Real Stories
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | Filed under School Garden Design

    Teaching Features that Provide Endless Learning Opportunities

     

    In school gardens, natural elements are used and other features are added to enhance teaching and learning opportunities across all subject areas. Adding these features ensures that all subjects can be taught in the garden:

     

    • Native perennials, shrubs and trees

    • Plants with teachable applications such as medicinal properties or historical significance

    • Plant labels – help understand the art, science and history behind the plant

    • Vegetable gardening areas

    • Small animal habitats such as bird and bat houses and lizard hotels

    • Small water features to support animal habitats

    • Gathering area with a whiteboard...

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  • Monday, August 19, 2013 | Filed under

    We always love learning something new, so here’s a little Q/A around our “Buggin’ Out” fundraiser.  Send us your questions and we’ll answer them too!

    Q:  Why eat bugs?

    A: Why not?  Eating bugs has been a time-honored fundraisingGrasshopper cut chart tactic for teachers and principals.  While folks, especially kids, love the gross factor, eating bugs is gaining attention because bugs are a healthy and environmentally friendly source of protein and other nutrients.  In fact, a recent U.N report cites the production and consumption of edible bugs as a critical step to global food security.  Interesting, outdoorsy, healthy and environmentally friendly?  That ...

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  • Monday, August 19, 2013 | Filed under Volunteering , Community , Family Activities , REAL Supporters

    Botanical Interests  

    Botanical Interests has once again made a kind donation to REAL School Gardens this year that includes an impressive amount of seed packets!  What comes next?  We will need all the volunteers we can get to sort out thousands of seed packets for this upcoming school year.  No heavy lifting or hours of standing around necessary.  You can add these hours to your resume, required school volunteer hours or just come out for a plain ‘ol good time!  Feel free to come and go as necessary during the business hours of 8a.m.-6p.m.  Other hours ...

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  • Monday, August 12, 2013 | Filed under

    Bug Bites?  Bite Back!

    The U.N. reports that two billion people eat bugs as part of their regular diet.  Come September 19th, Munch a bunch o' bugsthat number will be two billion and one.  September 19th is North Texas Giving Day, and to encourage REAL School Gardens’ supporters to donate to our cause, our Regional Director Scott Feille is “Bugging Out” and will eat a bug for every $1,000 raised.  Starting at 8 AM, we’ll wish Scott “Bug Appetit” as he chows down on beetles for breakfast, larvae for lunch and scorpions for supper.  (actual bugs may vary, I just love alliteration.)

    So mark your calendars ...

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  • Thursday, August 8, 2013 | Filed under Student Behavior , Language Arts , Educators , Instructional Aids

       

     WIN BURRITOS FOR YOUR HOMEROOM! 

    PARTICIPANTS:  Contest is open to students in grades 3 -5 within REAL School Gardens partner schools only.

    PRIZE:  3 students (one from each grade level, 3rd - 5th) will win FREE Kids Meal cards for their class and Chipotle will visit their school for a guacamole demonstration.  One winner from each grade level will be selected by a panel of writing teacher judges chosen by REAL School Gardens that will adhere to the grade appropriate STAAR writing personal narrative rubric based on their subjective assessment of each writing.  

    WRITING PROMPT: Write about a ...

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  • Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Filed under Educators , School Garden Design , Community , Instructional Aids

    REAL School Gardens supports gardens that encourage children’s learning in varied ways. These outdoor spaces serve as a classroom where all subject areas are taught using a hands-on approach – what better way to learn math, language arts, science and social studies than using your five senses outdoors!  In addition, learning gardens support a child’s understanding of the art and science of gardening, healthy food production, and the patterns found in natural surroundings.  They are organic in their responsibility to the environment and encourage children to become stewards of the earth. By creating learning gardens that are inviting and beautiful, ...

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  • Monday, August 5, 2013 | Filed under Sustainability and Funding , School Garden Installation , Educators , School Garden Design , Community , Instructional Aids

     

    We often hear from folks all over the country looking for suggestions on how to start or improve a school garden on their campus.  Although there are many excellent resources available, we often suggest they find the book How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Pringle.  The book is a concise and simple-to-follow synthesis of their many years of experience designing, installing, and maintaining green schoolyards across the San Francisco Unified School District.

    In it, you’ll find chapters on Laying the Groundwork, Groundbreaking, Budgeting, and Fundraising, ...

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