Real Stories
  • Friday, June 24, 2011 | Filed under Science

    A seed is not typically considered alive; rather it exists in the netherworld in a state of suspended animation called stasis. Stasis is the abnormal state in which the normal flow of energy is slowed or stopped. It might be said that seeds are in a sleeping process dreaming about their potential of fruition, the possibility of becoming. When the seed’s necessities are met, the process of germination begins; this is the growth of an embryonic plant contained within the seed and germination results in the formation of the seedling.

    Seeds develop in the ovary of the plant and consist ...

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  • Wednesday, June 22, 2011 | Filed under Volunteering , Community , Family Activities , REAL Supporters

     

     

    Since 1971, the Volunteer Center of North Texas (VCNT) has been dedicated to connecting volunteers to nonprofit organizations that need their assistance.  Over the years, VCNT’s services and programs have expanded and increased in innovation, but the goal has always been to transform communities and strengthen nonprofits through volunteerism.

     

    This year the Volunteer Center of North Texas turns 40 years old!

     

    In celebration of this momentous occasion, the VCNT has developed their 40 For 40 Campaign.  Their birthday wish for 2011 is for volunteers to donate $40 or pledge 40 hours in volunteer service to their community between April 1, 2011 and ...

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  • Friday, June 17, 2011 | Filed under

    We like to tell schools that the garden with the most compost… wins.  We know it’s true, but our own little office garden is doing a fine job of proving our point.  These are two squash plants that were planted on the same day and growing under the same conditions.  With one exception—the first squash plant is in the bed we filled with last season’s compost and the other is in the bed that hardly got any.

     

    Do we have a winner?

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  • Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , Community , Family Activities

     

    REAL School Gardens was proud to team up with BRIT, Sky Ranch, Texas Discovery Gardens, Trinity River Audubon Center, and Texas Wildlife Association to plan the first ever North Texas Children in Nature gathering.  The event took place at Trinity River Audubon Center in April and was attended by more than 50 individuals representing organizations from across North Texas.  We even had folks travel from as far as Wichita Falls and Abilene!  We shared the Texas Strategic Plan for Children in Nature which was first unveiled in Austin, TX in December 2010.  To download a copy of the plan ...

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  • Monday, June 13, 2011 | Filed under Student Behavior , Language Arts , Social Studies , Science , Fine Arts , Math

     

    It’s no use; one can no longer hide from the fact that children immersed in nature in their schoolyard habitat have heightened learning experiences.

    The 1999 study, Closing the Achievement Gap: Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning” funded in part by the Texas Education Agency lists a variety of student benefits associated with using the local environment as an educational resource:

    • Better performance on standardized measures of academic achievement in reading, writing , math, science and social studies;
    • Reduced discipline and classroom management problems;
    • Increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning; and
    • Greater pride and ownership in ...

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  • Friday, June 10, 2011 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , REAL Supporters

    What’s in your guacamole? Avocados, tomatoes, peppers…corn syrup? Chances are, if you get it premade at the grocery store, you’ll find a few less-than-appetizing ingredients hidden in there. We all know it’s a good idea to know what’s in your food, but how do you get kids to care about it? All they know is that it tastes good, and if locust bean gum and food coloring make guacamole “delicious”, then they probably don’t care.

    But Chipotle cares. As part of our growing partnership with Chipotle, representatives from the popular Mexican restaurant recently visited some elementary schools in DFW to ...

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  • Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | Filed under Health and Nutrition , Community , Family Activities

    The national "Let's Move" initiative seems to be catching on like wildfire, finding its way into community after community, including several of our own right here in North Texas. The comprehensive movement led by First Lady Michelle Obama aims to improve children's long-term health by encouraging healthy eating choices and increased activity. From special events to summer programs, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington schools are taking action!

    McNair student move fast in a game of Ready, Set, Photosynthesis!

    REAL School Gardens recently teamed up with the NFL Players Association, a Let's Move partner, to emphasize this important message with the folks at McNair Elementary in Dallas. Recipients of a learning garden ...

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  • Thursday, June 2, 2011 | Filed under Community

    A happy pig in the garden 

    Elementary schools in Tarrant County have been growing potatoes to donate to their local food pantries. Our thanks to Tarrant Area Food Bank, Botanical Research Institute of Texas and great participant schools for partnering with us. The success of this first ever “Potato Scholars” project has been incredible (over 300 lbs. of potatoes documented to have been donated so far!), but every good deed has its challenges.  For one of our partner schools, George C. Clarke Elementary, this challenge came in the form of a pig—a big, potbellied pig.  Turns out, even pigs dig potatoes!  Read on for kindergarten ...

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  • Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | Filed under Sustainability and Funding , Community , REAL Supporters


     

    REAL School Gardens kicked off our new partnership with Blue Mesa Grill last week with two Happy Hour events in Fort Worth and Addison. It was a great success! Guests enjoyed delicious street tacos (and those amazing sweet potato chips!) and relaxed with friends, old and new, for a wonderful evening out. Ambhar Tequila was also there with samples of three of their signature tequilas. Thank you to everyone that came out and supported REAL School Gardens this past week—we couldn’t do what we do without help from generous supporters like you! We also want to thank Blue Mesa ...

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