The Rebel Gardeners learn about the food system by changing it. Rebelgardeners.org is a toolkit to grow healthier school communities. This website outlines a process to create a healthier school and provides instructions to implement a collection of specific hands-on learning food education projects. It is for students, teachers, parents, administrators, chefs, farmers, business people, artists, cooks, and eaters. We each have a unique role to play in fostering a healthy future for our community.
Ask young people – “How would you create a healthier school? a healthier community?” Support young people by providing tools, role models, resources, structure, and space to explore and create answers to these questions. By working together we can cultivate a healthier and more prosperous future.
The Rebel Gardeners began at Pepper Middle School in Southwest Philadelphia through a partnership between the students, parents, teachers, and staff at the school, staff at the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative, and students and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the course of 3 years (Pepper closed in 2013), hundreds of middle school students became Rebel Gardeners- engaged in the project-based learning experience of growing, cooking, serving, selling, and eating good food – all the while writing/editing/filming/drawing/calculating/experimenting and constantly documenting their activities to learn from and teach others. Now schools throughout West Philadelphia are engaged in food education projects inspired by the Rebel Gardeners.
These food education projects are designed and implemented in urban neighborhood public schools- where lunches are wrapped in plastic, energy dense nutrient devoid food is impossible to avoid, and students harness the limitless energy needed to solve these problems and more.