How is this for coincidence. Seven years ago, RootDown LA founder, Megan Hanson and a San Francisco Mission High School teacher, Erica Ramirez, were trialing some cooking, nutrition and farming programming up north. Two years later, Hanson was invited by RootDown co-founder Katy Atkiss and two innovative teachers, Trish Hanson (yes, two Hansons) and Vanya Hollis to trial this hands-on cooking and nutrition programming at Manual Arts in South LA. In the next year, RootDown LA officially formed and Ramirez ended up moving back from San Francisco, a return to her old neighborhood, to also teach at Manual Arts.
Fast forward to NOW - Hollis, Ramirez, and T. Hanson have all moved over to teach at Augustus Hawkins High School, and RootDown LA has secured a major grant to expand programming through its partnership with WECAN Foundation to reach kids in this innovative new school.
Follow all that? Probably not, but we're still shaking our heads and grinning, hardly believing how the planets have aligned to rejoin this group of us (and now so many others!) who are eager to create hands-on learning experiences that engage kids to help build healthier communities in South LA.