History

Kid Enjoying StrawberryAs a pioneer in school garden programs in Los Angeles since 1999, GrowingGreat has reached hundreds of thousands of children and their families with hands-on nutrition, garden, STEM and literacy education. We offer programs from preschool to high school, in Spanish and English, during and after school, and always with the opportunity to enjoy fresh, healthy foods.

We are committed to low-income families in our cement-covered city where a school garden may be a child’s only experience with living, growing things. That commitment has grown stronger through our virtual programs to support parents and children learning at home as a result of Covid-19. We offer distance learning activities free of charge to children in low-income communities. Please email info@growinggreat.org for more information. A collection of our activities and related videos can be found at delmonte.com/growinggreat.

Since 2019, we have extended our programs to thousands more children nationwide through the GrowingGreat Veggies & Fruits program, sponsored by Del Monte Foods and implemented at science centers, children’s museums and zoos. We believe every community, regardless of economic status, should have access to fresh produce, and all children should experience the joy of growing fruit and vegetables in their own garden.

2020 – 2021

2020 – 2021

Adapted programs to distance learning video activities in English and Spanish for children and parents learning at home together. Serving 20,000 children in inner-city Los Angeles and partner sites nationwide.

2018 – 2019

GrowingGreat takes leadership role at the Association of Science and Technology Centers, presents at the National Association for the Education of Young Children and is chosen for a cause partnership by Del Monte Foods. Program partners in Charlotte, Detroit, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh and St. Louis.

2016 – 2017

2016 – 2017

New My First Garden program brings hands-on science, garden and nutrition education to preschoolers and parents with activities in Spanish and English. GrowingGreat presents at the National Science Teachers Association.

2013 – 2015

15-year total of 150,000 students and families served. Expanded to include hands-on STEM programming and teen nutrition and cooking activities.

2010 – 2012

Fifth Annual Healthy Living Festival featured 65 exhibitors and 5,000 participants. Nutrition education program launched online.

2008 – 2009

Served 8,000 students and continued expansion to low-income Title 1 schools.

2006 – 2007

2006 – 2007

Received 501(c)(3) status. Expanded to Hawthorne, Culver City and Torrance, CA.

2003 – 2005

Implemented new standards-based classroom nutrition program for grades 3-5.

2000 – 2002

2000 – 2002

Served 5 elementary schools and added Farm-to-School Harvest of the Month tasting program. Peggy Curry and Lori Sherman join Bergsund to expand garden program to include nutrition education.

1999

Founded by Marika Bergsund, GrowingGreat began as a garden at an elementary school in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Fruits & Veggies