Live It Learn It

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our Friends, and donors, the National Fund has been able to establish a highly successful working relationship with Live It Learn It (LILI), one of the region's most successful and respected non-profit organizations. The beneficiaries of this partnership are Title I schoolchildren in the District of Columbia.

Every year LILI brings hundreds of DC schoolchildren out of their classrooms to visit monuments and places of scientific and historical interest in the capital region. LILI works with DC Public Schools to design lesson plans for the visits that complement the students’ learning objectives in the classroom. The programs have proved to be enormously effective while, at the same time, broadening the educational horizons of the young Title I students.

The United States Botanic Garden is one of the preferred LILI destinations.  With financial support from the National Fund in 2012 which shares LILI's commitment to educational outreach LILI enabled two DC Public Schools, Patterson Elementary in Ward 8 and Plummer Elementary in Ward 7, to participate in this program for the first time.

A generous gift from the Lantos family in memory of their son Chris will allow a scholarship to be awarded to a school classroom so that those children may learn from, and enjoy, the U.S. Botanic Garden as much as Chris did. To learn more about Chris and his love for the U.S. Botanic Garden, please click here.

 Chris Lantos

The National Fund's support aided a total of four fourth grade classes more than 100 students to participate in this unique, carefully structured learning program. Principals from both schools have indicated a desire to partner with LILI in the future. In addition:

  • On average, student achievement on a written assessment increased from 49% before the program to 76% after.
  • 94% of the students indicated that they want to learn more about this subject matter.
  • All four teachers indicated the program gave them ideas and resources to help make them more effective.
  • Students rated the program 9.4 out of 10, while the teacher rating was 9.5.

In 2012, four teachers from LILI participated in the National Fund teacher training program. This year LILI and the USBG are collaborating on a workshop presentation at the American Public Garden Association annual conference,  to reach more youth with greater impact across the country


The National Fund-LILI alliance has been enormously beneficial to both parties. It has brought the Garden message to a new audience consisting of hundreds of children from some of DC' least advantaged schools. And the program would not and could not exist without your support.