Rooted in Wake
The Community is the Classroom
Apply for 2023-2024
We connect students and educators in Wake County with their communities to create powerful learning experiences and build powerful learning communities.
RootEd was founded on the belief that the best way to prepare students and communities for tomorrow, is to engage them in solving the challenges of today, right in their backyard. RootEd is a community of educators, students, coaches, and partners working together to solve local and regional challenges. We know that bold, authentic learning experiences have the power to transform and strengthen students, schools, and communities. We also know that making these experiences attainable and sustainable for all North Carolina students and communities requires a strong network of support. That’s RootEd.
Featured Projects and Partners
Freedom Parks and Freedom Walks
Civic Literacy students at Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies worked with the team behind the historic North Carolina Freedom Park, a park dedicated to the African-American struggle for freedom in North Carolina, to create a website, a field trip for middle school students, and an app that connects the quotes and themes of the park with other resources and sites in Raleigh and North Carolina. The students call their app and website Freedom Walks.
Featured Student Challenge:
Park(ing) day is a global, public, participatory project where people across the world temporarily repurpose curbside parking spaces and convert them into public parks and social spaces to advocate for safer, greener, and more equitable streets for people.
This day and challenge provide an excellent framework for a student design challenge like this one.
Everything You Need to Connect Classroom and Community
Education should be a window or door into the world, and not a world unto itself. We work with schools and community partners to break down the barriers and hurdles between our communities and our classrooms, making it easier for teachers, students, and partners to create powerful community-connected learning experiences.
We support teachers and students to create these learning experiences through offering curriculum and design tools for teachers and students; coaching teachers and other educators; developing partnerships with local businesses, organizations, and individuals; and telling the stories of these powerful learning experiences.
Curriculum and Tools for Teachers
Browse through our resources for teachers, including projects, activities, and student challenges tied to NC content standards across grade levels, ideas for authentic student work products, content and stories, and tools for designing and modifying your own community-connected learning experiences.
Design sprints are shorter learning experiences that share the same 4-D Framework as longer RootEd Projects. Browse through some sample design sprints here.
Authentic Work Product Examples
If you’re interested in having your students create work products that go beyond multiple choice tests, essays, and other school-based assessments, check out these examples and resources.
Design Your Own RootEd Project
Take a look at our toolkit that will guide you through creating your own RootEd projects and challenges.
Interested in creating a longer project either for one content area or for several, take a look at these flagship projects.
Coaching and Professional Learning for Educators
We create powerful learning experiences for teachers and other educators that develop their abilities to create powerful learning experiences for students. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with teachers to co-create and co-teach learning experiences for students. Our learning experiences often combine workshops and professional learning sessions with on-the-job coaching and co-teaching.
Community and Business Partners Directory
There are lots of people and organizations in the Triangle who want to connect with students and schools. We help make this process user-friendly for schools and community partners. Browse through our list of community and business partners.
Problem Solving Tools for Students
We offer problem solving and collaboration tools that students can access directly from our website.
RootEd Impact Stories
“We’re connecting students to the broader community through authentic learning experiences. This is a real-world challenge – how to redesign a park, and we’re going to solve it with our creativity, collaboration, and professionalism.” – Jeff Fleckenstein, Teacher & Community Coordinator
“The goal is to distribute their research to the community and beyond in hopes to inform others about COVID-19 with reputable information and possibly help save lives,” – Oshen Wallin, Science Teacher
“The idea originated in an English writing course, and students in that course planned the project and collectively wrote the grant.The construction of the outdoor classroom and green space has been a school-wide effort.” – PolkStudents.com
“I think it’s an important project because we don’t really have anywhere to hang out here,” Metcalf said. “There’s not much to do. We have to go to Weaverville or Asheville to do stuff. This will give us some where to hang out.” – Georgia Metcalf, Freshman
Upcoming Opportunities for Teachers
RootEd provides teachers with everything they need to create bold community-connected learning experiences for their students, and nothing they don’t. As part of a cohort, RootEd teachers engage in a year-long blended learning experience that includes:
RootEd in Wake 2023- 2024 Calendar & Activities
Co-Create a Community-Connected Project
Do you have an idea for a community-connected project that you want to start right away? Reach out to schedule a time to talk to one of our coaches about your project idea.
Contact a Coach
Apply to be part of a cohort of teachers working on a RootEd project with their students.
Teachers meet for 2 days to kick-off RootEd, and start designing their student projects and challenges.
Co-Creation and Coaching
RootEd coaches will meet with teachers 1-on-1 and in small groups at least 3 times throughout the school year to help teachers design and deliver their projects. Supports and activities include: designing student activities, integrating with standards, co-teaching or modeling activities, and identifying potential partners.
At Your School & Virtual
Online Community of Practice
RootEd utilizes an online community of practice to connect teachers to one another, coaches, tools, partners, and other resources.
Study Visit/Field Experience
Teachers will have several options to visit another school in WNC to see community-connected learning in action.
Culmination and Showcase
Teachers, students, and community partners meet for 1 day to share their work, celebrate, and learn from one another.
Apply to the 2023-2024 RootEd in Wake Teacher Cohort
The 2023-2024 RootEd Teacher Cohort is open to teachers in Wake County.
Teachers accepted into the 2023-2024 RootEd Teacher Cohort will receive…
- 1-on-1 and small group coaching
- 5 days of professional learning, including a 2-day launch event in Oct, a 1-day study visit at some point during the school year, a 1-day mid-year professional learning session, and a 1-day showcase conference in May
- Membership in an online community of practice
- Networking and collaborative learning with peers, partners, and coaches
- 5 CEUs
- Project management support
- Partnership development support
- Storytelling support
Applicants to the RootEd Teacher Cohort commit to the following:
- Designing and delivering a minimum of one student learning experience focused on a community challenge
- Completing a project design document for their project
- Working with their students and coaches to tell their project story
- Attending all 5 cohort days (barring unforeseen circumstances)
- Meeting with a RootEd coach a minimum of four times per year