What we do

For most schools, the first step is to create the learning garden. The REAL School Gardens program unites teachers, parents, businesses and the students themselves to design a learning garden tailored to each school’s unique needs. Then, in one satisfying day of service, hundreds of volunteers come together to create a beautiful place for children to learn and grow.

After the garden is built, our partner schools enter a multi-year training program to learn how to use their new teaching tool to get REAL results.  Our seasoned and certified educators provide on-site one-on-one training with teachers, sharing proven tips and techniques tailored to each teacher’s individual needs.  Teachers also get ready-to-use lesson plans that are easy to implement and continue to receive new activities and garden materials to help them succeed.

You can find a listing of different REAL School Garden program and training products here. and you can tour a REAL school garden here.

Five Steps To a REAL School Garden

Step 1) Design & DineDesign and Dine

Students start learning before the garden is built through a student design competition at each partner school.  This engaging process challenges students to apply REAL-world math skills, use critical thinking, and practice collaboration.  Then parents, kids and funding partners attend our “Design & Dine” event.  At this community dinner, we review the best designs, add expert insight, and tailor the garden plan to the school’s learning objectives.  Students are encouraged to include key learning features and ultimately we end up with a beautiful professional design.

Big DigStep 2) The Big Dig

Once the design is finalized, it’s time for the Big Dig, where everyone pitches in to create the learning garden in just one day!  The Big Dig gives parents with different incomes and languages a meaningful way to help their children’s school.  Our funding partners get in on the action too, sending volunteers to participate in a satisfying day of service.  Kids do their part, learning every step of the way by calculating areas and volumes, following complex instructions, and flexing their engineering skills.   Learn more about volunteering with us here.



Step 3) Provide Lesson Plans

Our accredited team designs an extensive multi-subject curriculum around the latest academic standards.  We provide easy to use lesson plans for elementary grades that engage students in learning subjects from Science and Math to Language Arts.   

Step 4) Teacher Trainingteacher training

Our expert educators regularly visit partner schools and take whole classes out into the garden, working side-by-side with the teacher and modeling effective outdoor teaching techniques.  We also host regular multi-school training sessions to share new lessons and teaching methods. Teachers discuss trends they’ve seen, build their professional network, and return to school to pass along what they’ve learned with other educators.  Schools without a REAL school garden can benefit from our teacher training services as well.  We can tailor sessions to different schools and districts and their particular needs.  This REAL-world hands-on approach is proven to boost teacher effectiveness.

Step 5) Evergreen Support

Everything we do, we do to achieve long-term impact.  In order to ensure that REAL school gardens are producing results for years to come, we rally the community around the school to help create and care for the garden.  We also offer partner schools our expertise, seasonal supplies, and special programs -- such as our Smart Potatoes initiative.  Evergreen partner schools also receive priority consideration for volunteer days and enhancement projects.





REAL School Gardens

info@realschoolgardens.org

National Office:
5520 Connecticut Ave.
NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20015
202-621-2375

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Texas Office:
1700 University Drive
Suite 260
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
817-348-8102

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Mid-Atlantic Office:
5520 Connecticut Ave.
NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20015
202-621-2375

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