Schools and Children

Captain Planet Foundation Supports Burgess-Peterson Academy

By Leesa Carter 

The Atlanta-based Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) is delighted to continue its support of East Atlanta’s Burgess-Peterson Academy, as we launch into the 2014 school year.

In September, a FoodCorps service member training was held in the Burgess-Peterson Learning Garden. The Foundation also hosted Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, a former Georgia public school teacher who has dedicated her life to encouraging childhood education when she toured the same.

Captain Planet Foundation’s innovative Project Learning Garden program helps teachers substitute an engaging hands-on lesson in the garden for a textbook-driven lesson in the classroom, while teaching the same required curriculum standard in math, science, social studies, health or language arts. The program is entering its third full year of funding. The implementation of Project Learning Garden is in its hometown of Atlanta where it will have 110 Project Learning Garden schools in the major metro Atlanta system by the end of 2014. The program also has ten pilot schools in Ventura, California.

On September 2, FoodCorps, a national farm-to-school organization that connects children in underserved communities to real food, launched in Georgia, where Georgia Organics is serving as its official state host organization. FoodCorps, part of the AmeriCorps Service Network, is adding Georgia and Washington, D.C. to its 15-state program. Eight FoodCorps service members will dedicate one year of full-time public service in school food systems, working with service site organizations such as CPF, the Athens Land Trust, and the Northeast Georgia Farm to School Program. Those working with CPF will serve in Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb County School District. Service members will expand hands-on nutrition education programs, build and tend school gardens, and bring high-quality local foods into school cafeterias.

During the 2014 back-to-school timeframe, the addition of four FoodCorps service members will effectively double CPF¹s program staff, while supporting Project Learning Garden’s national expansion through a growing partnership with Pratt Industries.

Also launching in September, any K-5 teacher or school garden support organization can download Project Learning Garden lessons and order a classroom lesson supply kit and mobile kitchen cart to use in their school garden at a cost of about $1,000. These will be funded by the school’s fundraising, a local corporate partner, or a CPF grant.

Conyers-based packaging company Pratt Industries has established an e-commerce platform that enables teachers to download lessons and a fulfillment center that will assemble and ship school garden lesson kits (initially for grades K-5) and mobile cooking carts. Pratt will donate ordering, assembling, housing, and same-day shipping.

For 23 years, CPF has funded environmental education and stewardship programs for K-12 kids in all 50 states and around the world. It was co-founded by media mogul Ted Turner and Barbara Pyle in 1991, and is now chaired by Ted¹s daughter, Laura Turner Seydel.