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Apply nowJumpstart your school garden

Jumpstart is a $2,000 grant for schools looking for funds to support garden education in the 2023-24 school year. It is perfect for schools that have existing gardens and are looking for funding to reignite, expand, or sustain their garden classrooms to get more students outside. Funds can also be used to build new gardens at schools that are just getting started with garden-based education.

Who Can Apply

Schools interested in applying for this grant are expected to take on full ownership of their garden and the projects funded by the Jumpstart grant. Successful school gardens have strong administrative support, a team dedicated to leading and organizing school garden education, clear programmatic or curricular integrations, and a school-wide commitment to facilitate outdoor education for all students. This grant will prioritize funding for multiple schools in the same district and consortiums of districts working together to advance garden-based learning for their students. In order to participate, schools have to meet the following criteria:

  • Serve students meeting 65% FRL or another metric of economic disadvantage.

  • Have a plan of action that ensures youth will consistently and strategically use the Learning Garden as a regular part of the school day.

  • Have the full support of the school administration and a multi-member team dedicated to the integration of the school garden into the goals, structures, and overall culture of the school.

  • Have the full support of the school district's leadership team to coordinate and support the long-term success of school gardens as an educational resource for students.

  • Be able to participate in two required professional development sessions.

  • Priority will be given to schools in the following counties: Baldwin, Bibb, Bleckley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Dawson, Dougherty, Effingham, Emanuel, Fannin, Hall, Houston, Jones, Morgan, Putnam, Rabun, Thomas, & Treutlen. If you are interested in applying but your district is not listed please first ensure that your district leadership is supportive of the grant and there are at least 3 schools in your district interested in applying for the grant.

hands in soil with strawberry plants.

How to Apply

The short and straight-forward application can be found on our grant portal, linked below in this section.

  1. Step one

    Jumpstart: Teacher Resources

    Review these Jumpstart Resources available on our website to give you a feel for the grant opportunity, and the resources available. Decide which grant opportunity is best for your school.

  2. Step two

    Register to attend

    Join us for a 30-minute info session on September 11 at 4pm to learn more about the Jumpstart grant.

  3. Step three

    Click Here To Apply

    Complete the application. You can easily add multiple people on your team to collaborate on the application. The deadline for grants that will be distributed in the fall is September 30.

Spring 2024 Cohort: Grant Calendar

  • August 25, 2023 Grant Application Opens
  • September 11, 2023 4:00pm Grant Info Session
  • October 20, 2023 Grant Application Closes
  • October, 2023 Grantees announced
  • November, 2023 Funding Distributed
  • November 2023-January 2024 Complete Two Online Learning Modules
  • May 31, 2024 Grant Reporting Due
a group of students holding up vegetables.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • No, each school must apply and manage the grant themselves. However, Big Green highly encourages strong district coordination to support the grant application process and the long-term execution of the grant. District staff can also be added as a collaborator on the grant in the portal to support the process.

  • Applications submitted by schools outside of the identified counties will be considered waitlisted and will only be eligible for grants as funding remains available. If you have additional questions please reach out to Big Green through our helpdesk form to ensure you have the right information so the schools in your district can successfully apply.

  • There are several options of federal/state programs that people frequently use to represent low income and/or other considerations that can be used to represent the socio-economic demographics of your school. Schools can also include percentages of students with disabilities and/or English Language Learners to demonstrate need. Use the “OTHER” response for this application question to provide a more detailed and nuanced representation of financial need.

  • The Jumpstart Grant requires schools to complete 2 virtual learning modules. Both are asynchronous online sessions and will be followed by reports your school will submit back to Big Green to represent the work your school is doing to develop and sustain your garden programming. They are accessed through our Learning Management System. The first is called Jumpstart: School Garden Leadership and the second is Organizing the Outdoor Classroom.