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Shaw Fund Grant Secures a Sustainable Future for School Garden in Bayview

San Francisco, CA, June 24, 2007 --( The Shaw Fund announces it’s continuing support for the educational garden at Willie Brown Jr. Academy, with a $45,000 grant.

The Willie Brown Jr. Academy school garden features over 20 raised beds of vegetables, fruit and flowers. All fourth, fifth and sixth grade students participate in a weekly garden class that includes journal writing and hands-on activities. Students grow a large harvest of crops, including corn, beans, pumpkins, sunflowers, tomatoes and fruit trees. In addition, the garden has a butterfly habitat, herb garden and native plant area.

In collaboration with Friends of the Urban Forest, this year the garden hosted an Arbor Day celebration, during which students planted over 100 street trees in the neighborhood, installed a native plant garden and hosted a pruning workshop. In May 2007 the event won an award from the Neighborhood Parks Council.

The school garden gives students a point of reference for understanding the larger ecosystem and provides an excellent springboard for the study of the local environment. "Instructional school gardens can nourish students' bodies and minds and also help students develop a better appreciation for sustaining the environment, maintaining our food supply, and prompting stewardship of our Earth," according to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

To date, the Shaw Fund has provided all the funding and curricular resources for the garden. For the 2007-8 school year, additional support will be provided by the City of San Francisco’s Environmental Justice Program, which has awarded the garden a $52,387 grant.

The garden is directed by Sybil Tate and administered by Preparing the Ground, a program of the San Francisco School Alliance which supports school garden projects. The program provides school garden resources to San Francisco schools, including assistance for schoolyard design, implementation and curricular connections.

About The Shaw Fund
In collaboration with educational, nonprofit and governmental organizations, the Shaw Fund supports hands-on education for k-12 students in San Francisco. The Fund provides early stage funding, development and programming support, with the aim of catalyzing the participation of other partners to create long-term sustainable programs. For more information, contact Alex Gault at 415-987-1002 or

About Willie Brown Jr. Academy
Serving Bayview District students in grades 4-6, Willie Brown Jr. Academy is an SFUSD Dream School. The school’s mission is to accelerate the academic and social development of young scholars by providing private school opportunities in a public school setting. Following the Dream School model, the staff sets standards for academic excellence and encourages college acceptance as a goal for all students. The curriculum is enhanced by extended day schedules, and community partnerships provide students and families with additional support.

About San Francisco’s Environmental Justice Program
The Environmental Justice Program of the San Francisco Department of the Environment provides annual grant funding to nonprofit organizations and community groups to address pollution, energy, food security and public health concerns, focusing especially on the southeast neighborhoods of San Francisco. For more information, contact Anne Eng at 415-355-3735 or

Contact Information
Shaw Fund
Alex Gault

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