Real Stories
  • Friday, February 27, 2015 | Filed under

    REAL School Gardens is pleased to announce that it has hired veteran elementary school teacher and community garden leader Joe Ludes to serve as the first teacher-trainer for the Mid-Atlantic region.

    Joe brings with him more than six years of teaching experience as a Special Education instructor at high-poverty, inner-city DC schools.  Under his watch as the school’s garden lab coordinator, students have improved their understanding of nutrition, increased their desire to spend active time outside, and gained knowledge of school content through hands-on learning experiences. Joe has been honored as a “Highly Effective” teacher in D.C.’s teacher evaluation program, ...

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  • Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | Filed under REAL Reflections

      Colorful Collage

    Ms Fisher’s picture collage captures her students using the schoolyard as a tool for practicing descriptive writing.  These students also used natural dyes to color their plant sketches and taped in a piece of their plant to help them remember their learning experience. 

    YOU ROCK! 

    1st grade students gather in a circle to play Ispy using their special rock.  The students that really excel at this game are the ones that can properly use the physical properties and sensory details in their descriptive writing explanations. 
    1st grade students gather in a circle to play Ispy using ...

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  • Monday, February 23, 2015 | Filed under

    REAL School Gardens

    Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic

    Washington, DC


    Position Summary

    REAL School Gardens seeks a Regional Director to lead the organization through the next exciting phase of growth, creating learning gardens that grow successful students.  The Regional Director will have the overall responsibility of ensuring sustainability, stewarding key stakeholders, and successful program outcomes in the Mid-Atlantic region.


    The ideal candidate is a passionate leader and communicator with a track record of successfully raising funds, engaging a variety of stakeholders and managing staff.  Further, the ideal candidate is highly entrepreneurial, a self-starter and is enthusiastic about the mission.


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  • Thursday, February 12, 2015 | Filed under

    When one of our educators, Logan LeCompte, was reviewing the applications for new partner schools, he was blown away by all the great things the principals were saying.  School administrators are really embracing the potential of the REAL School Gardens Program, and we look forward to working with as many of them as possible.  What would you tell school leaders to encourage them to join the REAL School Gardens Program. 


    A good percentage of Principals have experienced a REAL School Garden as a former teacher or Assistant Principal.  In addition, most Principals have heard about the outdoor classroom as ...

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  • Saturday, January 31, 2015 | Filed under

    Starting off the new year, we wanted to take a look back at our partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) and look toward the future. 

    Since 2013, BCBSTX has provided funding and volunteers to help REAL School Gardens build 11 learning gardens in low-income schools.  Check out these photos from their Big Dig at Maple Lawn Elementary, and the story about the project they included in their LifeTimes newsletter.

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas chose to work with REAL School Gardens as part of their Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative designed to improve the ...

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  • Friday, January 30, 2015 | Filed under

    Read our January Newsletter online.

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  • Tuesday, December 23, 2014 | Filed under

    Read our December Newsletter online.

    To sign up to receive our newsletters every month, please click here.

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  • Thursday, December 11, 2014 | Filed under

    Last week, the White House honored REAL School Gardens’ work 

    in low-income schools by inviting us to a higher education summit on how to help low-income students get to and through college.  President Obama, the First Lady, Vice President Biden, and hundreds of college presidents and higher education leaders were all there to discuss best strategies to increase the number of children from low-income families who make it to college and earn a degree, especially in STEM fields.

    Once I was there, I discovered we were one of only two

     education programs there that solely focused on elementary schools and the ...

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  • Monday, November 24, 2014 | Filed under

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas supports REAL School Gardens as part of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative, which began in 2011 as a three-year initiative designed to improve the health and wellness of at least 1 million children through community investments by Health Care Service Corporation and Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations in several states.  Healthy Kids, Healthy Families is now part of Health Care Service Corporation's ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of the children and families across the states where we operate. The initiative will also expand into Health Care Service Corporation...

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  • Friday, October 31, 2014 | Filed under

    Maya Pugh, a freelance writer and garden-buff, created the following article on mulching for us.  

    Check out some of her other work.


    Goodbye, fall; hello, winter. Your school garden is still ripe for experimentation, digging and discoveries.  And with winter coming, students and volunteers can protect perennials and get off to a strong start this spring by mulching.

    Anyone passionate about gardening is all too familiar how mulches revitalize soil and prep it for planting. We need not look farther to find examples of mulches. Mulching is nature’s effortless yet effective way of raising seeds to towering trees, fascinating flowers, ...

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