Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers and Administrators Learn New Strategies for Supporting Early Learning

By Eva C. Phillips
Ready Schools Coordinator

Over 230 Title I pre-k and kindergarten teachers and administrators from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools descended on downtown Raleigh on Sept. 16-17 to attend the N.C. Association for the Education of Young Children's 63rd Annual Conference.

Thanks to a generous grant by the Kate B Reynolds Charitable Trust, these early childhood educators spent two days attending sessions about effective and appropriate practices for supporting young children's development and learning. These educators also spent time networking and celebrating their efforts on behalf of young children.

WS/FCS's Power of K Teacher Leaders had a special display of their documentation projects of their work to include more appropriate practices within their kindergarten classrooms. In addition to funding for conference registration, KBR funded each participant's hotel, travel, and meals, along with a year's membership to the association and additional funds for the purchase of developmentally appropriate materials for their classrooms.

The Trust also sponsored a special reception for WS/FCS on Friday evening. Our superintendent joined the reception and spoke to the group of educators about the importance of the early years and our district's efforts toward providing more pre-k classrooms and stronger kindergarten programs.

Dr. Emory said that "the train is rolling [and] we can close the gap right here in this room. We have the power in our district to close the gap right on the front end."

These educators left the conference feeling grateful and re-energized with lots of new strategies for working with their students and families. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Teacher of Year at Four Schools Recognized at Wake Forest Football Game

Four Winston-Salem/Forsyth County teachers were honored at the Wake Forest football game on Saturday.

Each is the Teacher of the Year at her school.

Reagan Stillerman teaches at Lowrance Middle School. Amber Bryant teaches at Reagan High School. Theresa Bryant teaches at West Forsyth High School, and Sarah Irvin teaches at Wiley Magnet Middle School.

Wake Forest gave the teachers free tickets to the game against Delaware. Superintendent was on hand to help Wake Forest present a certificate to them.
The recognitions were in connection with the second annual Extra Yard for Teachers Week, which is sponsored by the College Football Playoff Foundation.

As the foundation puts it on its website:

Extra Yard for Teachers (EYFT) Week is a week of recognizing teachers throughout the country for their hard work and dedication in our schools. While anyone can participate in EYFT Week, the primary goal is to lift teachers up through the powerful platform of college football. The CFP Foundation asks that universities, bowls, and conferences put the focus on teachers in the community during their weekend football games as well as host special activations mid-week.

For more information, to the website at College Football Playoff Foundation


"Indpendence Day" at Vienna Elementary

On Monday morning, Winston-Salem Journal reporter Arika Herron and photographer Walt Unks headed to Vienna Elementary School for “Independence Day.”

Here is an excerpt from Herron’s story:

Zach Wilson walked hand-in-hand with his twin sister, Anna, and older brother, Andrew, into Vienna Elementary School Monday morning.

Like much of the rest of the school, all three were bedecked in red, white and blue outfits.

It wasn’t the Fourth of July, but it was “Independence Day” for Vienna’s 145 kindergarten students — including Zach and Anna.

“It’s when you wear red, white and blue,” Zach said.

It’s the day that kindergarten students are supposed to say goodbye to mom or dad at the bus stop or car door and walk into the school on their own.

In its third year, Independence Day has become a Vienna tradition.

“Independence is what we’re trying to teach them,” said Andy Lester-Niles, principal at Vienna. “It’s time to do stuff on your own. Walking from your parent’s car… that’s part of it.”

You will find the full story at Winston-Salem Journal

The pictures are by Walt Unks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

JROTC Students Participate in 9/11 Public Safety Challenge

The second annual 9/11 Public Safety Challenge was held on Saturday, Sept. 10, in the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex.

The event, which was first held last year, combines the City of Winston-Salem’s 9/11 commemoration with a competition for high school Junior ROTC units. The event was open to the public and admission was free. The program opened with the city’s annual 9/11 commemoration.

Next, JROTC cadets from high schools in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County competed in marksmanship, close-order drill and a “raider” (obstacle) course that combines elements of the police physical abilities test and the fire agility test. The winning unit took home the Public Safety Challenge Cup, a perpetual trophy that is passed to the winner from one year to the next.

The Public Safety Challenge is sponsored by the Winston-Salem Police and Fire departments, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s and Fire departments, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management. The event is designed to give JROTC cadets an opportunity to learn more about careers in public safety.

In conjunction with the Public Safety Challenge, the public safety agencies provided a $5,000 sponsorship to the Military Science program of the city-county schools, which oversees the high school JROTC units.

