REAL School Gardens: Making an Impact
Today, our friends at REAL School Gardens were featured in a U.S. News article entitled, “More Than a Veggie Patch: School Gardens Help Teachers, Students with STEM.” The article profiles REAL School Gardens, a non-profit organization that brings learning gardens to over 90 low-income elementary schools in Texas and the Washington, D.C. area. These gardens help teachers to engage students in subjects including science, math and language. And they help students connect what’s happening in the world around them to what they are reading and learning in the classroom.
What we admire most about REAL School Gardens are two key characteristics that we believe truly distinguish their program:
- Educational Engagement and Real-World Interactivity. The REAL School Gardens organization doesn’t just talk about key educational principles, it brings them to life. Through hands-on activities, individual reflection, and interactive group assignments in the gardens, students experience concepts that have only been described to them in books. This tactical learning approach has led to teachers observing a higher level of engagement with their students. Teachers have also reported that their students are better prepared for success, thanks to this program. We call that an all-around win.
- Hands-On Training for Their School Partners. The spirit of REAL School Gardens is exemplified through the organization’s in-depth teacher training. The staff not only includes training at the outset of the program, but also offers teachers continuous one-on-one guidance and growth opportunities throughout the life of the program. Even after the three-year program concludes, schools may designate a “garden lead” who receives training to ensure the ongoing health of the program. REAL School Gardens’ dedication to its partners and their success is an admirable trait that we know has contributed to the organization’s accomplishments to date.
From the interactive learning design of REAL School Gardens’ programming, to its hands-on approach to its school and teacher partnerships, we believe this organization embodies the vision and execution that will allow it to make an impact for many more years to come.
Kudos to REAL School Gardens’ success and growing exposure. Well deserved!