Why We Do It

Students Achieve More Outdoors

Children learn best when they’re actively engaged in experiential lessons, and they love exploring outdoors. But it’s difficult for busy teachers to effectively integrate hands-on outdoor instruction into the regular school day. So REAL School Gardens provides teachers with the professional learning and practical classroom features they need to lead experiential outdoor lessons.

The Challenge

Starting early in school, children in low-income communities are less likely to succeed academically. One reason for this is that low-income schools lack engaging learning experiences that help children build foundational knowledge and develop a life-long love of learning.

Class Outdoors

Our Solution

REAL School Gardens’ professional development programs empower teachers to lead engaging experiential lessons outdoors. REAL-world hands-on lessons accelerate learning and help students build a strong foundation for long-term academic success. By getting children engaged in learning and excited about school, REAL School Gardens helps close the achievement gap. In addition to improving academics, experiential lessons outdoors also provide a wide-range of other benefits.


The outdoors serves as a living laboratory where children can experience the exciting REAL-world applications of Science and Math.

21st Century Skills

REAL School Gardens lessons help foster the skills children will need to succeed in the workplace, such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

Social Emotional

Outdoor experiential lessons help children become self-directed students who learn to collaborate and make decisions about how to solve real-world problems.

Health & Wellness

Children who grow fruits and vegetables are more likely to make healthy food choices, and getting outside for fresh air and sunshine refreshes students so they can focus.

REAL Results

REAL School Gardens’ Professional Development Program produces measurable gains for our school partners.

Teacher effectiveness and job satisfaction increase substantially, posting gains after each professional learning session.

94% of teachers report that their students are more engaged with our lessons.

School district data shows that standardized test proficiency rates at partner schools increased by 12-15% overall. Regression analysis attributes 1/3 of that growth to REAL School Gardens.

90% of teachers reported our trainings made them better prepared to help their students succeed academically.

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