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  • Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , Community , REAL Supporters

    In my role at REAL School Gardens, I'm not out in the field as often as my colleagues. But over the past week, I've gotten to spend some time away from the computer screen preparing for our Fling-A-Thing event to celebrate North Texas Giving Day. Most people probably wouldn't consider collecting manure samples to be joyful, engaging, soul-filling work. But that's exactly what it was for me, and it reminded me of why we work so hard to get students outdoors and learning.

    When I was standing on the prairie at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge surrounded ...

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  • Tuesday, September 9, 2014 | Filed under Volunteering , Parent Paricipation , Educators , Community , REAL Teacher Journal , REAL Supporters

    A new school year has started with subtle yet significant changes to the REAL School Garden education program.  New “Evergreen Training” name, but the goal remains the same.  As we prepare for the new garden coordinator meeting, I can’t help to reflect on this sustainability flow I wrote before our May 2014 Garden Coordinator meeting.  Sustainability or maintenance of the teaching garden seems to be a common topic of concern and interest for our outdoor learning leaders.

     As experts in the garden-based education movement, we aspire to work with instructional leaders, teachers, and garden coordinators to:

    • Appreciate gardens as resources ...

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  • Thursday, January 30, 2014 | Filed under Language Arts , Educators , Community , Lesson Plans , REAL Teacher Journal



    I recently read this collection of short stories about how a community garden in Cleveland brought a troubled neighborhood together.  Florence is one of the last short stories in the novel, and she shares the simile, “waiting for the snow to melt was like waiting for a glacier to move.” Mr. V (REAL School Gardens Educator) shared this morning that that this has been one of the coldest winters in a century.  Resources like this novel can help you plan to use the schoolyard once the snow melts.

    This Teacher Study Guide (grades 3 – 6) can be ...

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  • Friday, December 20, 2013 | Filed under Volunteering , Environmental Stewardship , Educators , Community , REAL Teacher Journal , REAL Supporters

    At our most recent Holiday Christmas lunch at a local sweet salad spot,  The REAL School staff gathered around a wooden, from the trees, table each having a box with a word inside.  The task was to open and share what the word meant in your life both in the past and the future. Venezuela - Change - Matt - Gratitude - Ellen - Commitment- Scott - Compassion - Sarah - Health - V - Sacrifice - D.J. Moe - Inspire - Shawn - Courage -  J Cross - Adventure - LeCompost - Happiness  


    The words were randomly ...

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  • Tuesday, November 26, 2013 | Filed under Sustainability and Funding , Educators , Community

    Growing Opportunities 

                    Take a look at our full list of grants by clicking here!  


    November 30:  Trend Micro Incorporated  

    Trend Micro Incorporated is accepting applications for its Educational Technology Grant program. The grant was created to support the safe and responsible use of technology among students and to help schools prepare students for future educational and career opportunities.  Grants will be given to a total of 12 public schools/districts, and include a monetary contribution (not to exceed $10,000 per district or school) as well as in-kind donations to include software licenses for the ...

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  • Tuesday, November 5, 2013 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Community , REAL Supporters

    What do a Peugeot pepper mill and a REAL school garden have in common?  According to Executive Chef Blaine Staniford of GRACE restaurant, they are both essential tools for a wonderful Schoolyard Harvest Dinner!  In the interview below, the chef tells us more about which ingredients make his cooking - and the annual Schoolyard Harvest - so special.  Come taste and see for yourself this Thursday - it's not too late to get your ticket!

    1. Most useful kitchen tool? "Besides my chef knife, I love my Peugeot pepper mill."

    A pepper mill is specifically designed to ...

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  • Friday, October 18, 2013 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Community , REAL Supporters

    At Meadowbrook Elementary in East Fort Worth the beginning of the school year is always full of promise. As students dig into the curriculum, they also dig into the soil of their school garden to plant the promise of a very special harvest. Every autumn for the past three years, Meadowbrook students have participated in the Schoolyard Harvest Dinner, a unique opportunity for students to grow vegetables with a special purpose - to be served by award-winning Chef Blaine Staniford at GRACE Restaurant in Fort Worth. From September to November, students cultivate a dedicated crop of organic vegetables and ...

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  • Wednesday, September 18, 2013 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , School Garden Design , Community

    Features to spark curiosity and encourage exploration

     A child’s natural curiosity is sparked just by being outdoors. Watching a plant grow from seed or a butterfly emerge from its cocoon are experiences that impact children for a lifetime. Features can be added or additional materials can be used to encourage a sense of wonder and exploration. This could include:


       Water and/or sand features

       Areas for digging

       Natural exploration spaces (e.g., rocks to look under, logs to sit on)

       Block or natural building areas using loose parts (e.g., twigs, limbs, cut ...

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  • Monday, August 19, 2013 | Filed under Volunteering , Community , Family Activities , REAL Supporters

    Botanical Interests  

    Botanical Interests has once again made a kind donation to REAL School Gardens this year that includes an impressive amount of seed packets!  What comes next?  We will need all the volunteers we can get to sort out thousands of seed packets for this upcoming school year.  No heavy lifting or hours of standing around necessary.  You can add these hours to your resume, required school volunteer hours or just come out for a plain ‘ol good time!  Feel free to come and go as necessary during the business hours of 8a.m.-6p.m.  Other hours ...

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  • Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Filed under Educators , School Garden Design , Community , Instructional Aids

    REAL School Gardens supports gardens that encourage children’s learning in varied ways. These outdoor spaces serve as a classroom where all subject areas are taught using a hands-on approach – what better way to learn math, language arts, science and social studies than using your five senses outdoors!  In addition, learning gardens support a child’s understanding of the art and science of gardening, healthy food production, and the patterns found in natural surroundings.  They are organic in their responsibility to the environment and encourage children to become stewards of the earth. By creating learning gardens that are inviting and beautiful, ...

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