RootEd in NC

The Community is the Classroom


Past Event – Asheville

Spring 2024 – Marion

Past Event – elkin

Upcoming Events

Spring 2024 RootEd Community Learning Expo

McDowell HS, Marion, NC

Past Events

Spring 2023 RootEd Culmination and Showcase Event – Asheville


RootEd is a community of educators, students, coaches, and partners working together to solve local and regional challenges.

During our annual RootEd in WNC showcase event, students and teachers have an opportunity to share their solutions, and the stories behind them, with an audience of peers, professionals, and the public. The event is organized in a conversational, open-house, gallery-walk style, and is open to the public. 

This year, students from Buncombe County Early College will present their ideas for revitalizing Azalea Park. 

After the student showcase, RootEd teachers from across WNC will share their projects focused on solving local challenges.


The Collider, Asheville, NC

This year’s event will take place in downtown Asheville at The Collider, 1 Haywood St 4th floor, Asheville, NC 28801.



May 5, 2023

  • 9am – 10:30am – Student Showcase
  • 11am – 12:30pm – Teacher Showcase

BCEC Student Showcase

The freshman class at Buncombe County Early College is partnering with RiverLink, the City of Asheville, Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development Council and other partners to revitalize a section of Azalea Park in east Asheville. On May 5th from 9 – 10:30am students will present their solutions for revitalizing the park to their partners, peers, teachers, and the public. 

Please come learn about the students’ ideas, and give feedback. Azalea Park patrons, teachers and faculty, students (elementary – college), and anyone interested in powerful learning and community problem solving are welcome to attend. Coffee and refreshments will be served. 

You can learn more about the project, and see the students’ progress here


RootEd Teacher Showcase

RootEd in WNC provides a yearlong learning experience for teachers from pre-K – college. Over the course of a school year, teachers design and deliver one or more projects that connect their students with communities to solve challenges. On May 5th, teachers will share their projects, and the stories behind them, with their peers, partners, and others in an open-house, gallery walk style event.

All are welcome. See the video below for more details about the teacher experience and past projects. 

    Polk Central Elementary Nature Trail Ribbon Cutting


    Fifth graders at Polk Central Elementary School, working with Constructive Learning Design and the RootEd program, have been improving the nature trail behind their school since September 2022. The students observed and noticed areas that needed work and focused on two main projects: installing interactive trail signs and removing trash and invasive species.

    Read the full press release here.


    Polk Central Elementary School, Mill Spring, NC


    May 12, 2023

    • 10 am

    NC Trail Days and Academy at Elkin Showcase


    Kids Neighborhood and Guided Hikes

    We partnered with Appalachian State University’s Academy at Elkin, the Elkin Valley Trails Association, NC Trail Days, and others to create the Kids Neighborhood at NC Trail Days. Join us at the Kids Neighborhood for a bunch of kid and family-friendly activities related to trails, including a downtown Elkin scavenger hunt and hands-on crafting. The tent is brought to you by the students and educators at Appalachian State University Academy at Elkin and RootEd NC. Students will also be leading guided hikes of a learning trail they are building with the Elkin Valley Trails Association. The learning trail connects their school to downtown Elkin, the Elkin Public Library, and the MST.


    Downtown Elkin, NC

    Life Store Parking Lot, Main Street, Downtown, Elkin – 102 W Main St, Elkin, NC 28621



    June 3, 2023

    • 10am – 4pm

    RootEd Impact Stories

    Polk Middle School Students Improving Laughter Pond

    “My kids are very concerned about justice and fairness…We can sit here and complain or we can actually do something to make things more equitable for our whole community. I think that taking ownership has made them feel a lot more confident and a lot more engaged.” – Jeanne Ferran, Polk County Middle School Teacher

    Madison Students' COVID Project Highlighted in Edutopia

    “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

    Wake Students Designing App for Black History Walking Tour

    “A group of 10th-grade students at Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies will be creating an app highlighting Black history in downtown Raleigh, including the new park on the corner of North Wilmington Street and East Lane Street.” – Destinee Patterson, WRAL Reporter


    Watauga Elementary Students Create Small Business

    Using donated monies by community members, Mabel Students made 22 PERSONALIZED mugs, tumblers, and cards. Students passed these out to Veteran’s who came to our Drive Thru Veteran’s Day celebration.

    Please contact Jay Korreck at for more info about RootEd.