For more pictures, go to Public Safety Challenge

Friday, September 16, 2016

Community Invited to Health Fair at Kimberley Park Elementary on Saturday, Sept. 24

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Junior League of Winston-Salem – in partnership with the staff at Kimberley Park Elementary School – will hold a health fair at the school.

Members of the community are invited.

The Strong Women, Strong Families Health Series event will offer a number of activities. They include demonstrations on how to prepare produce in a healthy manner. Produce and recipes with given out during the cooking demonstrations.

The Winston-Salem State Mobile health lab is scheduled to administer health screenings. The fair will also include activities for children and information about local health clinics.

Other health events are planned for November, February and the spring.

The fair is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The telephone number at Kimberley Park is (336) 703-6731.

Storage Unit Built by Career Center Students Is For Sale

Need a storage unit in your back yard?

If so, the students in the carpentry program at the Career Center have just the thing for you.

During the 2015-16 school year, seniors under the leadership of carpentry instructor John Christian built an 8-foot-by-8-foot storage unit. It has a 10-foot ceiling and a 4-foot-by-8-foot loft. The double doors are 6 feet wide and 8 feet tall.

The storage unit is for sale for $1,500, which includes delivery and set up within a 35-mile radius of the Career Center. Money from the sale will go back into the carpentry program at the Career Center.

During the course of the coming school year, students will also build such items as benches, picnic tables, wine racks and bookshelves. Money from the sale of those projects will be used to reduce the amount that students have to pay to participate in the annual SkillsUSA conference.

To find out more about the storage unit or smaller projects to come, please send an email to John Christian at   

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bookmarks Author Visits East Forsyth High School

Author Megan Miranda paid a visit to East Forsyth High School today as part of the Authors in the Schools program sponsored by Bookmarks.

Ms. Miranda is one of the featured authors participating in the Bookmarks Festival held in Winston Salem this weekend, September 8 through September 11. Media Coordinator Mary Naber arranged the visit with Bookmarks affiliate Jamie Southern.

Megan Miranda spoke to two classes in the media center. Farrah Hilton and Tiffany Burgess were the two teachers whose classes enjoyed the talk. Megan Miranda, a former high-school science teacher, talked about her books, how her background in science inspired some of the topics for her books, and her life as a full-time writer.

East Forsyth High School students are excited about reading her new book The Safest Lies, and Mrs. Naber has copies of her young adult titles available in the library for students to check out!  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

King of the World at Ashley Elementary

By Theresa George
Technology Facilitator at Ashley Academy for Cultural & Global Studies

For students at Ashley the first day was met with excitement but it was also monumental to say the least. Staff and Community came together as one, pooling their resources and time for something that was well worth the smiles that adorned the small faces of students.

As students made their way to the entrance of the school they were met by encouraging words, handshakes, hugs and cheering. No better feeling in the world.

One student was asked "How did you feel arriving through the 100 Men Tunnel?"

The student replied, "I felt like King of the World.”

We hope that all of our students enjoyed the 100 Men Tunnel and we would like to thank everyone that participated in our event. Transformation 2016!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Vienna Elementary Chorus Sings National Anthem at Dash Baseball Game

On Sunday, students at Vienna Elementary – under the leadership of music teacher Shaun Howe – had the honor of singing the national anthem at a Winston-Salem Dash baseball game at BB&T Ballpark.

Here is what Howe had to say about the experience:

“Sunday was an incredible day filled with singing, excitement and school community for Vienna Elementary. This past Sunday, the Vienna Elementary School Chorus sang the National Anthem for The Winston-Salem Dash’s final home game of their season!

“The chorus was a finalist in the “Oh Say Can You Sing” competition, giving them this honor. With over 40 students in the chorus, you couldn’t imagine the excitement. The Chorus sang beautifully and we’re so proud of their performance.

“The festivities did not end there! The day was made even more memorable with the first pitch being thrown out by Vienna’s own Principal Andy Lester-Niles and the stands filled with over 500 Vienna families and staff.

“This was truly the perfect way to kick off the new school year!”

Once Again, Mount Tabor/Career Center Student Is Junior Olympic Champion in Sport Stacking

William Orrell, who is a senior at Mount Tabor High School and the Career Center student, recently competed in the 2016 AAU Junior Olympic Games.

He came home with the gold. He took first place Overall as the Junior Olympic Champion for Sport Stacking in 2016.  He did the same for 2014 and 2015.

William, who is on Team USA - Sport Stacking, is now a three time AAU Junior Olympic Champion. He also holds all of the Guinness World Records in the sport.

Orrell lives in Clemmons. The games were held in Houston. 2016 was the 50th Anniversary of the AAU Junior Olympics.

You can learn more about Orrell in a 2015 story.