Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Let's Go to the Hop" at Southwest Elementary

From 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept.21, members of the Southwest Elementary school community gathered at the school for the annual fall festival.

"The event was very well attended by Southwest families and, as our only fundraiser of the year, quite successful at helping us meet our goal of $14,000,” said Lori K. Timm, Southwest PTA Communications. “Students enjoyed carnival games, bounce houses, face painting, a cake walk, and temporary tattoos. There was great ‘50s-inspired entertainment including a flash mob on the front lawn of students and staff dancing to ‘Let's Go to the Hop.’

“Everyone got into the Sock Hop spirit by dressing in poodle skirts with ponytails and leather jackets with slicked-back hair. Attendees also enjoyed an antique auto show, various vendors displaying their goods and services, and a full menu of good eats from Dixson's Diner. Proceeds from this annual event will be used to provide further technology enhancements to Southwest Elementary, a school originally built as a high school in the early 1950s."


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Garden Party at Ashley Elementary

 On Sunday, Sept. 23, Ashley IB Magnet School celebrated the improvements to the school’s garden area. During the past year, the school and PTA have refurbished the school’s greenhouse and added an outdoor garden and classroom area.

Grant funding, including major contributions from BB&T through their Lighthouse grants project and an equipment grant for the garden programming from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, along with in-kind donations and volunteer time from parents have allowed the school to add an outdoor classroom area that includes 9 raised beds, border plantings, a storage shed, child-sized gardening tools, and large patio area.

The party included a free concert by Big Bang Boom, a well-known local band that plays regularly at children’s museums in Winston-Salem and Greensboro. “We are so thrilled to have them as our inaugural performance on the patio,” said Tamara McLaughlin, the PTA President at Ashley. “Hopefully, it will be the first of many such events designed to help expose all of our families at Ashley to the garden – even those who don’t currently like gardening.”

Students at Ashley will also be getting exposure to the garden regularly during the school day. Ashley will offer gardening as a part-time Specials Class this fall, with students in kindergarten through fifth grade gardening on a 12-day rotation. “We are excited that all of our students will have the opportunity to learn in the garden and greenhouse this year,” said Principal Robert Ash. “It’s a natural fit for our International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum which emphasizes inquiry and exploration based learning.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy Joins 100 Percent Club

Don Martin, Rhonda Scott, Jane Goins, June Atkins, Richard Watts

State Superintendent June Atkinson recently recognized Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy for its 100-percent graduation rate for the 2011-12 school year.

All 45 of the academy’s seniors graduated, making it one of only 28 schools in the state with that distinction. On Sept. 19, representatives from the districts and schools received plaques at a luncheon held in Durham that also recognized 11 districts with high graduation rates.

“North Carolina reached an all-time high school graduation rate of 80.4 percent last year and these districts and schools played a significant role in this remarkable achievement,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “I commend all the superintendents, principals and teachers who worked so hard to make sure more students than ever are graduating high school prepared for college, a career and citizenship.”

Thursday, September 20, 2012

WS/FC Teacher and Artist Has Show at Salem College

Rose Lynne Bowman
In the Thursday Sept. 20 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, special correspondent Kathy Norcross Watts writes about Rose Lynne Bowman, an artist and a teacher who works with deaf and hard-of-hearing students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

"She is passionate about her students, many of whom have multiple disabilities," Susan Battigelli, the school systems' program specialist for students with speech-language impairments, hearing impairments and assistive technology, told Norcross Watts. "She is extremely creative in her approach to working with her students, using spoken language, sign language, visuals and tactile (textured) materials. She strives to nurture, facilitate and encourage language development so that her students can communicate and learn."

On Friday, Bowman has a show of her art opening at the fine arts center at Salem Academy and College.
 "Rose Lynne's works have a beautiful, whimsical quality that make you want to smile," said Kim Varnadoe, a Salem College art teacher and the gallery director. "I am impressed by the surface quality she creates with her pointillist technique. The detail captures your attention and draws you into the work."

Journal photographer David Rolfe took the photograph for the story. For the full story go to Winston-Salem Journal

Pledging Not to Text and Drive

Denver Buro, Caitlyn Wright, Quincy Wilson, Garrison Duncan, Morgan Griffin
In the Thursday Sept. 20 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, special correspondent Jesse Burkhart writes about students at East Forsyth High School pledging not to text and drive as part of a statewide campaign.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, in partnership with the City of Winston-Salem, the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and AT&T, declared Wednesday Sept. 19, 2012 as "No Text on Board" Pledge Day in Winston-Salem, and students at other schools also pledged not to text and drive.

In urging people to take the pledge, Carol Montague-Davis sent out a message saying, "Texting while driving is extremely dangerous; in fact who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash.  It's illegal to text and drive in North Carolina, yet serious crashes occur every day.  Nationally, over 100,000 crashes each year are caused by texting while driving and 75 percent of teenagers say it is common among their friends."

Journal  photographer Bruce Chapman took the photos for the newspaper story. For the full story go to Winston-Salem Journal

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Griffith Elementary Promotes Good Health

These smiling faces belong to the "Griffith WELLNESS Warriors" at Griffith Elementary School who are participating in STEP UP FORSYTH!, an eight-week Community Wellness Program sponsored by the Forsyth County Health Department. 

