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  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | Filed under Volunteering , Health and Nutrition , Community , Smart Potatoes

    Hi!  I'm James Reed, the summer intern at REAL School Gardens.  Welcome to my office.  

    James Wrangles Chickens and KidsHere, you will be hard pressed to find eye straining fluorescents, barricading cubicles, or endless filing cabinets. My office space is rather spacious and designed specifically to be engaging. Living the life of a Corporate Engagement Intern at REAL School Gardens, I work in outdoor classrooms (learning gardens), but I also cultivate relationships with businesspeople across the Metroplex.  At REAL School Gardens, a good day’s work and a job well done mean a multitude of things…  and if you don’t feel accomplished at the ...

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  • Thursday, March 14, 2013 | Filed under Volunteering , Student Behavior , Community , Instructional Aids , Science , REAL Supporters , Smart Potatoes

     

     

    REAL School Gardens, Surgical Care Affiliates, The United Way and Richardson Bike Mart were part of an amazing occasion held on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at the Gaylord Texan Resort for the children of the organization, Bea’s Kids.  This event was created to increase interest in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM.  This event not only reached out to the areas of STEM, but it also gave the kids confidence and a feeling of accomplishment after creating each project. 

     


     

    With around 200 volunteers and about eighty children involved, ...

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  • Friday, June 29, 2012 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Social Engineering , Smart Potatoes

    Teamwork is an entity; an entity is by definition that which is perceived or known or inferred to have its own distinct existence (living or nonliving).  You see, you and me make we, a third entity; two individuals thoughts or actions become expressed, intertwined and synthesized for a third way of looking at things, expressing ideas and getting things done.

     

    Teamwork is what makes the world go ’round; teamwork is what makes the gardens grow. The “Smart Potatoes” enterprise initiated by REAL School Gardens in concert with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) and 30 elementary schools in ...

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  • Thursday, May 31, 2012 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , Health and Nutrition , Educators , Community , Social Studies , Science , Math , Smart Potatoes

    Kindergarten teacher, Lester Sipma, at George Clarke Elementary (Fort Worth, TX) has participated in the past two years of the Smart Potatoes Program.  He shared his experience this year with us below:    

     

    Participating in the Smart Potato program has impacted me, my students, our George C. Clarke staff, faculty and families in many ways. Some of the ways in which the program has impacted our campus were expected and others were wonderful surprises.

    I used the Smart Potato project as a platform to teach a variety of science lessons such as plant life cycles, soil types, problems and solutions to gardening, identifying insects, determining ...

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  • Thursday, May 24, 2012 | Filed under Engineering , Community , Science , Math , Smart Potatoes

     

           Chemical to electrical energy transfer to power a calculator with Solanum tuberosum (Potatoes)

    There are several interesting things happening with potatoes during this potato harvest time in the DFW area. One standout is the “Smart Potatoes” campaign initiated by REAL School Gardens in concert with BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas) whereby 30 elementary schools in 5 school districts are growing, tending and harvesting potatoes to donate to their local food pantries.

    Another potato happening was that on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 -- United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Texas Instruments in conjunction with REAL School Gardens and ...

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  • Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | Filed under Volunteering , Educators , Community , REAL Supporters , Smart Potatoes

     

    REAL School Gardens' community members in both Tarrant and Dallas counties came together recently for two community-building extravaganzas highlighting the learning gardens of two REAL School Gardens’ partner schools.  Both of these events celebrated the successes experienced in REAL school gardens during the 2011-2012 school year.  Educators as well as other community members including volunteers, partners and contributors were recognized with certificates of appreciation for their dedication to helping REAL School Gardens fulfill its mission of creating learning gardens that grow successful students.

     

     

     Student-created sign in the garden at REAL People - Tarrant County

     

    On May ...

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  • Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Smart Potatoes

    Chef Cassondra Armstrong is responsible for my first real taste of "greens." Cooked slowly with a smoked turkey leg and seasoned to perfection, Chef Cassondra had given traditional greens a make over by using healthier ingredients for flavor. I found myself literally slurping up bowl after bowl. I was 29.

     

     

    Few foods rival the nutrition profile of leafy greens. Lauded for their calcium, fiber, vitamin E, beta-carotene and ascorbic acid content, they also boast a low calorie, no cholesterol, no fat, saturated fat or trans fat profile! Would you believe that kale and its leafy siblings have an ...

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  • Wednesday, May 9, 2012 | Filed under Student Behavior , Science , Smart Potatoes

    On a warm May morning, Ms. Koop's kindergarten class at Bonnie Brae Elementary became an observation train and baby potatoes as we learned to observe potato plant parts and learn about what plants need to grow and thrive.

     

     

     The school garden potato bed at Bonnie Brae Elementary

    As we drove around the Brae Elementary garden, our train cars used their senses to observe the plants. "I see a potato leaf." "I hear the birds." "Choo choo! I feel the air on my face." Together under the arbor we pieced together the parts of a potato plant: the stem ...

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  • Tuesday, May 8, 2012 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Smart Potatoes

    Childhood obesity has skyrocketed in the last few years. Most of these kids are woefully deficient in the nutrients their growing bodies need most. Most recent stats show that nearly 17% of school-age children are obese. Currently, the food they grow can't be used prepared in school cafeterias because of strict codes. Can you imagine if students were eating food that they grew in their school garden?  So what's the problem? Not enough kids are getting their hands dirty at school. Fortunately, organizations like REAL School Gardens provide children that opportunity every day at schools across North Texas:

      

     Kids getting dirty ...

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  • Monday, April 30, 2012 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , Science , Smart Potatoes

     Recipe for Garden Learning

    Fitzgerald Elementary School students have found a recipe to spark learning!  

    Ingredients:

    1 heaping helping of soil       A pinch of seeds      Rays of warm sun

    Rain shower(s)                    Flowers                 Butterflies

     

    Directions:

    Scoop up a heaping helping of soil, stir in a pinch of seeds, add a gentle rain shower, and bake in the rays of a warm spring sun until flowers bloom. Sprinkle with butterflies before serving. Serve generously to children with a side of humor and patience. Handle with care, a learning spark will yield enough teachable moments for everyone!

    Second graders at Fitzgerald Elementary School discovered ...

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