CHILDREN HELP GROW THEIR LEARNING GARDEN
10/21/2010 6:00:00 AM
Chesapeake Energy joins REAL School Gardens in support of Goodman Elementary
FORT WORTH, Texas – [October 21, 2010] – REAL School Gardens, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit organization that brings gardens to high-poverty elementary schools in North Texas, is extending its reach through generous support from Chesapeake Energy. Goodman Elementary School, located in the Arlington Independent School District, will be the seventh school to benefit from the company’s sponsorship of the school’s outdoor classroom on Friday, October 22, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at 1400 Rebecca Lane in Arlington. Children, parents, teachers and community volunteers will be present to eagerly tend to these new gardens.
“We are grateful to have Chesapeake Energy’s support of Goodman Elementary School, as this is a particularly high-need school with more than 90% of students classified as economically disadvantaged. With community support, we are enhancing this school garden to provide additional learning opportunities for children,” said Scott Feille, Regional Program Director for REAL School Gardens.
“Chesapeake is pleased to help enhance this outdoor classroom that will allow elementary school children a chance to learn outside of a traditional classroom,” said Laura Patton, Public Affairs Manager for Chesapeake. “We hope that the children, their parents and the community will be inspired for a lifetime because of this new addition.”
Chesapeake, one of America’s largest producers of natural gas, is underwriting the additional learning features for the school garden. Its donation will supply a sun dial, weather station, fruit trees and butterfly garden. Chesapeake will also help to make the garden more inviting for the community with an attractive entry arbor, flagstone pathways and a cedar split rail fence.
“We are excited about the possibilities these new learning features will bring to the children attending Goodman Elementary and look forward to enhancing our garden to be a more welcoming place for the community to gather,” said Principal Selina Elizondo. “Our rejuvenated garden will provide an incredible opportunity for them to learn about nature and our environment in an outdoor setting.”
During the garden work day, the REAL School Gardens team will ensure that students have the opportunity to participate in creating “their” new space. Children will rotate through the garden throughout the day, and will participate in the construction and planting of the overall project. Students and their volunteer partners will create the space using simple machines – also known as garden tools – to create the special place where learning will be both fun and educational.
About REAL School Gardens
REAL School Gardens cultivates relationships with high-poverty elementary school communities to create learning gardens that raise hope, spark imaginations and connect children to nature. School gardens have been shown to boost academic achievement, encourage healthy lifestyles, cultivate life skills and promote environmental stewardship amongst students. In addition to garden installations, REAL School Gardens provides year-round support for the gardens, professional development opportunities for educators and community-building networking events.
Currently, REAL School Gardens works with 74 elementary schools in five urban school districts, ensuring that more than 41,000 children and 2,600 educators have daily access to nature through school gardens in North Texas. With plans to reach more students and school communities across the country, the organization is itself growing. For more information, visit www.realschoolgardens.org.