How do you select which programs attend the Edible Schoolyard Academy?

Our application review process consists of the following:


We review each application using an objective scorecard. We award points based on the following criteria:

  • Applying as a team +2
  • Variety of positions +3
  • Public School +3
  • 60% - 100% free/reduced meals population +3
  • Team includes youth (age 35 or under) +3
  • Team includes people of color +3
  • Has Action/work Plan +1
  • Sustainable Funding +2

One member of our staff will thoroughly read your written responses and keep copious notes on the scorecard for how they assign a 1 to 10 point score in the following areas:

Program Details

The organization has a clear mission statement, a stable corps of staff, a reliable funding stream, and systems for evaluating their work.

Garden Program

The organization has a garden program that has been operating for 1-5 years. The garden program is accessible to most if not all students and / or community members where the garden is located. Garden lessons integrate culturally responsive pedagogy, meet academic learning standards at least some of the time, and provide opportunities for student independence. Program describes any plans for growth as well as any connections to school meal programs.

Kitchen program

The organization has a kitchen program that has been operating for 1-5 years. The kitchen program is accessible to most if not all students and / or community members where the organization is located. Kitchen lessons integrate culturally responsive pedagogy, meet academic learning standards at least some of the time, and provide opportunities for student independence. Program describes any plans for growth as well as any connections to school meal programs.

Community Support, Partners, and Collaboration

The organization demonstrates support from key stakeholders and populations served. The organization has a plan to increase buy-in from community members and form strategic connections with similar organizations.

Your final number score puts you in the accept, waitlist, or, “sorry we are unable to accept you this year” pile. Even if your program doesn't match every single one of the above criteria, we still encourage you to apply. Our Academy has welcomed programs from a wide range of grade levels, institutions, and stages of development.

What should I hope to learn at the Edible Schoolyard Academy?

The Edible Schoolyard Academy experience is immersive and can be intensely emotional and inspiring. We have five days packed with programming, eating together, discussing our work, and sharing the challenges and successes we face together as a movement.

We will cover infrastructures and systems in an edible education classroom, building a healthy classroom and team culture, program development, community engagement, and evaluation. We’re an open-hearted group: be prepared to be “in it!”

Why are we talking about race, power, and privilege?

One of the goals of an edible education classroom is to create access for all students. To food, to their agency, to their community and to their personal well-being. We believe that as a field we cannot be successful without a shared analysis of how systems of oppression show up in our personal, interpersonal, cultural, and institutional collaborations.

As a team, we professionally and personally examine how white supremacy, class, power, and privilege inform our work and practice. These conversations require self-reflection and can be uncomfortable, courageous, and vulnerable. You should expect to feel these feelings.

We have found doing this work – together, alone, with our volunteers, with our students, and with our own families – certainly is difficult but profoundly important and truly transformational in our relationships. We look forward to continuing to learn with and from you in this context.

Does my program need to be based in the Bay Area?

We welcome programs from across the United States as well as international programs to attend the Edible Schoolyard Academy. In previous years, Academy participants have come from all over the United States as well as from Denmark, China, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, and beyond.

Does my program have to work with middle school students?

While the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley, the Edible Schoolyard Project’s demonstration and training site, operates at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, we welcome training participants who work with students of all ages; pre-K-12 as well as college, university, and adult populations.

The content we develop and present at the Edible Schoolyard Academy is relevant to and adaptable for programs working across diverse populations and contexts – in student age, background, subject area, staffing, climate, and geography.

Does my program have to be based in a public school?

The Edible Schoolyard Academy is designed for programs working in a variety of institutions. In previous years, Academy participants have represented programs based in public, charter, and independent schools. Previous participants also include representatives from a rural food bank, an American Indian community health initiative, and an array of non-profit organizations.

We also welcome participants from community organizations collaborating with schools and summer meal sites on farm-to-school initiatives, as well as key district staff, farmers, Cooperative Extension, and supply chain partners.

Do I have to come as part of a team?

The Edible Schoolyard Academy accepts individual participants as well as teams of 2-5 people. Teams generally consist of educators, administrators, and/or parents. We prioritize accepting team applications over applications from individuals.

We welcome programs from across the United States as well as international programs. We prioritize groups of three to five participants and organizations that have sent a team before and want to train new staff. We strive to create programming that is relevant to and adaptable to any practitioner or institution.

Why are you requesting demographic information about our/my team?

The Edible Schoolyard Project is committed to building diversity and inclusion in the field of edible education. We believe that our movement is made stronger, more effective, and most relevant for our students and communities by the leadership of practitioners with a wide array of perspectives and experiences. Specifically, we are seeking to increase the number of youth and people of color attending our trainings and leading the field.

We strongly encourage applicants from a diversity of backgrounds, particularly from historically marginalized communities most impacted by the consequences of an unjust food system and underrepresented in the fields of education, health, and the environment. Teams who will contribute to the diversity of our training programs will be given preference during the review process.

What materials will I receive as a participant?

Before your training begins, you will receive a packet containing accommodation and restaurant recommendations, directions, and a detailed agenda. All participants in Edible Schoolyard Academy will receive a training binder, containing all the take-home materials and resources that will be referenced throughout the programming. All training materials will be published online.

Will we learn about school lunch reform?

School lunch reform is an integral part of edible education and will be discussed and addressed during the Edible Schoolyard Academy.

What if I have dietary restrictions or need special accommodations to participate?

Please let us know when you fill out the registration form so that we can do our best to make you comfortable.

What meals are provided?

The Edible Schoolyard Academy provides breakfast and lunch June 24-28.

Is lodging included in the tuition fee?

Participants must arrange and pay for their own lodging and travel. Suggestions will be provided in the welcome packet. Participants will receive their welcome packet in late May.

See our list of suggested places to stay.

What is the payment schedule?

In order to secure your place at the Edible Schoolyard Academy, participants must pay in full ($650/person) by May 14, 2018.

Do you offer scholarships?

For the 2018 Edible Schoolyard Academy, the Edible Schoolyard Project will offer full and partial tuition scholarships to enable participation from programs for whom tuition cost presents a hardship or barrier. Tuition support and waivers will be granted based on a program’s demonstrated financial need and potential to benefit from Edible Schoolyard Academy participation.

If you would like to apply for scholarship funds, you will be able to do so as part of the application process.

Do you know of programs that offer funding to attend Edible Schoolyard Academy?

In previous years, attendees have funded their tuition from sources as varied as Federal Title I funds, the Fund for Teachers Fellowship, and school PTAs. Often participants have sought out a local supporter of their program and asked that person to sponsor their attendance by paying for all or part of it.

What is the cancellation policy?

If you have paid the tuition but need to cancel your registration on or before May 14th, you will receive a full refund. If you cancel on or before June 5th, you will receive a 50% refund. If you cancel after June 5th, you will receive a 25% refund.

If you are accepted to attend and you have to cancel for any reason, you are welcome to apply again the following year, and we will make every effort to accept your application again.

How do I get Continuing Education Credits?

We are partnering with UC Davis to offer Continuing Education Credits for this summer's Academy. More information will be available in the welcome packet.