Students at Meadowbrook Elementary tend to their organic garden. (credit: Matthew Rainwater)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a hands-on learning experience that has students at four high-poverty North Texas schools using their organic gardens as a means to learn about everything from science, to math, to language arts. And tonight the concept of from “seed to table” will be complete as professional chefs use the fruits of those students labor to prepare a benefit dinner.

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REAL School Gardens is working with the Fort Worth Independent School District to configure learning programs to use an on-site organic garden as a teaching resource for children.

The school gardens help teachers bring the curriculum they’re teaching indoors everyday, outdoors. So while students at D. McRae Elementary, I.M. Terrell Elementary, Meadowbrook Elementary, and T.A. Sims Elementary are creatively learning the “three R’s”, they’re also learning the importance of environmental stewardship.

Teachers and administrators say in addition to the enhanced textbook learning students are also learning how to work together and are improving their team building skills.

The students took on what to most is considered an impressive and varied farming project, growing vegetables and herbs like lettuce, radishes, carrots, Swiss chard, green beans and rosemary.

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Chefs from GRACE Restaurant at D. McRae Elementary in Fort Worth. (credit: Patrick Kratz)

On Friday, those items that once were in the ground on school campuses across Fort Worth will become ingredients for the chefs at GRACE Restaurant. A menu using the student’s fresh, organic food will be prepared. The students harvest will be used to prepare a number of dishes including: green salad, russet potato gnocchi, garden rosemary brochettes of tuna and a braised pork dish with polenta and greens.

Chefs will prepare a first meal for the children to enjoy and then another later in the evening for ticketed diners. The adult diners will have a chance to meet the young growers and learn more about their outdoor learning projects. The adult wine dinner costs $150 per person, with a portion of money benefiting the REAL School Gardens project.

The Fort Worth-based non-profit organization REAL School Gardens partners with high-poverty elementary schools to “create learning gardens that grow successful students.”

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