Dig Deeper: Curriculum Partners

Nutrition and Health

Focus on Nutrition and Health: The Learning Garden is the best place for students to explore real food—there’s nothing fresher or more delicious than the food they grow themselves!

The Kitchen Community + Common Threads: We are proud to partner with Common Threads, an industry leader in nutrition and health education and curriculum development, for our Nutrition and Health content track. Their mission is to prevent childhood obesity and reverse the trend of generations of non-cookers, while celebrating cultural differences and the things people all over the world have in common. Common Threads has partnered with 113 underserved schools in five cities, providing 170,600 hours of health and nutrition education to 21,607 children and adults.

Curriculum: The Nutrition and Health Content Track will provide a LearningGarden-ready version of Common Thread’s acclaimed Small Bites curriculum, which includes 8 Nutrition Lessons from Common Threads and 8 complementary lessons from The Kitchen Community to tie in the Learning Garden. The curriculum is available for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 and is aligned with National Health Education Standards, Common Core State Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.

What your School Gets: Each teacher participating in the Nutrition and Health Content Track will have access to resources to ensure successful adoption of the curriculum, including:

  • Professional Development workshops for teachers and volunteers
  • Adapted Small Bites curriculum as described above
  • Access to TKC Garden Educators for gardening and instruction support


Focus on Entrepreneurship: One of the most powerful things we can do to strengthen communities is to ensure the next generation of leaders is equipped for success—able to innovate, take risks, and problem-solve.

Inspired by research demonstrating the myriad benefits of youth-entrepreneurship education and encouraged by our green enterprise connections, The Kitchen Community piloted our Entrepreneurship Program in four Chicago high schools in the 2015/16 school year.

Our goal is to provide the products and programming necessary for students to use the gardens as a laboratory that helps them explore the world of entrepreneurship, provides them with practical skills and positive attitudes, and challenges them to consider how they might use these new skills to build the sustainable businesses of the future.

The Kitchen Community + The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE): We selected NFTE as our national program partner because of their demonstrated track record in creating opportunities in entrepreneurship for high school students across the country. NFTE’s mission is to build students entrepreneurial knowledge in order to ensure that every one of their students graduates high school with a plan for success. For 27 years, NFTE has worked with more than 600,000 young people from low-income communities around the world.

Curriculum: Participating high school teachers will implement a co-created Learning Garden Entrepreneurship curriculum, focusing on student creativity and innovation. The Learning Garden Entrepreneurship curriculum gives students a taste of real world entrepreneurship through the collaborative creation of a business plan pitch. Guided by their teachers, students will create a pitch for a product or service based on their Learning Garden. The lesson plans encourage students to think like entrepreneurs and practice skills that are needed to succeed in classroom and beyond.

Summer Program: Schools who choose the Entrepreneurship track may choose to participate in the summer entrepreneurship program add-on.
Students are hired by their school as market growers and spend the summer planting and harvesting restaurant-quality crops from their Learning Garden. Students then sell their Learning Garden
produce to local restaurant partners, bringing the skills they learned during the school year to life.

What Your School Gets: Each teacher participating in the Entrepreneurship Content Track will have access to resources to ensure successful adoption of the curriculum, including:

  • Professional Development Teacher Training
  • Learning Garden Entrepreneurship curriculum
  • Access to TKC Garden Educators for gardening and instruction support
  • Optional summer program add-on.


IN DEVELOPMENT for the 2017/2018 school year! We are currently exploring opportunities and partnerships to support a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Content Track. Stay tuned!