Real Stories
  • Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | Filed under Community , Family Activities , REAL Supporters

    Our very own “Ace of Cakes” or “Cake Boss,” Sarah Darley (whose real job title is Grants and Partnerships Coordinator), spent many hours last week baking a REAL School Gardens' entry for the North East Mall Community Cake Parade that was held on Sunday, September 25th. 

    In honor of North East Mall's 40th Anniversary, area non-profit organizations created and decorated a cake that represents their organization.  All cakes were on "parade" on Sunday, September 25 from 1pm - 5pm in the Center Court.  The community was invited to cast $1 votes for their favorite cake.  The organization with the most ...

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  • Friday, September 23, 2011 | Filed under Social Studies , Instructional Aids , Science , REAL Supporters

    It has been a long, hot summer in Texas.  Many plants, despite our best efforts, simply threw in the towel, dropped their leaves, and told us, “wake me up when it rains.”  Even some of the most “Texas Tough” of our perennials have simply not been able to overcome the extreme heat and shortage of water.


    Cotton at ACFT

    The cotton at The Academy at Carrie F. Thomas couldn't be happier despite record-setting heat and drought conditions. 

    And then there’s cotton.  Thanks to a nice price discount from MRC Seeds last spring, REAL School Gardens was able to ...

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  • Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , School Garden Installation , School Garden Design , Community

    This past weekend REAL School Gardens attended the International Green Schoolyards Conference in San Francisco, California.  Over 200 participants from all over the world - Japan, Germany, Sweden, Canada, UK, and many regions of the United States - shared best practices.  Lots of learning took place in an atmosphere where like-minded organizations and individuals fuel this movement!

    Attendees at International Schoolyard Greening Conference

    In addition, we got to visit 6 wonderful school gardens.  My favorite surprise...a bunch of happy chickens that follow you around the garden at Martin Luther King in San Francisco, and the happy home in which they live!

    Chicken coup

    I hope to see you at ...

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  • Friday, September 16, 2011 | Filed under Community , Social Studies

    George Clark students harvest squash, peppers and onions from their garden. Our ancestors brought the seeds for these vegetables from N. America, S.America and Asia thousands of years ago


    Many of the vegetables and fruits that we eat every day have not always been so plump and large, and at one time did not exist in the United States or more broadly on the North American continent. The vegetables and fruits abundant today are the gift of our ancestors’ ability to use their senses—in particular their sense of observation. They are the early scientists even though the word scientist didn’t exist. ...

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  • Tuesday, September 13, 2011 | Filed under Sustainability and Funding , Student Behavior , Educators

    Growing up I remember spending countless hours playing outdoors.  Whether it was making mud pies or helping my grandmother pick pecans in her backyard, I was always outside.  It seems rare to see such behavior for kids in this electronic age.  Left to their own devices (literally), many children are stuck indoors playing with the latest technology and have long forgotten the happiness that comes with being exposed to nature. 



    But every day there is an opportunity to get kids outside during school hours. Their schoolyard can be used for the same type of outdoor explorations I used ...

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  • Wednesday, September 7, 2011 | Filed under Environmental Stewardship , School Garden Design , Family Activities

    One of the greatest conservationists I know is my dad.  He would scoff at such a compliment, but I believe a part of greatness is doing the most you can with what you have been given.  My dad may not have the ability to set aside 230 million acres of land for conservation like Teddy Roosevelt, but he takes seriously his responsibility to be a good steward of his backyard.  After he retired my dad began creating what he calls a "wildscape" in his backyard - a space where low-maintenance native plants, shrubs and grasses exist in a mini-ecosystem that ...

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  • Thursday, September 1, 2011 | Filed under Language Arts , Science , Math

    Students weigh organic fertilizer in preparation for nourishing the learning garden beds at Whitt Elementary (Grand Prairie ISD).


    Students are in their bodies and are best served engaging their studies part time in the real world, as this is the optimum learning environment. Thinking that students can be placed sitting all day at a desk and taught only through text and the virtual world of computers may be misdirected; a balance of inside and outside engagement will assist the learners in creative problem solving skills, generate curiosity, creativity and steep them in the joy of learning.


    Students ...

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