REAL School Gardens Partners with Sprouts to Create 100th Learning Garden in North Texas

11/13/2015 8:59:35 PM

Elementary teachers, REAL School Gardens to use garden as Science teaching tool

 DALLAS, Texas – A beautiful train-themed learning garden will be built in one day on Saturday, Nov. 14, at Jerry R. Junkins Elementary to provide students with outdoor learning opportunities and daily exposure to healthy fruits and vegetables. Thanks to a partnership with the nonprofit REAL School Gardens and Sprouts Farmers Market, Sprouts team member volunteers will be on site to work side-by-side with Junkins’ parents, teachers and students to create a vibrant seven thousand sq ft. learning garden in a single day. 

This event is also REAL School Gardens’ 100th “Big Dig,” one-day garden-building event.  REAL School Gardens CEO, Jeanne McCarty, said, “While every garden we build is special, I’m particularly proud of this event because it stands as a mile-marker for the organization and all of our school and corporate partners.  REAL School Gardens started out with one school in Fort Worth in 2003.  Now we’re building our 100th learning garden in Texas as well as our first in the Mid-Atlantic with four more new regions to come in the next five years.  It’s a lot of work, but every child deserves to get out of their desks and into an outdoor classroom.”

REAL School Gardens partners with communities to build learning gardens in high-poverty elementary schools.  REAL School Gardens began working to get children learning outdoors in North Texas in 2003, and since then, the organization has:

  • Constructed 99 learning gardens
  • Trained 4,000 teachers
  • Reached more than 100,000 students
  • Activated 8,400 volunteers to help build and maintain the learning gardens.
  • Served 11 North Texas school districts
  • Expanded its program to the Mid-Atlantic Region

Sprouts helped fund the Jerry Junkins garden as part of the company’s Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation.

“Sprouts team members in Texas are excited help build this garden because it will provide students with a hands-on living lab where science, math and the importance of healthy food choices will all be brought to life through interactive curriculum,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director Lyndsey Waugh. “This project aligns beautifully with Sprouts’ commitment to promoting health education and nutrition through community-based projects.”

Where:          Jerry R. Junkins Elementary -- 2808 Running Duke Dr. Carrollton, Texas

When:              Saturday, Nov. 14, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Months ago, the students helped design the garden to ensure that they could truly call it their own.  Once constructed, the garden will contain:  A “train” made out of seven raised vegetable beds, fruit trees, a rain barrel, a water feature, a train-depot themed shed, a market-space complete with a scale to weigh produce, and of course a shaded seating area with a white board to ensure teachers are encouraged to take class outside.

Another reason teachers will embrace the garden as an instructional tool is because REAL School Gardens performs on-site teacher training for three years to help teachers use the garden to improve academic performance.  Partner schools have seen standardized test score pass rates jump 12-15%, and improvements were particularly noticeable in Science.

About REAL School Gardens

REAL School Gardens creates learning gardens that grow successful students. It currently partners with more than 100 high-poverty elementary schools in 11 North Texas school districts, ensuring that more than 100,000 children and more than 4,000 educators have daily access to innovative teaching resources and tools.  For more information, visit

About Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts Farmers Market is a healthy grocery store offering fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices. We offer a complete shopping experience that includes fresh produce, bulk foods, vitamins and supplements, packaged groceries, meat and seafood, baked goods, dairy products, frozen foods, natural body care and household items catering to consumers' growing interest in health and wellness. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Sprouts employs more than 20,000 team members and operates more than 200 stores in 13 states from coast to coast. For more information, visit or @sproutsfm on Twitter.


Alison Risso

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