyone to invest in the garden, meaning that every family contributes at least $1. For higher income schools, they ask the school to fund most of the program on their own, and for low-income schools, they ask them to raise about a third of the cost and then Healthy Planet subsidizing the rest through fundraising. The schools begin fundraising in the Fall. For Giving Tuesday on December 1st, they have launched a $5 campaign to raise money for school gardens. They are recruiting social media ambassadors to help spread the information prior to the event, as well as sign up for a shift on December 1st to do most of the sharing and social media work on that day. I told Bryan I would love to sign up, so I will be contributing to the #5ontuesday post sharing this month and on Giving Tuesday. I am also signed up as a volunteer so I will be informed about any upcoming volunteer opportunities or events in the area related to school gardens.