Thursday, March 28, 2013

Forest Park Elementary Celebrates BackPack Program

On March 21, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and its partners in the BackPack program at Forest Park Elementary School celebrated the program.

At Forest Park, First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem serves as the program sponsor. Forest Park is one of more than 20 schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system that participate in the BackPack program, which provides children from low-income families with backpacks full of nutritious, kid-friendly food items on weekends during the school year. Each back pack includes four kid-friendly meals comprised of nutritious items, such as cereal, shelf-stable milk and 100% juice boxes.

According to Feeding America’s most recent Map the Meal Gap report, almost one in four children in North Carolina lacks access to enough food to live a healthy, active life. In collaboration with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and other program partners, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC is helping to turn the tables on childhood hunger across its 18-county service area through the BackPack Program and other initiatives targeted to addressing the problem of hunger among children. Targeted schools are those most in need, with 50% or more of enrolled students qualifying for the free/reduced price school meal program.

Technology Student Association at Hanes Magnet Named Chapter of the Year for the State

For the second year in a row, the Technology Student Association at Hanes Magnet School has been named Chapter of the Year for the state. And during a recent three-day state competition and members of the local chapter placed in many divisions.

The association is an after-school club that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Teachers Brian Mendenhall and Natalie Norman serve as coaches for the association.
Natalie Norman and Brian Mendenhall

More information about the association is available at Technology Student Association

Here is a list of  winners from Hanes:

Agriculture and Biotechnology Design
Second Place: Henry Chen, Leo Pang, Ethan Austin, Evan Johnson
Third Place: Akshat Dixit, Ethan Virgil, Shaurya Jamwal, Sahil Patel

Career Prep
First Place:  Jenna Barnes

Challenging Tech Issues
Second Place:  Henry Chen, Leo Pang
Third Place: Sung Girard, Evan Johnson

Chapter Team
Second Place: Anna Swartzel, Holden Armstrong, Kennedy Southern, Henry Chen, Evan Johnson, Leo Pang

Communication Challenge
First Place:  Ava Cox

Construction Challenge
Second Place: Ava Cox, Isabel Iturbide, Lauren Carroll

Digital Photography
Third Place:  Jenna Barnes

Electrical Applications
First Place: Henry Chen

Environmental Focus
Third Place: Pavan Meka, Kushagra Chopra, Jacob Hastings

Multimedia Production
Third Place: Ethan Cagle

Prepared Speech
First Place: Anna Swartzel

System Control Technology
Second Place: Evan Johnson, Ali Mirzazadeh, Akshat Dixit

Tech Bowl
First Place: Sung Girard, Ali Mirzazadeh, Richard Leary

Techno Talk
Third Place: Pavan Meka, Kushagra Chopra

Website Design
Second Place: Pavan Meka, Kennedy Southern, Sarah Jarrell,Cindy Liu

Hundreds Attend Second Annual "Family Literacy Night" at Griffith Elementary School

On March 14, Griffith Elementary School held its second annual "Family Literacy Night."

Hundreds of students and family members came to celebrate reading with teachers and other staff members, said Cynthia Needham, the media coordinator. Those attending traveled through the event using a ‘reading passport,’ stopping to shop at the Book Fair, or catch a picture with the Winston-Salem DASH mascot, Bolt, or participate in a literacy game or read-aloud with students majoring in education at Salem College.

“Families also had the opportunity to learn more about free programs offered at the Forsyth County Public Libraries and apply for a public library card,” Needham said. “Texas Roadhouse was there, too, with their mascot, Andy the Armadillo! Andy was passing out bookmarks for free meals to those students who read three books this month!

"No problem for our reading bulldogs! The Griffith Literacy Committee along with the Family Involvement Committee gave away draw-string back packs with the word "READ" printed on them in five different languages! Parents also received helpful handouts that included tips and tools to try at home with their struggling readers.”

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kenya Safari Acrobats Perform at Piney Grove Elementary

Earlier this week, members of the Kenya Safari Acrobats came to Piney Grove Elementary School to perform for students in the second and third grades.

The performance tied in with Akimbo and the Lions, a book by Alexander McCall Smith that the students have been reading.

