More than 4,000 students each year learn where their food comes from and why it matters through The HEAL Project's educational programs.

Our hands-on outdoor learning inspires kids' natural curiosity and cultivates environmental awareness in the next generation. The HEAL Project offers lessons on health, environment and agriculture at school sites, in the classroom and at the San Mateo County School Farm. We enhance Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards in our high impact programs for environmental literacy and nutrition education. 

We envision a world where everyone understands the connection between our food, our health, and our environment.

Every child in San Mateo County should get to eat something they themselves planted. When this happens in a school garden it has a positive impact on academic achievement, health and the environment.”
— -Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County Health Officer

Theory of Change

The HEAL Project’s Theory of Change describes our philosophy and defines the long-term impact of our work, providing a blueprint for the changes that occur through our programs. THP’s Theory of Change was developed in 2018 and finalized in 2019 thanks to generous funding from the Sand Hill Foundation.

Our Education Philosophy

At The HEAL Project, we believe that agriculture-based education is a valuable tool for self growth and building connection with the environment.  All visitors to our farm and gardens see science, art, and math concepts come alive through interactive programming. Students are encouraged to wonder about nature and to nurture what they find. By leading in ways that promote self-sufficiency and skill-building, we hope to grow the next generation of environmentalists, scientists, organic farmers, and change-makers.

All visitors have the opportunity to dig their hands in and contribute to the well being of the soil, plants, and animals of the farm and gardens. Our teaching practices encourage students to make connections between the health of our local environments and their own health. We do this by demonstrating how food is grown and how we then use that food to feed ourselves.

We primarily offer programs for elementary-aged students, though at the San Mateo County School Farm, we also offer programs for high school students and the greater community.  We strive to be culturally relevant, age-appropriate, and fun. We offer farm programming to all students in San Mateo County through free or reduced cost programs.

Our educational philosophy encourages wonder, building connections, and connecting with our food systems!

Learn more about the benefits of environmental education.

What We've Achieved

Over ten years ago The HEAL Project was created with the mission of teaching students to make healthy choices for themselves and their world. We started with the garden at Hatch Elementary and have since grown into something more far reaching and impactful. Here are a few accomplishments we are most proud of over the past decade

Started the San Mateo School Farm in 2010, a 2-acre educational farm that provides hands on learning opportunities to students across San Mateo County, regardless of income

After participating in THP programming 79% of students reported they enjoy trying new fruits and vegetables


Taught and graduated 1,414 2nd/3rd grade students in our Intensive Garden Program at Coastside Schools


Provided nearly 12,000 students the opportunity to learn firsthand where their food comes from and why it matters through our farm field trip program at SMC Farm

The earth comes alive for my daughter. Alice comes home excited about how things grow in the ground and use sun and water to live. She now understands the connection between food and the place from which it comes”
— Mom of a 3rd Grader

Do you think every child deserves a meaningful experience in the garden?  

Your $10 donation will help us purchase seeds for students to grow in the garden. Please consider donating today and bring food education to life for the next generation.