Join More Than 150 Volunteers This Weekend at Maury Elementary
National Nonprofit REAL School Gardens Launches in Alexandria
On September 10th, in a single day, more than 150 teachers, students, and community volunteers will work side-by-side to create a REAL school garden, an outdoor classroom, at Matthew Maury Elementary in Alexandria. Soon, Maury students will have a dynamic new learning laboratory where they can receive the experiential hands-on learning they need to succeed in school and in life. Leidos, a global science and technology solutions company, has stepped forward to provide both funding and the volunteers for the project as part of its commitment to support STEM education. This will be the fifth REAL school garden constructed in the Mid-Atlantic, and the first in Virginia.
REAL School Gardens is a national nonprofit that builds learning gardens in elementary schools and then spends three years training teachers to use them to improve academics. Partner schools have seen 12-15% increases in standardized test scores, especially in Science. The REAL School Gardens Teacher Training Program has also been proven to boost teacher effectiveness and job-satisfaction, and improve student engagement in their lessons.
This REAL school garden is one of the first components of the Maury Schoolyard Initiative, a multi-year, multi-phase renovation project to rehabilitate the school’s outdoor space, which has been plagued with drainage and runoff issues for years. To help fix those issues and design the new space, back in February, dozens of parents, teachers, administrators, and students came together to discuss past issues and share ideas on how to tailor the outdoor classroom to teachers’ and students’ needs.
Now that the design is finalized, REAL School Gardens is kicking things off with a “Big Dig” event, a fun, satisfying, and highly-visual day of community service. Construction is now underway at the site.
The first “Big Dig” in Virginia will be held:
Where: Matthew Maury Elementary, located at 600 Russell Rd, Alexandria, VA 22301
When: Saturday, September 10th, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
If you want to help with the ‘Big Dig’, RSVP to Zoe Gossett.