For more about the acrobats go to Kenya Safari Acrobats

East Forsyth Senior Headed to Atlanta for Finals of Slam Dunk Competition

Craig Hinton
Craig Hinton, a senior at East Forsyth High School, will be going to Atlanta - the site of the Final Four for the NCAA men's basketball tournament. - to compete in the finals of the American Family Insurance National High School Slam Dunk Competition. The competition is scheduled for April 4-5, and it is scheduled to be shown on CBS television at 2 p.m. April 6.

In the Thursday, March 21, issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Mason Linker writes about Hinton. For the full story go to Winston-Salem Journal

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Diggs-Latham Elementary Celebrates Black History Month

At Diggs-Latham Elementary School, Black History Month ended with a celebration of speeches, singing and dancing.  Community members, Central Office personnel, business partners, parents, teachers and students were engaged as Amanda Gordon, Black History Committee Chairperson, welcomed everyone just before introducing the Master of Ceremonies, fifth-grade student, Jahleel Deberry.

Here’s a report from Gordon, who teaches art at Diggs-Latham:

“Second-grade teacher Solomon Stover reminded everyone of the significance of Black History Month just before speech-language pathologist Susan Ingram sang the Negro National Anthem, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’  Keynote speaker Linwaun Fulton brought a message of hard work as he explained his journey through the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, college at Chapel Hill, and his current position at Wake Forest University.

“Mr. and Mrs. Damon presented Negro Spirituals as steppers from Winston-Salem State University celebrated their heritage as a transition into our student performances.  The Pep Squad, led by Ms. Green, Ms. Taylor and Mrs. Lallave, danced ‘Pata Pata’ just before the honors dance students performed ‘Our Circle of Life,’ an original choreographed piece by dance teacher Miss Amanda Stevenson.

“The School Honors Chorus concluded our time of celebration and reflection by singing ‘The Road to Freedom’ and ‘Free at Last’ as music teacher Ann Farthing prepared the entire student body to sing ‘We Shall Overcome.’  The Black History Committee planned the entire month of February as a time of learning, sharing, and expressing through hallway displays, special guests, visitors, and performances to remind students of the unfortunate circumstances of prejudice and injustice in the past. Students left the assembly understanding that history is everyone's history, and we must learn from our mistakes in the past to try and not repeat them in the future.”

For lots more pictures of the event go to Diggs-Latham Photos

Friday, March 15, 2013

Community Helping Fifth-Graders at Ashley Elementary Take a Trip to Washington

Assistant Principal Alicia Bailey

Fifth-graders at Ashley Elementary School are going to Washington on June 6-7, and people at the school and in the community are raising money to help get them there.“We want to give them the opportunity to go,” said Assistant Principal Alicia Bailey.

It will be the first time that a group from Ashley has made the trip, Bailey said. Students have been studying the foundation of American government and the trip will make it all more real to them. ”It’s a good hands-on experience,” she said.

On the first day, students will visit the Smithsonian, including the National Air and Space Museum. That night, students will take an “illuminated tour” that will include such stops as the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Other experiences on the trip will include going to the U.S. Capitol.

The trip will cost $200 per child and people at the school and in the community are working to raise $6,000 to help cover the costs. One of the fundraisers coming up is a bowling tournament on April 9 at Creekside Bowling Lanes.

More information about the tournament and trip is available online at Ashley Elementary. There, you will also find a link to a story that WXII-TV did about the project.

You may also send Bailey an email at or give her a call at Ashley at (336) 727-2343.

Photography by Reynolds High Students on Display at Community Day at Reynolda House Museum of American Art on April 27

Inspired by the photography of Edward Steichen, students in Phil Benenati’s honors photography class at Reynolds High School have been staging and taking their own photos.

Through May 19, the Reynolda House Museum of American Art has a Steichen exhibit called “Star Power: Edward Steichen’s Glamour Photography,” and the people at Reynolda House have invited the Reynolds students to show some of their photographs at the museum’s next Community Day, which is from noon to 3 p.m. on April 27.

On that day, admission to the museum will be free and, along with the work of the Reynolds’ students, families can see artists at work, create their own art and listen to live music. 

The Steichen exhibit includes more than 100 photos taken by Steichen from 1923 to 1937. According the museum website, “Star Power brings together Steichen's Condé Nast portraits of luminaries from the worlds of politics, literature, government, journalism, dance, theatre, music, fashion, and the opera.”

