Ask young people – “How would you create a healthier school? a healthier community?” Support young people by providing tools, resources, structure, and space to explore and create answers to these questions.
This is the philosophy of the Rebel Gardeners, a food education project founded in 2010 at Pepper Middle School in Southwest Philadelphia through a partnership between the school, the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative, and the University of Pennsylvania. It involved students, teachers, families, staff, community members, and volunteers. Over the course of 3 years (Pepper closed in 2013), hundreds of students were Rebel Gardeners- tasked with creating a healthier community by growing good food, cooking good food, serving good food, and selling good food – all the while documenting their activities to teach and inspire others.
These projects were designed and are meant to be implemented in high poverty 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. The Rebel Gardeners learn about the food system by changing it.
rebelgardeners.org is a toolkit to grow healthier school communities.