Food, Fun, and Farmers Marketing at Concord’s International Market Night!

By Kelly Shilhanek

Photo Credit: John Bolivar

Photo Credit: John Bolivar

As one of the planners and coordinators of International Market Night at Concord International School, which took place on Thursday, May 22nd, I spent most of my time that evening walking around, amazed by how the event came together. Approximately 200 families attended and enjoyed a meal, took home produce, and had the opportunity to enjoy many of the activities that centered on food, gardening, health and wellness, and multiculturalism. Rather than give a general overview of the event, I thought I would describe a few experiences that I took away from the evening:

The nutty aroma of arroz y frijoles refritos wafting through the air, coaxing early onlookers into the bright light of the cafeteria.

Nervous students dressed neatly in pressed white shirts, black pants, botas y sombreros fidgeting before they perform.

Young girls, faces glowing with blush, radiating poise and confidence as they dance together across the stage.

Families scrunched into small cafeteria benches, plates filled with the world—fresh banh mi sitting side by side with tangy injera, soaking up the peanut sauce of the spring rolls—all of it being consumed enthusiastically by hungry fingers and excited mouths.

These were my favorite moments— when I got to see students transform into proud individuals through their performances, demonstrating passion and hard work and cooperation. Of course, the smell of the delicious food also imprinted itself into my brain. There were so many wonderful activities and opportunities at International Market Night besides the ones I mentioned—students with their families choosing between collards, cabbage, kiwis, and other fresh veggies to take home; volunteers instructing onlookers how to make salsa; a cilantro-planting station; making art using bicycle sprockets; and high school students wowing students through their lion dance performance, simultaneously scaring children into the arms of their siblings and enticing them to provoke the lion performers.

Photo Credit: John Bolivar

Photo Credit: John Bolivar

This event is important for our program because it gives our students’ families access (for one night) to fresh and healthy food. However, I think that creating space to celebrate some of the traditions that are part of our students’ cultures is equally valuable, and potentially more transformative. I look forward to International Market Nights in the future and hope that our nutrition team can continue to instill multicultural learning into our teaching.


Marketeers in Training


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Minty Fresh!

Last weekend Sand Point Elementary honored Earth Day with a community-wide celebration. It was jam packed full of families, students, community members, art projects, scavenger hunts, games, and delicious veggies! The highlight of the event (for me) was a student-led Farmer’s Market. A crew of dedicated student volunteers showed up early for the event to help harvest some delicious, fresh produce straight from the Sand Point garden. We collected and bundled up tons of nutritious kale, mustard greens, spinach, chives, mint, rosemary, flowers, and broccoli. The students then went to work setting up our display table to show off our beautiful bounty.

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Big bite of an apple to get ready to sell some produce!

The next task for our market vendors was to set prices for our produce. Students worked together to determine what a fair price for families armed with Sand Point ‘Squirrel Bucks’ would be.As soon as the clock struck 10am it was show time. Things got off to a slow start on this Saturday morning and my market team was getting a bit antsy. Though, sooner than later customers started trickling in and the Squirrel Bucks started piling up; before we knew it we needed to start harvesting more produce!

At the day’s end we sent families home with TONS of fresh veggies and collected over 100 Squirrel Bucks! As we were cleaning up our table one of the student vendors asked me if he could keep our Farmer’s Market sign. When I asked him what he planned to do with it he replied “I want to keep it so that one day when I open my own Farmer’s Market I can use it”.

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Pay day!



My, where did they all come from?”


From the very generous efforts of Emerson students is where! In celebration of Halloween this year Apple Corps members Lisa and Brian organized a Candy Collection Charity. As an effort to encourage a healthy holiday students were put to the challenge of donating all, or a portion of their ‘trick or treating’ bounty. Emerson was motivated by partaking in an act of kindness through donating all their candy to military personnel overseas. As a further motivating factor, and to be less like Cruella De Vil, a smoothie party was awarded to the classroom that collected the most candy.


Halloween Day students at Emerson took part in an interactive squash activity that included estimating the amount of seeds in their respective squashes. Though the big day was Nov. 1st. Students came pouring into the school doors lugging their haul of candy from the night before. Lisa and Brian went classroom to classroom to collect their donations and put them up on the scale to get a weight count. The total candy count came out to an astonishing 121 pounds! That’s 121 pounds of candy that will not be eaten by students this year, 121 pounds of candy that will serve as a sweet reminder of home for military people, and 121 pounds of lifting for Lisa and Brian! The entire school community was thrilled to see such great effort put forth, way to go Emerson Eagles!


As an equally generous contributor to this promotion, we would like to thank Seattle Kids Dentistry ( for graciously offering to pay for and process the shipping of our candy donation!

Gardening Riddles


5 third graders to collect leaves and gather hay
3 fourth graders to stuff the hay and leaves into a t-shirt
3 fifth graders to fill a pair of jeans with hay and leaves
2 artistically inclined third graders to draw a whimsically frightening face
(1 Apple Corps blog reader to do the math!)

side by side

Sand Point Elementary’s ‘Garden Club Recess’ honored the fall season this past week with the construction of a scarecrow. The newest addition to the garden has brought new life to the space keeping our kale, garlic, cabbage, and herbs company. It has also succeeded in deterring some of the wildlife that has been munching on our veggies.
But do not despair, our newest friend is actually quite welcoming and has attracted a whole new crowd. The scarecrow has been a hit with our young gardeners and has also had the chance to acquaint itself with Squeakers, a very sociable guinea pig!