Real Stories
  • Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | Filed under

    My journey with REAL School Gardens began on Friday, July 2, 2010 as I came across the "Program Assistant" position advertised in the job search on the Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations website.  I was intrigued enough by the brief job description listed to proceed to the REAL School Gardens website to find out more information.  Upon arriving at the REAL School Gardens website, I discovered a local nonprofit organization that was taking a unique approach to educating children in a nontraditional way, and that is what cultivated my desire to become a part of this organization.

    I officially joined the REAL School Gardens staff on Wednesday, August 18, ...

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  • Monday, September 27, 2010 | Filed under REAL Supporters

    Take a Child Outside Week

    As anyone who has purchased a calendar recently can attest, there is no shortage of days, weeks, or months set aside to celebrate the contributions of specific individuals, groups, or moments in history.  From grandparents to bosses, cultural groups to historical figures, we make it a point to honor those things which matter to us with time set aside just for them.  While some of these may seem silly (“Talk Like a Pirate Day” comes to mind) or distant (I’m not sure many Americans could identify the point in time marked by Armistice Day, for instance), one new ...

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  • Monday, September 27, 2010 | Filed under Sustainability and Funding , Health and Nutrition

    What’s available?  The FEED Foundation is offering “Double Your Impact” match funding to all projects requesting materials to implement one of the Feed Foundation’s 8 recommend projects. These projects will help teachers improve school food and food education, as recommended by The FEED Foundation’s FEED USA campaign. Funding for this offer is available for a limited time only, so submit your project(s) soon for the best chance of funding before the grant expires.

    Who qualifies?  All K-12th grade teachers who submit qualifying projects will be considered for this funding!

    How Do I Participate?  First, log in ...

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  • Saturday, September 25, 2010 | Filed under Instructional Aids


    Feed the Soul

    The REAL School Gardens theme for this year is "Feed the Soul." A few weeks back we held a Garden Coordinator meeting for educators to gather up vegetable plants and seeds for fall planting. After having received seeds and plants one of the teachers came up to our staff and presented us with jars of Fig preserves and Bread and Butter pickles grown by students and teachers in the Luella Merrett garden; what a fine way to exchange energy and feed the soul.


    Tickled Over TEKS

    As educators on staff for REAL School Gardens, Ellen ...

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  • Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | Filed under Student Behavior


    I was driving to the REAL School Gardens office this morning, listening to NPR and my Ipod as usual.  Usually, I sing along  (scream if it's metal) or let my mind wander, but this morning all I could think about was getting to work and watering the vegetables and perennials in our new office garden.  As I watered (for a good 25 minutes) I reflected on my enthusiasm, wondering how it is that I could be so enthused about using the first 30 minutes of my day for watering when I have SO MANY OTHER THINGS TO DO!  The ...

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  • Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | Filed under Student Behavior , Science , REAL Supporters


    It was less important that the fifth grade science students of IM Terrell planted collard greens.  It was more important that they stood in the shoes of leadership as they took the hands of Pre-kindergarten children who came out to the garden to help with the collard planting.  These students, all 70+ of them, young and “old”, are helping to grow enough collard greens to be served on the menu of Grace Restaurant in downtown Fort Worth for a special fund raising event to be held in honor of REAL School Gardens come November.

    Before the Pre-K ...

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  • Monday, September 20, 2010 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , REAL Supporters




    Our first ever “Volunteer Get Together” on Wednesday, September 15th turned out to be a warm, informative and productive evening! We fired up the grill and Jeff Cross, our resident chef / Director of Finance and Operations, barbequed some delicious beef and vegan burgers along with potato salad, sun chips, and all the fixins you could ask for. The sweet tea and mini-cheesecake bites in particular were a huge hit. After dinner, we were very grateful to have our new and experienced volunteers stick around to help us prepare for our upcoming Dig-In Retreat by assembling quotes ...

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  • Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Language Arts , Science , REAL Supporters



    Busy, fulfilling, engaging work here at REAL School Gardens last week.

    There were two separate Garden Coordinator meetings this week with 79 educators attending. The eastern group is from the Grand Prairie/ Dallas contingent and the western group from Arlington, Fort Worth and Birdville Independent School Districts. The educators came to enhance their understanding of the phenology of nature during the coming fall equinox and to pick up their ration of Collard and Broccoli plants and other cool season vegetable seed of carrot, lettuce, radish, bok choi, pea, turnip, swiss chard, beet and garlic - no one asked ...

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  • Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | Filed under Sustainability and Funding

    What’s available? Disney's Planet Challenge is offering matching funds for hands-on environmental project(s) that request less than $650 worth of materials and are submitted by 3rd through 8th grade public school teachers. Full-funding is available to teachers who also sign up to participate in Disney's Planet Challenge!

    Who qualifies? If you are a full-time 3rd through 8th grade teacher at a public school, you can qualify for this funding!

    How do I participate? There are three easy steps to qualify for this opportunity:

    • First, log in to your teacher account on (if you don’t have one, any public ...

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  • Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | Filed under REAL Supporters

    At REAL School Gardens, we help teach multiplication to elementary school students with lessons examining the seed heads of grasses and other garden plants.  I would argue that we are also teaching a version of the multiplier effect, an economic concept related to the fact that a single investment has positive ripple effects throughout the banking system.  Here at REAL School Gardens we believe that we will change the world – one child, one community, one school garden at a time. A lofty statement, perhaps – and difficult to wrap your head around.  But, in essence, we are simply saying: start with one, and let it grow.

    We ...

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