The Coops and

Gardens Initiative

About the Initiative

The Coops and Gardens Initiative is a comprehensive approach to improving food security and reducing barriers to education that utilizes community-based, hands-on learning to increase knowledge, empower healthy lifestyles and prepare the next generation for future opportunities.

Our History

Chickens.org is a program of Capax World, dedicated to improving food security by encouraging and equipping people to raise their own chickens and grow their own food. Capax World, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2011, has a long history of providing local, community-driven solutions to problems such as malnutrition and lack of access to fresh, healthy foods, by equipping communities with innovative agricultural practices.

Our team has spent the last few years designing the Coops and Garden Initiative to improve food security in lower income schools and communities.

 

The Problem

Food insecurity affects over 2 billion people worldwide and is underpinned by six dimensions – availability, accessibility, utilization, stability, agency, and sustainability – and occurs when one or more of these dimensions are compromised. Many schools have begun to tackle this problem, often by implementing lunch programs designed to help with the availability, accessibility, utilization and stability dimensions of food insecurity. Yet, these programs have often struggled to overcome agency and, by extension, sustainability. A comprehensive solution that addresses food insecurity holistically, incorporating learning that empowers students to change their attitudes and use their agency to make better choices, is needed. The Chickens.org Coops and Gardens Initiative offers an opportunity to do this, by bringing coops and gardens to schools, which will teach children how to improve food security through hands-on education and skills training.

 

Our Solution

Studies have shown that gardening and nutritional instructions have a positive effect on students’ nutritional knowledge, fruit and vegetable preference, and snack choices. Chicken raising in schools has also been linked to improvement not only in knowledge of biology and STEM subjects, but has also been shown to enhance many other activities and aspects of learning. In addition, small-scale poultry systems have been identified as important for food-insecure areas, as they contribute to each dimension of food security, as well as empowerment of disadvantaged individuals, giving them the power to transform communities.

The Coops and Gardens Initiative will enable partner schools to become the catalyst for change in their own communities, by equipping them with everything they need to get started with their own chicken coops and gardens. This includes a grant to set up their coop and garden, comprehensive and easy-to-understand resources, and fun STEM curricula to maximize learning alongside the development of hands-on skills.

Coops and Gardens Benefit Communities

Promote Healthy Living

Coops and gardens in schools and communities promote healthy lifestyles and have been shown to improve mental health.

STEM Education

STEM-focused after-school programs engage children and teach critical learning skills (which meet state Academic Standards).

Community Bonds

Coops and gardens bring communities together by creating common shared experiences.

Sustainable Living

Environmental sustainability is woven into each program, to teach and inspire young people. 

Increase Knowledge

The Initiative’s hands-on curricula are designed to increase students’ knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects, agricultural practices, and proper nutrition.

Empower Healthy Lifestyles

The design of the Coops and Gardens Initiative is meant to transform people’s attitudes towards food, improve food choice, and promote sustainable living.

Prepare for Future Opportunities

As part of Chickens.org’s mission to end poverty, we believe in the importance of preparing children for future opportunities by reducing barriers to education and teaching career-readiness. Current programs include teaching job skills (critical thinking, reading comprehension, work ethics), life skills (teamwork, gardening, cooking, managing emotions/behavioral skills) and working with local mentors.

Mentoring at-risk youth has been shown to improve academic success, especially when paired with a mentor with greater self-efficacy and who has previous involvement with youth in their community. Coops and Gardens school programs seek to partner with community members as mentors, and welcome graduated students to return as mentors to continue the success of the school programs.

Tailor the program to your needs.

With the Coops and Gardens Grant, your school or community has the opportunity to create a STEM-based before- or after-school program, with our help. 

Under the Coops and Gardens Initiative, Chickens.org will provide:

  • A custom plan to meet each community’s needs complete with site visits and consultations with school leaders.
  • Funding and Strategy Development to set up a coop and garden and sustainably maintain the program after the initial grant period. During the grant period, Chickens.org will fund half of the setup and operation costs based on a budget decided by both parties before the release of funds. We will also share advice about how to apply for local grants, fundraise in local communities, approach and partner with businesses, and start small businesses with products from the coops and gardens.
  • Resources on easy chicken raising and gardening practices to get programs started.
  • STEM curricula to teach children about nutrition and agricultural skills and improve reading comprehension and critical thinking to increase health and career success of students
  • Connections to an online community where best practices and information can be shared.

 

Do you want to build your own school chicken coop and garden?

The Coops and Gardens Grant offered by Chickens.org is a funds matching grant meant to help communities and schools build their own sustainable chicken coops and gardens.

Recipients of the grant will receive funds and guidance to help set up their coop/garden. Let us help you create a community/school program, tailored to your community’s needs, that you call your own!

Common Questions

Don't chickens have germs?

Sure. Germs are a fact of life. Not all germs are bad though! We believe it is best to teach kids about germs-what they are and how to get rid of them. Chicken poop. Dirty socks. Food. Our Germ Science package covers it all. Knowledge is power. Instead of fearing germs, we see it as a great practical science teaching opportunity.

Should kids' parents sign a waiver?

Yes. We offer a draft form of waiver, but each school is responsible for determining the specifics of their liability waiver and permission slip.

Can you have chickens with other animals?

Chickens are a great addition to any family or farm. Just with any other animal, it is best to introduce a new chicken to any other animals they will be interacting with, but thankfully we have videos to help you!

Do chickens fit well into Special Education settings?

Many schools with special education programs are starting to raise chickens because of the theraputic affect chickens have on children, just check out this article on Deer Creek Middle School’s chicken coop for their special education program. 

The Coops and Gardens Initiative creates a wonderful hands-on learning opportunity to teach career-readiness to children with and without learning disbilities. 

Email us for more information!

hello@chickens.org

Want to help?

The Coops and Gardens Grant would not be possible without donations from people like you. If you would like to contribute funds to the grant, please donate below.

If you would like to contact us regarding a physical donation, please email us at hello@chickens.org.

Want to help?

The Coops and Gardens Grant would not be possible without donations from people like you. If you would like to contribute funds to the grant, please donate below.

 

 

If you would like to contact us regarding a physical donation, please email us at hello@chickens.org.

Phone

661-523-3820

Email

hello@chickens.org

Address

P.O. Box 80620

Phoenix, AZ 85060-0620

Chickens.org is a program of Capax World, a 501-c-3 charity dedicated to sustainably alleviating malnutrition and poverty.