The Eastwood Mall is taking time to appreciate local teachers ahead of the upcoming school year. 

More than 450 local educators gathered at the Eastwood Event Centre for the Totes of Appreciation event, where educators were given Vera Bradley tote bags filled with teaching essentials. 

The event is broken up into two sessions, the morning session included a keynote address by Dr. Charisse Nixon, Professor of Psychology an Penn State Erie. Dr. Nixon is a specialist in adolescent development. 

The evening session features Trevor Regan founder of The Learner Lab, an educational website designed to share the science of learning and development. 

Both sessions will include artist Franz Spohn, a Professor Emeritus from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. He will lead the teachers through the creation of art using an unusual medium: gum balls.

Also appearing in both the morning and evening will be nationally-recognized science educator Jason Lindsey, known as Mr. Science. He will enthrall the audience with his hilarious and informative "Hooked on Science" show.

This is the second year Totes of Appreciation has taken place, the event was spearheaded by partners of the event and owner of Gracylane. 

"Our people said you know we'd like to do something prior to the school year, that would recognize teachers, so we got our heads together and this was the result," said Director of Corporate Communications for the Cafaro Company Joe Bell.