For more information, go to Reynolda House     

East Forsyth Senior in National Slam Dunk Competition

Craig Hinton of East Forsyth High School
In the Friday, March 15 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal, correspondent Daniel Braswell writes about Craig Hinton, a senior at East Forsyth High School, who has advanced to the championship round of the American Family Insurance National High School Slam Dunk Competition.

The winner will be announced March 20 and will go to Atlanta to compete in an event at the NCAA Final Four Weekend. Photographer Lauren Carroll took the photo. For the full story, go to Winston-Salem Journal

Harlem Globetrotters Visit Bolton Elementary and Other Schools

At Bolton Elementary, Harlem Globetrotter John "Jet" Williams shows kindergartener Mia Acevedo how to spin ball on her finger

In the Friday March 15 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Arika Herron writes about Harlem Globetrotters visiting Bolton Elementary and other schools to talk with students. Photographer Walt Unks took the photographs.

For the full story, go to Winston-Salem Journal

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reynolds High Photography Students Recreate the Work of Edward Steichen

Reynolds High students Lilith Bachelder and Elizabeth Johnson 
In the online edition of the Thursday March 14 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, photographer Walt Unks has created a photo gallery showing students at Reynolds High School recreating the work of photographer Edward Steichen. An exhibit of Steichen's work is currently on display at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, and select photos from the Reynolds project will be exhibited at the museum.

To see more of the photos that Unks took, go to Winston-Salem Journal

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Middle and High School Students Are Invited to Submit Original Art for a Bookmark Contest

Bookmarks Festival of Books and Art for Art's Sake are inviting Forsyth County students in middle and high school to enter a bookmark art contest.

The winner will have his or her artwork printed on 5,000 bookmarks. Students can submit a drawing, a painting, a photo, a collage or computer-generated art. The theme should be related to reading, and the design cannot include the student’s name. The image should be vertical with a ratio of 1:4. The printed bookmark will be 2 inches by 9 inches.

The deadline for entries is May 20. The winner will be announced on June 20 and will be recognized at the book festival in September.

More information is available online at Bookmarks Festival of Books. If you have questions after that, you may email them to

More information about Arts for Art's Sake is available at Art for Arts Sake

Friday, March 8, 2013

West Forsyth High Teacher Receives Award from N.C. Association of Educators

Debra Troxell

The N.C. Association of Educators has given its Linda Rader Award to Debra Troxell, a teacher at West Forsyth High School.

Troxell teaches advanced-placement Human Geography and serves as the chair of the Social Studies Department. She is a National Board Certified Teacher.

“She is a well-rounded educator with a wealth of professional experiences from being a mentor, department chair, school-improvement team chair, and active in several professional organizations that have impacted her work,” said Angela Farthing, the Director of NCAE Instructional Advocacy and Organizing Programs. 

“She is a life-long learner as is reflected in her interests to impact her classroom and her earning National Board status.  She has conducted not only local professional development session for Forsyth, but for North Carolina and at national and international conferences. She most recently has found geography to be intriguing and wants to learn more strategies on how to better equip the students with a better understanding of how geography impacts our lives.”
Troxell will receive $3,000 to use to buy GPS (global positioning system) devices for students to use, to take training in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

"I plan to attend the National Council for Geographic Education Conference in Denver this summer to take several workshops on Geographic Information Systems (GIS),” Troxell said. “I will utilize the technology with my students to help them understand the spatial distribution of various geography concepts. Then I will then train geography teachers in the county to use the technology. And, hopefully, next spring and summer attend conferences to teach the technology and/or share my lesson plans.”

East Forsyth High Students Participate in Mock Trial Competition

Front row: Jalan Grey, Ethan Wallace, Haley Smith - Back row: Evan Smith, Lucas Harbour, Brittany Burns, Spencer Richardson
Last month, members of the East Forsyth High School Mock Trial Team competed against other schools at the N.C. Advocates for Justice High School Mock Trial Competition.

Brittany Burns told reporter Linda Payne of the Kernersville News that she particularly liked playing the role of a prosecutor because it required her to think on her feet.

“You never knew when the other team was going to object to your argument, so it forced you to look at the case from a different perspective,” Burns told Payne. “I thought of a new way to argue my point during each round just by listening to what others had to say.”

Jennifer Watson, who teaches civics at East Forsyth and serves as the Law Club sponsor, said, “I am really proud of them and the confidence they showed. I don’t think I would have been able to handle that pressure when I was 16 or 17 years old.”

