Veggie U


Chef Alan Wong addresses the teachers and inspires them to get their students to think about where their food comes from.

Teachers brainstorm different applications of Veggie U in the classroom.

Veggie U in Hawaii

Beginning in 2014, HAF has offered the Veggie U program to fourth-grade public school teachers statewide. The program is funded through the Localicious campaign and corporate sponsors. Since it's inception, the program has grown from 4 schools to 42 schools in the 13 of 15 complex areas. Currently, for the 2015-2016 school year, there are over 100 participating teachers from five different islands that are implementing the curriculum in their classrooms. Through Veggie U, these teachers will engage their students with hands on/minds on lesson plans pertaining to sustainable farming methods, our local agricultural, and making healthy food choices. We are hoping to inspire young future farmers to pursue an agricultural-related career thus continuing to grow and expand our agricultural industry in Hawaii.


Field Test

Through a successful field test of the Veggie U program during the spring of 2014, the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation (HAF) was able to modify the program to best fit the needs of Hawaii's educators. The Veggie U curriculum is aligned to Hawaii State academic standards such as:

  • General Learner Outcomes (GLOs)
  • Common Core English language arts and mathematics standards
  • Hawaii Content and Performance Standards III (HCPS III) in science, health, and social studies
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

In January of 2014, HAF held a Teacher Training Session at the Pineapple Room's Special Events Room in partnership with the Hawaii Department of Education. Seven fourth-grade teachers from Kihei Charter, Kailua Elementary, Royal Elementary and Wilcox Elementary were pre-selected to field-tested the Veggie U curriculum in their classrooms. With strong representation throughout the State on three islands - Oahu, Maui, and Kauai, the Veggie U field test was implemented among a diversity population of students representing diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

The goals of the field test were to:

  1. Gather feedback and suggestions to improve the Veggie U program for our State in order to assist future teachers with the implementation of Veggie U.
  2. Identify areas of the Veggie U program that would need modifications to fit our State's unique agricultural resources. 

Methods of gathering data from teachers included:

  • Classroom visits and
  • Communications (shared thoughts, pictures, and videos) via an educational networking site.

Additional workshops were held throughout the semester to support the field test teachers in the implementation of Veggie U.


Teacher Testimonials

"I was pleasantly surprised that many of my students were open to the idea of trying new vegetables and pretty much consumed vegetables on a regular basis."

Ms. Brown, Grade 4, Kailua Elementary

"The children enjoyed tasting various vegetables. They completed their journal entry describing their experiences and especially loved creating their own unique vegetables…students are loving Veggie U activities!"

Ms. Miyashiro, Grade 4, Wilcox Elementary

"The students were very excited to begin something new, especially knowing they would become "mini" farmers. Most students know that vegetables are healthy, but more than half do not eat them regularly."

Ms. Pescaia, Grade 4 Kailua Elementary

"My kids couldn't wait to get started on our worm farm."

Ms. Rompasky, Grade 4, Royal Elementary

"Many students learned new names of veggies along with trying new food.  Some students realized that they had never tried that kind of veggie raw, while others shared times they had eaten that veggie before!" 

Ms. Baldridge, Grade 4, Kihei Charter School

"A good program for getting kids back to nature and how to make good food choices."

4th Grade Teacher

"We are loving the program. We have a very large school garden. The kids are starting seeds in the room then moving them out to the garden as they grow. They are also working on a school fundraiser where they will be selling their plant starts. It has really been great!!!"

4th Grade Teacher

"I think that the Veggie U Hawaii program is valuable and beneficial in educating the next generation of consumers about local produce and living and eating healthy."

4th Grade Teacher

"The Veggie U program is wonderful. The students are excited to do it, and lessons are easy to follow."

4th Grade Teacher


Attention Hawaii 4th Grade Teachers... It's Not Too Late to Sign Up for Veggie U!

Applications for the Veggie U 2016-2017 school year are currently being accepted.

Click Here to Sign Up!

*The Deadline to Sign Up is July 15, 2016.

Veggie U signup form for Fall 2016-2017 has ended, but click here if you're still interested in implementing the Veggie U curriculum in your 4th Grade classroom!


Veggie U Photo Gallery