Around the shores of Jordan Lake, a squad of outdoor enthusiasts works to cultivate environmental stewardship in youngsters through discovery-based classes and events that disguise education in a cloak of fun. Codirectors Eleanor Herr and Denise Nelson both possess a passion for nature, degrees in early-childhood education, and the creativity to combine the two into exciting programs.
Lessons and field trips designed for public- or home-schooled children instill a love of nature while adhering to the Common Core State and North Carolina Essential Standards for education. Events for kids and their families, such as a full-moon night hike with a campfire, encourage bonding that can strengthen telepathic communication during future potato-sack races. Weekly nature camps for ages 6–11 keep young brains blossoming in the summer. Jordan Lake Environment Education also hosts birthdays, replete with themed activities, coloring books, and free time for any self-provided cake and refreshments.
All big movements start small, but many would be surprised to learn that Ten Thousand Villages—a nonprofit and retailer with 70 stores nationwide—began out of a car trunk. In 1946, Edna Ruth Byler started the organization out of her car, taking a name from a quote by Mohandas Gandhi, who said, “India is not to be found in its few cities but in the 700,000 villages.”
Her willpower and determination allowed her vision to grow into a nonprofit that today supports more than 130 artisan groups in 37 developing countries. These artisans' wares go on sale at the organization's nationwide retail outlets, which brim with items including jewelry, stationery, and home decor. Everything is made using environmentally friendly processes, and every artisan is paid a fair wage. The money earned from sales goes directly to the artisans—who might otherwise be unemployed or underemployed—for financial help with education, food, housing, and healthcare.
The organization has risen to such stature that it won the People’s Choice Award for Green Business of the Year in 2005, and has acted as one of the founding members of the World Fair Trade Organization.
Admission is always free to the Weatherspoon Art Museum's collection of nearly 6,000 works from primarily post-WWII American artists. With today's deal, both the individual and dual/family memberships entitle you to reciprocal admission to partnering museums, 10% off most gift-shop merchandise, free or discounted admission to special events, and more. Click here to see a complete list of membership benefits.
Fueled by her passion for performance art, fashion, and choreography, Durham native Anjanée N. Bell founded Bellan Performance Centre as a philanthropic organization, and as a destination for those individuals with interests as diverse as her own. The disciplines and fundamentals of dance weave a common thread through the facility's many endeavors, which include aspirations to emerge as a performance-art community by way of engaging live shows. Off stage, Bellan provides various educational programs and fitness classes that encourage participants of all ages to get up and move, even if they lack the experience and spring-loaded toes of many professional steppers.