Extension’s Food for Thoughts Program offers children an alternative site for learning, promotes awareness of the desert environment, demonstrates the geographic sources of their food and encourages healthy eating and activities.

Establishment of school gardens has recently received more support from the school district, but teachers must be trained to use them productively.

The Food for Thoughts Program was established in 2004. This program gives southern Nevada schools’ faculty, staff and students the educational tools needed to effectively install and use gardens as outdoor classrooms. The goals are to offer children an alternative site for learning, promote awareness of the desert environment, demonstrate the geographic sources of their food and encourage healthy eating and activities.

The program works hands-on with over 80 schools and gives information to well over 1,000 students each year. 

Since 2015, the program has been expanded to train teachers to meet Next Generation Science Standards by using the school garden. At least two professional development sessions are offered each year, with 30 teachers attending each session. An abbreviated version of the training has been developed so that teachers can obtain credits and receive the training while at their own schools.

News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...
Nicole with stems for propagation
Propagation of Stems and Leaves
Nicole Hansen, of the Youth Horticulture Education Program, teaches how to propagate plants by stem and leaf cuttings.
Hansen, N. 2020, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, YouTube Channel

Learn more about the program's team

Angela O'Callaghan
Program Leader & Contact