project leader
Anat G
19 East 103rd Street
Manhattan (East Harlem)
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May 2017 Update

the project

WIth the success of a schoolyard garden under its belt, Central Park East II Elementary School is expanding its garden education program and raising money to create a kitchen classroom!  This IOBY project will fund the renovation of an existing space into a multi-use classroom to accommodate these programs.  In the renovated space, we will be able to:

  • Provide cooking classes for CPE II students (using seasonal produce fresh from our school garden)
  • Host Parent Association Health & Wellness workshops for CPE II families to inspire and educate about at-home cooking 
  • Host food preparation demonstrations by partner organizations, such as the Corbin Hill CSA.

Our parent architect volunteers have already drawn up plans to outfit the room with a dedicated sink, refrigerator, dishwasher, convection ovens and electric skillets and storage space for cooking items and tools.  These funds will also cover the kitchen classroom teaching staff.  

Individual donations of up to $200 raised for this Healthy Neighborhoods Project will be matched 1:1 up until we raise $10,000!  It's a tremendous opportunity to gather community support for this project and double our fundraising ability. (Donations greater than $200 will only be matched for the first $200. To illustrate, while a $40 donation made by a community member will be matched 1:1 for a total gift of $80, a donation of $250 will translate into a total gift of $450. Please contact us if you have questions about this aspect.)

the steps

October-November 2016: Purchase kitchen classroom appliances and equipment 

November-December 2016: Installation of kitchen classroom appliances, planning of kitchen classes

January 2017: Kitchen classes begin at Central Park East II

why we're doing it

Last April, on an unexpectedly cold Sunday morning, an amazing and dedicated group of CPE II parents and students, supported by additional volunteers from the CPE II community, came together to build a few raised garden beds and plant our first few vegetables in the big yard. Since that day, we have been energetically growing and expanding our child-centered garden space.  

Guided by Sprout Farms, students envisioned and planned the garden layout.  They planted, watered and ultimately harvested a wide variety of vegetables, including sugar snap peas, beets and beet greens, lettuces, herbs, and edible flowers. The success of our garden has both thrilled and overwhelmed us.  We have all been touched by seeing the transformation of an empty barren space into a lush, green oasis that changes dramatically with the seasons.

Adding the kitchen classroom is the next step forward!  By providing our students with the opportunity to experience cooking using the produce we grow, as well as produce from our partner CSA, we will empower them to develop cooking skills and encourage them to consider the connections between the food we eat, our food sources and our health. 


Disbursed Budget (as of 10.05.16):


RAISED = $11,122.00
 less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $322.92
TOTAL TO DISBURSE = $10,764.08

Original Budget:

Kitchen Appliances

1. 2-3 induction or electric cooktops, Home Depot, $500 each

2. Large capacity dishwasher,  Home Depot, $700

3. Refrigerator, Home Depot, $1500

4. Cabinets, $1000

5. Sink, Home Depot, $200 

Kitchen Supplies

1. Stainless steel sauce pans, large pot, saute pan, $200

2. Cutting boards, $500

3. Knives, Kids Cooking Supply, $500

4. Plates and utensils for serving 30, IKEA, $400

5.Dried herbs and salts, Costco, $200

6. Dish soap, sponges, and dishwasher detergent, Costco, $50

7. 30 Aprons, $ 150

Garden Education 

1. Salaries for Teacher, $ 3000

SUBTOTAL = 10,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $300
TOTAL TO RAISE = $10,335



May 2017 Update

While things are following a longer timeline then we had anticipated when we put together our crowdfunding campaign, we are pleased to report that we continue to move forward and make progress.  Our revised timeline is for the kitchen to be operational for the upcoming 2017-18 school year, with the majority of the work completed over this summer.  

We continue to work with the Division of School Facilities (DSF) and to follow their process for doing work on school premises. This process, while lengthy, ensures the support of the appropriate agencies and that the work that we do is DOE-approved.  


Since we last wrote, DSF plumbers and DSF electricians have visited our school to survey the work.  


  • Plumbing work does not present any issues; however, the plumbing work cannot proceed until the school has been cleared for all lead issues.  (This is a DOE-wide policy on plumbing work as they prioritize reducing lead in school water. There are some fixtures in certain non-used sinks in our building that need to be replaced.)  The DSF expects that our school will be cleared in the near term, and in any event, given that there is an operational sink in the room already, it doesn't present a major hold-up. 
  • The DSF electrician recommended a certain wattage convection oven to comport with the electrical availability in the room, which we will abide by.
  • We are awaiting confirmation that the walls and floors are asbestos-free to allow installation of cabinets and removal of floor outlets.  Our institutional memory is that those surfaces have been remediated in the past and are asbestos-free. DSF needs to check their files to confirm.


DSF will be visiting our school next week and putting together a worklist and a budget for the proposed work, some of which they will handle. and some of which we will do.   


We thank you each for the community enthusiasm which catapulted us to our monetary goal in the matter of weeks last fall.  Your support and interest in a CPEII kitchen has sustained us as we continue to push this project through on behalf the CPE II Community, working closely with Naomi, Theresa, and the DSF.  



Anat Grosfeld

Liz Simmons

CPE II Kitchen Classroom Crowdfunding Team


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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