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Broad Street market to offer fresh food, learning opportunity

Mya George, a fourth-grade student at Broad Street Elementary, checks the lettuce growing in the school Friday, March 31, which will soon be available for purchase at a community market the school recently opened. Justin Guido/Butler Eagle

While Broad Street Elementary School students are gaining a new learning opportunity, the community is receiving a new option for fresh food.

The students have been working to stock shelves, track inventory and advertise the new Broad Street Fresh Market since its soft opening for teachers and other school staff on March 13. The in-school market started by selling items, including Nutrigrain Bars, popcorn, clementines, applesauce and more, and will eventually have produce grown by students at Summit Township Elementary School.

Vanessa Boyd, principal of Broad Street Elementary, said the two schools are creating educational programs that will help students gain skills early, and give the community a local place to shop.

“They are working on producing fresh veggies and possibly fruits, some of which can come to the markets and some will stay in community,” Boyd said. “The idea is convenience. There is a store, a fresh market, in a convenient location.”

Summit Elementary started a Community Agricultural Partnership last school year, thanks to a $70,000 Moonshot Grant from Remake Learning, allowing educators to plant seeds in order to teach gardening.

Since then, Summit school administrators have created new infrastructure, including an outdoor classroom, garden space and a greenhouse to promote agricultural education, and Broad Street has been preparing a market space to sell its produce. Boyd said so far, the market has mainly been staffed by special education students, but all grade levels will eventually take part in it, with fifth-graders to potentially produce promotional materials for it.

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