For 17 years, the annual Festival Foods Grocers on the Green Golf Outing has raised critical funds for the Einstein Project to further STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in Wisconsin. To date, Grocers on the Green has raised over $1.6 million, which allows the Einstein Project to provide classroom learning kits, professional learning opportunities, educator resources and more. The Einstein Project began in 1991 when Green Bay community leaders joined forces with nine area school districts to provide students with hands-on learning in science and math. Today, the Einstein Project serves over 35 school districts, not only in the greater Green Bay area, but also in parts of central and southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The organization is currently staffed by seven full-time employees and supported by over 30 volunteers on a weekly basis. Since it began in 1991, the Einstein Project has provided professional development for 5,000 teachers, utilizing about 80 science and engineering kits, and indirectly bringing hands-on STEM learning opportunities to over 300,000 students.
The Einstein Project provides hands-on, out-of-classroom learning for K-12 at-risk students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. Grocers on the Green, sponsored by Festival Foods, has served as the primary fundraiser for the Einstein Project for 17 years. Festival Foods' Community Involvement team works with the Einstein Project team to coordinate logistics of Grocers on the Green, secure golfers and coordinate sponsorships. Event sponsors and golf participants include Festival Foods' vendors and guests. Festival Foods also ensures that Grocers on the Green participants have an opportunity while on the course to participate in a sampling of the activities that the Einstein Project brings to the children. This allows participants to better understand where their investment is going and how it is positively impacting the learning potential of youth.
As a major sponsor of the Einstein Project, Festival Foods’ Grocers on the Green charity golf event helps the project fulfill its mission statement, which is: Elevating STEM education by providing student learning and enhancing educator knowledge through interactive experiences.
The positive impact of Grocers on the Green extends to 70,000 students in Wisconsin. In addition to providing affordable STEM learning kits to schools, the Einstein Project also opens doors to increased learning opportunities for school district administrators and educators. A recent partnership with administrators and educators from Green Bay Area Public Schools helped tackle the issue of under-representation in STEM education. They participated in an event in Washington, DC, in which participants learned about attracting, retaining and developing a diverse STEM teaching workforce. Funds raised at Grocers on the Green also provide the resources that help the Einstein Project meet unexpected needs. For example, 2020’s sudden increase in K-12 learning at home created an opportunity for Einstein Project leaders to help educators and students adapt. The team created an online marketplace to deliver learning opportunities directly to students. At the same time, it shared comprehensive lists of free digital resources that educators could use to engage their students in meaningful remote learning. Festival Foods made many significant changes to its August 2020 Grocers on the Green event to accommodate COVID-19 concerns: • Shipped participants’ prizes rather than handing them out at the event. This allowed participants to avoid personal interaction and long, inevitably close queue lines. • Moved before and after congregating events outside, giving participants more room, fresh air and a safer environment. • Allowed participants the option of taking their meal to go in lieu of dining in. • Practiced safe-distance dining and served a plated dinner instead of the traditional buffet.
“Giving back to the community is one of our company’s core values. Of all the events we support, Grocers on the Green is among my favorites because it benefits our next generation.” Mark Skogen Festival Foods President and CEO