Ketcham Elementary serves a neighborhood that has
struggled with poverty for generations. This presents
an array of challenges to the children who attend and
their families. A new principal, Maisha Riddlesprigger,
has recently taken the helm and has initiated an array
of new programs to promote student success.


Located in Historic Anacostia in Ward 8, the school
boasts a newly-renovated interior and a large open
field for outdoor activities.  City Year service members
have also constructed several key garden features,
which will be incorporated into the larger overall design.


Ketcham Elementary is home to 308 students ages 3-11 as well as 40 staff members.  99% of the school population is African American and qualifies for free and reduced price lunches. Approximately 30% of the student population comes from homeless families.


To ensure that each garden meets the school's needs, REAL School Gardens convenes parents, teachers, staff, community members, and the students themselves to help design the space.  Our Landscape Architect oversees the process and provides expert advice on which sorts of structures and plants to use.  The plan below is an initial concept created to show future partners Ketcham's full potential.



To help nurture the long-term well-being of Ketcham’s students, Principal Riddlesprigger is seeking programs to improve education, health, and economic outcomes. She chose to partner with REAL School Gardens because she wants children to enjoy coming to school, and to receive engaging hands-on instruction in STEM subjects.  Principal Riddlesprigger's goal is to give children a rock-solid foundation in Science and Math, putting them on the path to success in higher grades and promising careers.  This early investment, reaching kids as young as 3 years old, will not only change the trajectory of their lives, but will improve the well-being of the whole community. 


When you partner with REAL School Gardens and a deserving school like Ketcham, our experienced project managers will be with you every step of the way to oversee our "Big Dig" garden-building day -- fulfilling, turn-key community building and volunteering events for up to 120 employees and community volunteers.  Feel free to contact some of our satisfied partners to
talk with them about their REAL School Gardens experience.

At a Big Dig, managers and employees work side by side with their colleagues as well as the teachers and students who will benefit from your generosity. Every event has both morning and afternoon speaking opportunities for executives to address the crowd, and we'll work hand in hand with your team to garner press coverage.  We can also hire a professional photographer and videographer, and create event t-shirts to give the day a unified look and feel.

At the end of a fun and satisfying day of service, you'll know that your team has made a REAL difference that will last a lifetime.  To date, our corporate partners have provided 55,000 students with amazing outdoor classrooms that last for years and years.

Email Jeanne McCarty to learn more.

For more information, 
email Jeanne McCarty.

Bank of America