EventWorks | Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Nashville and Birmingham
August 26, 2019

Real Event Feature: 9th Annual Harvest Dinner

Featured Event | by EventWorks

At EventWorks, we make it a priority to give back to our community and support philanthropic efforts in Charleston. We partner with several non-profit groups, programs and projects to help bring awareness to a cause, raise money for organizations and celebrate big wins for do-gooders in our city.

This year, we helped sponsor the annual harvest dinner for The Green Heart Project. Over 900 people attended the event the non-profit raised over $40,000 for their farm-to-school programs. The day was a sun-soaked celebration of this incredible group’s accomplishments and more great work that is on the horizon for The Green Heart Project.

The Green Heart Project started in 2009 as a small garden project for Mitchell Elementary School in downtown Charleston. This area had been declared a food desert and the majority of students at Mitchell Elementary School lacked access to whole and healthy fruits and vegetables. Founders Karalee Nielsen and Chauncey Jorden made it their mission to connect students with fresh, locally-grown produce. With help from volunteers and the school’s staff, Karalee and Chauncey set out to teach and inspire the community.

By the end of the first year, it was clear that the project had evolved from an idea into an opportunity to teach students an important life lesson: through hard work, teamwork and respect for the process, you can literally bear the fruits of your labor.

The Green Heart Project’s farm-to-school programs utilize school gardens as a vehicle to reinforce classroom curriculum and teach students respect, teamwork, accountability and entrepreneurship as they work alongside volunteer mentors.

These programs take place over the course of the school year and in the summertime for those who show a particularly strong interest in the garden. Students get to oversee the entire process from seed to harvest. Some even have the opportunity to cook the produce they harvest and expand their knowledge through visits to local businesses, large agricultural projects and nearby beaches.

These garden projects are providing students an opportunity to engage in experiential learning right outside the doors of their schools. The Green Heart Project reports growth in educational achievement, cognitive development and social and emotional development for students involved in these garden projects. While the South Carolina Curriculum is not directly tied to gardening, students are able to grasp concepts and theories through real-life applications, as well as connect with their peers and mentors.

Studies have shown that students engaged in garden-based projects are developing motivation, enthusiasm, self-esteem and a sense of self. These projects show a decrease in disciplinary problems and an increase in parental involvement and school attendance. The Green Heart Project is lighting a fire inside students by inspiring them to take ownership of their education and give back to their community. We’re incredibly proud to support this group and all of their efforts here in Charleston!

Feeling inspired? There are several opportunities to get involved and help this project grow. You can make a donation to the organization, sign up to be a garden educator, or become a Green Heart Buddy Volunteer by visiting The Green Heart Project website: http://greenheartsc.org/

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