COVID-19 Update: Like all other classes in the Berkeley School District, our elective has moved online. Students are learning about the food system and food justice, covering topics such as food access and regenerative agriculture. We do our best to connect students to the kitchen with live cooking demos and plenty of beloved Growing Leaders recipes. Check out our distance learning page to see what we've been up to.
The Growing Leaders business elective is open to 7th and 8th grade students at Willard Middle School. Students gain hands-on experience by growing, cooking, and selling bi-monthly meals to the public.
Students are involved in all aspects of the business, from recipe development and testing, to setting a financial goal and marketing.
The student-run business, which was born out of necessity due to district budget cuts in 2013, has proven that students can thrive when given ownership, autonomy and real-world goals.
In our 2014-15 pilot year, we endeavored to raise $20,000. Astoundingly, our students exceeded all expectations and generated over $30,000 in funds to help sustain the program.
In the 2018-2019 school year, the student business made over $75,000.
All proceeds from the meal sales go directly towards supporting Growing Leaders programming.