Fort Worth School Gardens Growing Organic Produce

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Fort Worth School Gardens Growing Organic Produce
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For more information, Please see websites below:
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Organic Edible Schoolyards & Gardening with Children
http://scribd.com/doc/239851214
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Double Food Production from your School Garden with Organic Tech
http://scribd.com/doc/239851079
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Free School Gardening Art Posters
http://scribd.com/doc/239851159`
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Companion Planting Increases Food Production from School Gardens
http://scribd.com/doc/239851159
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Healthy Foods Dramatically Improves Student Academic Success
http://scribd.com/doc/239851348
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City Chickens for your Organic School Garden
http://scribd.com/doc/239850440
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Simple Square Foot Gardening for Schools - Teacher Guide
http://scribd.com/doc/239851110

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Fort Worth School Gardens Growing Organic Produce

  1. 1. Media Contact: Jennifer Fitzgerald, 972.896.1455 jfitzgerald@realschoolgardens.org FORT WORTH STUDENTS JOIN REAL SCHOOL GARDENS IN GROWING ORGANIC PRODUCE FOR GRACE RESTAURANT FORT WORTH, Texas – [November 1, 2010] – GRACE Restaurant’s Chef Blaine Staniford will be visiting I.M. Terrell at 9:00 am and Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary Schools at 3:15 pm on Tuesday, November 2 to tour school gardens, talk to Fort Worth Independent School District students about healthy eating and to check on the student-grown organic vegetables to be harvested and served at a November 12 fundraising event to benefit REAL School Gardens. REAL School Gardens and GRACE Restaurant have partnered together with two high-poverty elementary schools to grow and harvest organic produce. Both I.M. Terrell and Van Zandt-Guinn Elementary Schools have more than 80% of their students classified as low-income, making them eligible for free or reduced lunches as part of the Federal Meal’s program. As implausible as it may sound, many students at these schools had never tasted a salad before REAL School Gardens installed an outdoor classroom and encouraged healthy lifestyles to grow along with standards-based, hands-on learning in the outdoors. Now these same students are able to cultivate fresh, seasonal produce for their families, local community and patrons at GRACE, one of the area’s most acclaimed restaurants. “We are excited to see the students develop along with the school garden,” said REAL School Gardens Director of Community Relations Jennifer Fitzgerald. “Last fall at the community design planning dinner at I.M. Terrell Elementary School, I was awestruck by these children. Each one of them asked for a garden full of vegetables and row upon row of food for their families. Instead of the usual requests to install a pond for water studies or flowers to attract butterflies, these students truly wanted nutritious food. REAL School Gardens is delighted to support our school partners and nurture healthy lifestyles for young people across North Texas.” Chef Staniford will be busy during his November 2nd school garden visits. At each school, he will discuss healthy eating choices and provide a cooking demonstration to prepare nutritious snacks for children. Fort Worth Independent School District students will tour Chef Staniford around their outdoor classrooms and discuss the upcoming fall harvest. The students are currently growing mustard greens, beets and both red and green leaf lettuces to be incorporated into a unique and seasonal menu to be served at the restaurant on November 12. At I.M. Terrell, where the outdoor classroom was installed in April 2010, pre-K and fifth-grade students tend to these vegetable beds, while all students and the broader community have access to the full school garden. As a result of this project, the students have developed a mentoring program. Approximately 40 pre-K students and 30 fifth-grade students worked together to prepare the soil and plant from seeds. REAL School Gardens educators led a series of standards-based, math and science lessons with the older children to further their educational opportunities. At Van Zandt-Guinn, which has had a school garden since 2004, the chef’s visit will be part of the after- school garden club activities. The garden club regularly meets each week to care for their outdoor classroom, gain leadership skills and learn environmental and horticulture practices. The school’s part-time librarian Ginger Cary established the program last year and has seen enthusiasm for outdoor education grow just as the plants have.
  2. 2. “The children’s faces light up when they see the tangible results of their efforts in the garden and they tell me the importance of our collective work together,” remarked Cary. “Van Zandt-Guinn is very excited to partner with REAL School Gardens by growing produce for GRACE Restaurant. The school has worked together to get the vegetables planted and the garden club has maintained the beds to be sure our vegetables are just what the chef needs. I hope that more community projects can be set up to utilize our gardening program.” REAL School Gardens is a non-profit that partners with high-poverty elementary schools to create learning gardens that become an integral part of their teaching culture and community. The organization supports the design and installation of school gardens, trains teachers to use them to improve children’s learning and builds community around them to nurture support for urban schools. When teachers take learning outdoors, children achieve greater success in schools by becoming more engaged learners, more effective team members and healthier people. Tickets for the November 12 fundraising event are $150 per person. Proceeds will help to create more outdoor classrooms for high-poverty schools across North Texas, as well as provide standards-based training for educators. Reservations can be made by calling 817.877.3388. To learn more about the school garden program or upcoming harvest event, visit www.realschoolgardens.org. About REAL School Gardens REAL School Gardens cultivates relationships with high-poverty elementary school communities to create learning gardens that raise hope, spark imaginations and connect children to nature. School gardens have been shown to boost academic achievement, encourage healthy lifestyles, cultivate life skills and promote environmental stewardship amongst students. In addition to garden installations, REAL School Gardens provides year-round support for the gardens, professional development opportunities for educators and community-building networking events. Currently, REAL School Gardens works with 74 elementary schools in five urban school districts, ensuring that more than 41,000 children and 2,600 educators have daily access to nature through school gardens in North Texas. With plans to reach more students and school communities across the country, the organization is itself growing. For more information, visit www.realschoolgardens.org.

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