Our school is extremely fortunate to be part of theStephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program. This programprovides funding and support for primary schools across Australia to introduce children to cooperative gardening and cooking activities. The funding is significant enough to help our school build a kitchen and garden - with the financial and volunteer support of the community.
The SAKG program is one of the most impressive, exciting and effective innovations. It has received federal and state funding and has attracted huge grants and services in kind from corporations, small businesses and individuals. It is currently running or being developed in 130 schools around Australia.
How did the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program come about?
Stephanie Alexander is one of Australia's most successful and respected cooks and food writers. Following on from her book, the Cook's Companion, Stephanie decided to turn her attention to the eating habits of young people.
Like many in the community, she was concerned that this ‘fast-food generation' was not being educated in the fundamentals of food preparation and that this would lead to long-term health and social problems.
Stephanie decided to fund and trial a program in a Melbourne school, Collingwood College. The program, which started in 2001, was designed to show primary school children the joys and benefits of growing, cooking, serving and sharing fresh food. The program now runs in 130 schools around Australia, including Vaucluse Public School.
How did Vaucluse Public School Get Involved?
In 2009 Vaucluse Public School successfully applied for $60,000 worth of funding from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
The funds were used to expand the school's award-winning vegetable garden, establish a classroom kitchen, and create a gardening and cooking program for students.
The program has received the support of Federal and State governments and numerous philanthropic organisations. Overwhelmingly, however, it is the fruit of passionate parents, staff and community volunteers, as well as the wonderful children of the school.