You will find Payne’s story in the March 7 edition of the Kernersville News. 


Students at North Forsyth High Collect Jeans for Young People Who Are Homeless

Students at North Forsyth High School collected more than 250 pairs of jeans to give to young people who are homeless.

The drive, held from mid-December to mid-February, was sponsored by the Key Club

Teens for Jeans was a national clothing drive held in middle and high schools. and Aeropostale sponsored the drive, and all jeans collected went to local shelters to give to teenagers who are homeless.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Art Students at Mineral Springs Middle Create Stop-Motion Movies

Students in Kristin Jones’ art classes at Mineral Springs Middle School have been making stop-motion animated movies using characters they created.

In January, Robin Follett, an artist and teacher from Cary, visited Jones’ class as a guest artist and helped students work on creating characters. In the weeks since then, Jones has been working with the students to create their movies. Mary Naber, the media coordinator at Mineral Springs, has helped with the process.

Jones and the students put a lot of time and energy into the project, Naber said. “It was a tremendous amount of work.”

Jones has now compiled some of the movies, which are short, into a compilation that you can find at a website called Vimeo 
Kristen Jones with student

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sedge Garden Elementary Has a Sister School in Honduras

Students and staff at Sedge Garden Elementary School have been helping a new school in Honduras get off to a successful start. They have collected books and school supplies to help the teacher in the classroom, and they have established a pen-pal relationship with the students at Gift Community School in Nueva Palmira, a remote village in the mountains of Honduras.

The school was started, with the help of American missionary friends, by a Honduran man named Ricardo Venegas. 

On a trip to the United States in January, Venegas, his wife and their two daughters visited Sedge Garden Elementary. Venegas said that he enjoyed seeing what a typical elementary school in America was like and was amazed by the abundance of materials and technology students had in each classroom.  They also offered their deep appreciation for the help the Sedge Garden students and staff are sending to Nueva Palmira.           

Venegas first visited Nueva Palmira in 2009. With the help of Mercy and Grace Ministries, Venegas brought food and clothing and started such projects as replacing thatched roofs with tin and setting up a medical clinic. In the summer of 2011, high school and college students from the Greensboro area built a simple concrete-block building that could be used for a school.

The school opened in February, 2012.  

Mineral Springs Elementary Has Program for Parents of Kindergarten Students

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Mineral Springs Elementary invited parents of kindergarten students to come to the school for a program about activities that parents can do at home to help their children learn. The event was divided into three floating sessions to accommodate parents’ schedules. The Women’s Progressive Club of First Baptist Church supported the program by providing refreshments and educational gifts. Parents also received their choice of books for reading to their children at home. 

Family Engagement is a grant program funded by United Way to promote kindergarten relationships that will foster personal-social growth and effective communication between the school, teacher, parent and child.

Debra Gladstone is the principal at Mineral Springs and Sylvia Conrad is the Family Engagement Coordinator.

The Chronicle included a story about the program in its Feb. 28 issue.

Student Art in March 2013 Issue of Forsyth Family Magazine

Cathleen Delano, Reagan High School
Whitney Gillon, West Forsyth High School
Elizabeth Sechler, Reagan High School
Kaitlynn McDaniel, West Forsyth High School
On page 94 of the March 2013 issue Forsyth Family magazine, you will find art by two students at Reagan and two students at West Forsyth. Karen Evans is the art teacher for the Reagan students, and Elizabeth Betson is the art teacher for the West students.

Students Compete in Science Olympiad at Atkins

Katie Waugh of East Forsyth High School
On Saturday, 179 students - including ones from Piney Grove Middle, East Forsyth High and Atkins Academic & Technology High - competed in the Science Olympiad at Atkins.

They showed their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through such events as a bottle rocket launch, flying gliders that they designed and built and solving a crime scenario based on available evidence. Wake Forest University so-sponsored the event, and more than 40 volunteers from Wake Forest helped organize and supervise it. 

In the Sunday March 3 issue of the Winston-Salem Journal, reporter Richard Craver wrote about the event.

"It's really important for us to encourage students and young adults to be interested in science," Carole Brown, the director of the Olympiad and a biology professor at Wake Forest, told Craver.

For the full story, go to Winston-Salem Journal