Reynolds Senior Focuses on Success On and Off the Field

Chandler Borton
In the Wednesday Sept. 19 Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Mason Linker writes about Chandler Borton, a senior at Reynolds High School who plans to sign a field-hockey scholarship with Wake Forest University.

Borton has made a point to maintain her focus ever since coming to Reynolds as a freshman.

"I knew I wanted to make myself marketable as an athlete to these coaches so from Day One, I knew I was going to be a really good student," Borton told Linker. "I am going to make really good decisions, I am going be the best athlete I can be and make myself to where a coach would want to have me on their team."

Journal photographer Bruce Chapman took the photograph. For the full story, go to: Winston-Salem Journal

Friday, September 14, 2012

Food Lion Helps Feed Students at Philo-Hill Magnet Academy

Amanda Zydiak, Mark Hairston, Lee Emmons, Julie Puckett

On Tuesday, Mark Hairston, the principal at Philo-Hill Magnet Academy, and Julie Puckett, a learning-team facilitator with the school system, visited the Food Lion store on N.C. Hwy. 150 to pick up the $3,500 check that Food Lion is giving to Philo-Hill to pay for food for students who might otherwise go hungry on weekends.

Lee Emmons, the store’s manager, and Amanda Zydiak, the store’s customer-service manager, presented the check. In addition to the jumbo-size check they presented to Hairston for the photo, they also gave him a regular-size check that he could take to the bank.

“We will utilize that money to help our children,” Hairston said. “A big thank you goes out to Food Lion.”

“I’m glad we’re able to help the school and give them this money,” Emmons said. “I look forward to working with them in the future.”

The Feeding the Hungry grant from the Food Lion Charitable Foundation will be used to support the school’s new BackPack program. Beginning soon, volunteers from Salem Chapel, a church in Winston-Salem, will fill backpacks with nutritious, nonperishable foods and send them home on Fridays with students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school during the week.

“Through their generous donation, there will be some children who won’t be going hungry on the weekend,” said Puckett.

Puckett applied for the grant and began working to organize a BackPack program for Philo-Hill when she was the learning-team facilitator at the school during the 2011-12 school year. She has since been transferred to Carver High School.

Established in 2001, the Food Lion Charitable Foundation supports hunger-relief efforts in communities served by Food Lion. The Feeding America BackPack Program is a national program that works through 150 local food banks to distribute food to children. Locally, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina participates.  

During the 2011-12 school year, 13 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools participated in the BackPack program. Another six more are in the process of organizing programs for the 2012-13 school year.  For an entire school year, it costs about $10,000 to feed 50 children by providing a total of 8,000 meals during 40 weekends.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hanes Teachers Enhance Skills in Computer Science

Stephanie Skordas, in the Office of Communications and External Relations at Wake Forest University, has written a story about a computer-science workshop that Wake Forest held for teachers at Hanes Magnet School.

Along with graduate and undergraduate students, Samuel Cho, assistant professor of physics and computer science, and fellow computer-science professor Paúl Pauca created a two-day workshop for Hanes teachers. The goal was to demonstrate how computer science could be worked into lesson plans across their curriculum. The workshop was made possible by a $5,000 grant from Google, matched by Wake Forest University.

“We need to expose young students at the middle school level to computer science,” Cho said. “It’s fundamentally as important as math, English or science.”

The Wake Forest computer science department turned the workshop into a learning opportunity for college students too. Several of them created breakout sessions that taught the middle school educators how to use a basic program called Scratch to create lesson plans for creative writing or to make literature come alive.

“I’ve already figured out a lesson plan to use with Scratch,” said Yu’Vonne James, who teaches Spanish at Hanes. “It’s called ‘Games People Play.’ Students will pretend to be a game company and create Spanish review games for other students to play. They’ll play each others’ games to review what they learned in Spanish.”

For the full story go to Wake Forest

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Program Gives Students a Jump Start

At school board and staff meetings, Superintendent Don Martin regularly recognizes those who have gone the extra mile. He recently recognized the Jump Start program sponsored this summer by W.R. Anderson Recreation Center and Next Level Youth Enrichment.

The primary focus of Jump Start was to help students prepare for the upcoming school year. More than 100 students - most in elementary or middle school - participated in this year's program.

At W.R. Anderson, students generally expect to play basketball and swim when they come to the recreation center during the summer. The center also offered such options as a morning hike; surfing the web on the center's computers; doing zumba, yoga, and/or palates; running track; having an organized reading time; participating in the traditional, four-week Vic Johnson Junior Golf Clinic; and participating in the Jump Start program.

A grant from the Golden State Foods Foundation (Garner, NC facility) paid for all materials and fees. Teachers, a retired teacher, people associated with city recreation centers and others served as tutors. The tutors included:

Harry Giles Ibraham
Juli Reese Paisley
Judy Williams 
Betty Wallace 
Bryant McCorkle 
Casssandra Hayes 
Learmond “Buddy” Hayes 
Tanesha Johnson