Maury Families and Teachers Select Design for Virginia’s First Ever REAL School Garden

Matthew Maury Elementary School has kicked-off the design process for the learning garden that will be part of their new playground at a community dinner.

Parents, students and Maury staff reviewed the options presented by REAL School Gardens with the intention of getting the best design possible and tailoring the garden to the school’s learning objectives.

The garden will be the first learning garden ever established in Virginia. It is being initiated by REAL School Gardens and funded by Leidos as part of the Maury Schoolyard Initiative.

The school is expected to break ground for the new playground in late spring and be finished in the fall.

The learning garden will help every student at Matthew Maury Elementary School succeed academically by creating a strong foundation for learning in Math, Science and Language Arts in ways they will remember, relate to and be able to apply long term. Kids learn best when they are learning in ways that are real, stimulating and hands-on,” said Jeanne McCarty, Chief Executive Officer of REAL School Gardens.

Once the design processes is finalized, student volunteers will help build the garden by calculating areas and volumes and following complex instructions.

We are delighted that Maury has been chosen as the first school in the Commonwealth for this. It will help our students become more engaged in identifying a diverse range of features that will enrich academic lessons for all grade levels and subject areas,” said Maury Principal Lucretia Jackson.

The design process will take approximately eight weeks, with the expected completion date in June. Both the school yard and learning garden are anticipated to be ready for use in time for the 2016-17 school year.

We work very closely with teachers to help them integrate outside learning into their classrooms. This benefits teachers because it gives them a new way to reach their students in an engaging and interactive way,” McCarty said.

ACPS, Brooks