Each time we host one of our markets we like to choose a local non-profit that we can share the love with. For the 2015 Summer Market, our non-profit partner is Green Teacher Network. During our VIP Shop, GTN will be setting up a silent auction full of all sorts of amazing local food, drink and of course our Summer Market vendors have donated some vintage and handmade items into the mix as well! 100% of the proceeds of the silent auction go directly to GTN! Can’t make it to our VIP Shop? GTN will also have a info station set up on market day where you can cool off with some bottled water and learn all about their mission and all the work they are doing in Charlotte.
We strongly believe in the message of sustainability in all things and GTN are our heroes because of the work they are doing in our Charlotte schools:
Green Teacher Network works to advance academics, health and sustainability through school gardens and outdoor learning. GTN collaborates with over 30area organizations in support of school gardens, tastings, composting, and the natural environment. We currently maintain a network of over 1,400 educators in 185 schools in the Charlotte region.
We empower educators to engage students in gardening, tastings and outdoor learning! Increased awareness of food and relevant outdoor hands-on learning will lead to improved health and academic performance. Our programs include:
Quarterly Professional Development Workshops: Hands-on skill development for teachers and informal educators supporting school gardens, tastings and much more.
Growing Entrepreneurs: Through our partnership with the Piedmont Culinary Guildand PEEP (Pride Magazine Entrepreneurial Education Program) middle and high schools are growing crops for area farm to table restaurants to teach financial literacy and entrepreneurism.
Chicken Tractor: GTN coordinates a mobile chicken tractor that visits schools on a weekly basis in spring and fall to give students the opportunity to observe live laying hens, providing project-based learning around an important NC industry.
STEM Catawba River Festival: Since 2009, we have hosted an annual field trip for five economically challenged schools in NW Charlotte-Mecklenburg and East Gaston Counties to provide hands on learning opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) at the Duke Energy EnergyExplorium.
GTN works with over 30 organizations that collectively support school gardening and outdoor learning. The collective effectiveness of the team has shown engagement with over 185 area schools in the past 2 years. In response to teachers surveys GTN published a Schoolyard Gardening and Tasting Guide as a step by step guide for school gardens and tastings. Also, UNC Charlotte Center for STEM Education is working on a Curriculum Connection Matrix to provide a centralized site to access school garden, tasting and outdoor learning lesson plans connected to North Carolina Essential Standards.
SCHOOL GARDEN CERTIFICATION
Fall 2015 Green Teacher Network will support 11 area schools as they transition from occasional school gardening to a curriculum integrated annual gardening strategy – GTN School Garden Certification. Based on best practices from around the US and feedback from over 500 area teachers/informal educators, GTN Certification transitions school gardening to an intentional project-based learning initiative with a goal of engaging 10 to 15% of the teachers at each participating school to achieve school garden sustainability and increase effectiveness.