Category Archives: Education

Riverside Schools’ Farmers Market Model For U.S.

Federal officials want to copy Riverside school’s

Farmers Market Salad Bar

In another bright spot of best practices of what works, Emerson Elementary/Eastside Community Garden salad bar program has set off a wave  of interest in our food supply, food quality and nutrition.

They’re acting local and impacting global if recent attention from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s interest is any indication.

This is what playing the “Is It Healthy?” Game looks like when you’re on the streets in your neighborhood,  in the classroom, or on your knees in in the dirt celebrating the irrepressible abundance of nature and joy from life and relationships.

Sustainable UCR Celebrates Earth Day And Community Garden Milestone

Neighborhood invited to celebrate with Sustainable UCR at a low-key, acoustic concert to culminate our Earth Week events. The acoustic concert will be on Friday, April 23, from 5-8 PM at our community garden, called “The Growve” off of Watkins Drive.

The concert is called “Groove at the Growve” and there will be no amplified sound. Anyone from the neighborhood is welcome to attend, and it is free. (Anyone is also welcome to join our community garden or attend any of our Earth Week events, and they are all free). We don’t want to do anything that would upset the neighbors.Our goal is to create a sense of community, where everyone feels empowered to change the world.

You can check out for Earth Week events.Included are several workshops on composting, energy conservation, sustainABLE living, and a food systems workshop, as well as tree planting, and other interactive demonstrations.
Please contact if you have questions.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate the milestone of creating a wonderful community asset in just over one year.  Very inspiring!

ECO-KIDS DAY at Growcology!

This Saturday, April 10th (9am-4pm) ECO-KIDS DAY at Growcology!

Growcology is unveiling the new kids garden, and to help us celebrate we’ve invited a few friends.

Learn all about where our food comes from, how to garden, caring for chickens, crafting your own candles, and learn about the eco-energy-bike.  Most importantly, enjoy a day with your community at Growcology.

For all the details and information on what to bring, please read the attachment to this email.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

H.U.B. (Homestead Uniting Brilliance)

Phone:  951-389-GROW (4769)
Skype:   growcology


Pathways To A Sustainable Society Workshop

This one-day workshop (April 15)  challenges participants to consider the interrelated dimensions of sustainability: environmental support systems (air, water, and natural ecosystems), urban systems (land use, transportation, socio-economic), and alternative energy.  Presenters will convey innovative research, public policy developments, technologies and business practices that will require collaboration among all sectors to ensure sustainability for today and for the needs of future generations.

Register here.

Thanks To RUSD Superintendent Rick Miller

The University Neighborhood Association had the pleasure of having Superintendent of Schools Rick Miller as our guest speaker at the March meeting.

An enlightening discussion about overcoming circumstances in delivering an engaging, high quality, highly relevant educational experience was open and lively.

One of the ideas for utilizing existing school assets in the face of declining student populations in some local neighborhoods (Hyatt Elementary)  is to market each school’s unique programs and opportunities.

This is much like North High School’s Chinese language classes offered to the students and community at large.

It demonstrates the fact that we are a multi-racial society in a global conversation about opportunity, growth, and self-expression for all. Maybe there are new ways to look at “profit” other than the overly narrow reliance on money. Perhaps there’s far more profit in knowing each others dreams and possibilities than in separation and fear. This is a daily challenge for our parents, teachers and administrators.

It was reassuring to know we have committed professionals like Rick Miller and Hyatt Principal Raul Ayala leading the inquiry.

Farm To School Initiatives Missing In Riverside?

BOZEMAN, Mont., March 6, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Montana to highlight USDA’s work to strengthen the American agriculture economy and revitalize rural communities through farm-to-school programs. Secretary Vilsack was joined by Senator Jon Tester at the Longfellow Elementary School in Bozeman for a roundtable discussion with local leaders on how Montana is using farm-to-school Programs to connect schools with local farms to improve the nutrition of school meals, provide agriculture and health education, and support local farmers.

“Strengthening the link between local farmers and school cafeterias is critical to addressing the nutrition issues facing our children,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Supporting farm-to-school programs will increase the amount of produce available to cafeterias and help to support local farmers by establishing regular, institutional buyers. These programs are a win for farmers and ranchers and a win for our children.”

With more than 100,000 public and non-profit private schools across the U.S., from elementary through high school, the farm-to-school movement offers new income opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers in addition to supporting off-farm jobs in rural America while giving children the opportunity to eat healthy, local fruits and vegetables and to learn to be healthy eaters. USDA is working to make sure that farm-to-school programs are a key part of the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.

USDA has begun to deploy farm-to-school teams across the country to work with local and state authorities, school districts and community partners to gather and disseminate information on infrastructure and best practices for procuring local produce and implementing farm to school activities. Working with education leaders and State and local partners, USDA is promoting farm to school programs and school garden programs to help strengthen the link between consumers and farmers.

The Obama Administration has proposed a historic investment of an additional $10 billion over ten years starting in 2011 that will allow for the improvement of the quality of the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, increase the number of kids participating, and ensure schools have the resources they need to make program changes, including training for school food service workers, upgraded kitchen equipment, and additional funding for meal reimbursements for schools that are enhancing nutrition and quality. Additionally, this investment will allow additional fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products to be served in our school cafeterias and an additional one million students to be served the healthy diets in school.

The USDA Farm to School Team has scheduled its first webinar entitled for Wednesday, March 10th at 3:00 pm ET. More information about USDA’s efforts to improve child nutrition can be found at

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

Which Came First, Our Thumbs Or Our shoulders?

Which came first in the fossil record — our thumbs or our shoulders?  Find out by visiting Evolution Mosaic, a new educational website about human origins.  This was Betsy Lawlor’s sabbatical project for 2008-2009.

The site address is

Evolution Mosaic aims to teach the concept of mosaic evolution — different body parts evolved at different times due to different selective pressures — and to make it accessible to Grades 6 through college by nesting more complex material in pull-down panels.

I hope you enjoy it, learn from it, and share it with anyone you think might be interested.

Looking forward to your comments.

Four California Schools Named EPA Priority for Monitoring Toxic Outdoor Air Pollution

Is your school on this list?

62 schools in 28 states selected in national initiative

SAN FRANCISCO – In an unprecedented effort to help protect children from toxic air pollution around schools, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced that four California schools will be among the schools that will undergo outdoor air monitoring. Continue reading Four California Schools Named EPA Priority for Monitoring Toxic Outdoor Air Pollution