School garden funded by Steph and Ayesha Curry in Oakland vandalized

Someone tore apart the garden at a school garden that had been funded by Steph and Ayesha's foundation. 

The vandalism was discovered Monday at Global Family Elementary School in East Oakland, although it had probably occurred over the weekend, Oakland Unified School District officials said. 

"My initial response is, ‘why?’" said the principal, Juan Vaca.

The garden, funded by the Curry’s foundation Eat. Learn. Play. and nonprofit KABOOM!, was put together in December 2022 as an alternative learning space for the students.

Employees at the school said vandals tore apart the planters, ripped out the irrigation system, broke all the wooden benches, damaged a ladder, and left everything in the area in disarray.

School is out for the summer and no students will likely see the damage, OUSD said. 

The school in the Fruitvale neighborhood serves 450 students through a Spanish immersion program, making them bilingual and bi-literate. 

"The garden is more than just a space to play with dirt, it’s a space that really connects people," said Vaca.

"It's unfortunate that anyone would think that causing this kind of damage anywhere would be fun, funny, or a good idea," OUSD said.

The space gives students a place to learn outside of the four walls of a classroom. The students grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and are provided with practical lessons in patience and science. 

"You have students who may not be able to articulate or perform, but when you get them out here, they shine," said Vaca.

A police report was filed, and there are security cameras on campus, but the school district is focused on rebuilding.

OUSD Spokesperson John Sasaki said they don't know how much it will cost to fix the damage, but the goal is to get the garden restored by the time the kids come back to school in August. 

"This is not about us wanting anybody to get in any trouble for this, whether it’s a young person or an old person, we want them to make better choices," said Sasaki.

This is the first time that a playground project created by Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation and KABOOM! at an OUSD school has been intentionally damaged, the district said. 

The garden at Global Elementary School was vandalized. Photo: OUSD 

The garden at Global Elementary School was vandalized. Photo: OUSD