Real Stories
  • 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.

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    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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  • 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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  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014 | Filed under

    Though we’re having fun with the Fling-a-Thing! we’re holding for North Texas Giving Day, at REAL School Gardens, we always focus on increasing teacher effectiveness and student engagement through hands-on outdoor learning.  So, we’ve also created a collected a series of lessons that teachers and parents can do with their kids that will get them interested in the physics of projectiles, as well as the chemistry and biology at work in composting. 


    Fling-a-Thing!  – Slingshot lesson:   For Fling-a-Thing!, our fearless educators have pulled together a great selection of our famous hands-on outdoor lesson plans.  Children build and experiment with ...

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  • Tuesday, September 09, 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, July 31, 2014 | Filed under

    The wait is over!

    North Texas Giving Day is coming, and with it, REAL School Gardens is hosting another FUN-fundraiser to celebrate our amazing supporters.

    After last year’s success with “Buggin’ Out” (you people really like to watch Scott Feille eat those exoskeletons don’tcha?), we put a lot of thought, research, planning and expert analysis into this years’ theme.  In the process, we’ve discovered that in addition to watching someone else eat bugs, people also like to watch things without wings take flight…and then go SPLAT.

    And thus, our “Fling-a-Thing” was born!  To celebrate those who donate to REAL ...

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  • Friday, July 25, 2014 | Filed under

    One of our community members  in Idaho, Mackenzie Kupfer, sent us profiles of two learning gardens she discovered in Boise.  Thanks for sharing  Mackenzie!  Keep up the great work! 

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    Willow Creek Elementary 

     Willow Creek Elementary in Nampa has developed a school wide garden to increase student awareness of fresh food alternatives. The foodservice department is partnering with the gardening program to make sure the food grown is utilized in school meals. Boy Scout Troop 116 helped with the raised bed garden box construction, while teachers, administrators, students, and families all continually pitch in to maintain the garden. ...

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  • Sunday, July 13, 2014 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , Instructional Aids , Science

    Learning gardens are ideally suited for developing the critical thinking skills and foundations of understanding for the disciplines of math, science and language arts. The inquiry based learning methods facilitated in the outdoor laboratory/outdoor classroom reaches across the curriculum by virtue of the inter-related nested and natural systems of the earth. When students’ are in the outdoor classroom they learn firsthand that natural systems are composed of cycles, processes and structures that interact and are driven by a flow of energy through them; the students‘ learn about these systems through sensory observations. Empirical learning through hands on science and math investigation creates transformative experiences which guide the students’ learning in ...

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  • Friday, July 11, 2014 | Filed under Volunteering , Language Arts , Educators , Lesson Plans , Science , REAL Teacher Journal , Math

    Friday, June 6th – Lee Elementary Full Day Professional Development

     

     

    Helping out with the teacher training was a very unique experience for me.  Having learned quite a bit about REAL School Gardens through my Nature of Giving course at TCU, I was very much looking forward to working here this summer.  From the beginning, I have been very open to helping out wherever needed and learning more about not only a wonderful, innovative organization, but growing in my nonprofit skills.  Getting to see a first teacher training happen was a blessing, and ended up teaching me more than ...

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