Friday, August 29, 2014

Smith Farm Curriculum Coordinator Receives $3,000 Grant from Dollar General for Books

Barbara Nail

Barbara Nail, the curriculum coordinator at Smith Farm Elementary School, has received a $3,000 Youth Literacy Grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“She wrote the grant to help our new school build up our limited book room of leveled readers,” said Principal Donald Hampton. “The Smith Farm family is so proud of her!”

Dollar General Youth Literacy grants provide money to funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help new or expanding existing literacy programs, to purchase new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives and to purchase books, materials or software for literacy programs.

You will find a complete list of grant recipients at Youth Literacy Grants

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mother and Two Daughters All Teach at Rural Hall Elementary School

Fox8 television has a story about a mother and two daughters who all teach at Rural Hall Elementary School. Here is an excerpt:

For students at Rural Hall Elementary School the odds are good that their teacher will be Ms. Chunn this year.

“It was very exciting,” said Robin Chunn, who has been a kindergarten teacher at the school for 32 years. “It was a dream come true for me.”

Three years ago, her daughter Katie Chunn joined her as a kindergarten teacher and by coincidence was placed in the classroom next door. This year Robin’s other daughter, Ashley Chunn, was hired as a PE teacher in the gym across the hall.

"We are all right next door,” said Katie. “So if I yell at her everybody will hear it. I’m just kidding.”

Three teachers, right next to each other, with the same last name can create a few questions.

"[Parents] are like which one are you?” said Ashley. “I’m the daughter and sister.”

Before this school year, students were able to keep the mom and daughter apart. 

“When it was just the two of us we were referred to as the momma Chunn, baby Chunn,” said Robin, who raised her family in community and all her children, including a son, attended Rural Hall Elementary. “This is like coming home for them.”

For the daughters they say the greatest blessing is learning to teach from the best, their mom, who is now right next door or across the hall.

“I’m very proud of my daughters,” said Robin. “Very, very proud.”

You can find the full story at Fox8

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Student Project at Southeast Middle School Featured in National Magazine

A Rachel’s Challenge project at Southeast Middle School will be featured in an upcoming issue of Techniques, the main publication for the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

Rachel’s Challenge promotes kindness and works to stop bullying.

In October, Southeast students in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), a national organization for students in career and technical education programs, placed orange hearts (the color of anti-bullying) with positive quotes on each student locker, teacher door, and throughout common areas in the school on the morning of the school’s Rachel's Challenge assemblies.

The hearts meant enough to students and teachers that they kept them throughout the year, said Jenny L. Watson, who teaches Family and Consumer Sciences and who is the advisor for both the FCCLA and the Friends of Rachel Club.

“I found/saw many hearts even at the end of the school year inside lockers, in the cover of student notebooks, on teachers' filing cabinets, etc.!” Watson said. “This project was also part of one of our students' competitive events from the recent FCCLA National Leadership Conference in San Antonio.” 

Mount Tabor Student Wins Annual Bookmark Design Contest for Students

Julie Knabb of Art for Arts Sake with winner Angie Avila
Angie Avila, who is a junior at Mount Tabor High School, has won the annual bookmark design contest for students sponsored by Bookmarks and Art for Art’s Sake (AFAS).

Avila’s artwork for the 2014 art contest has been printed on 5,000 bookmarks to be distributed throughout Winston-Salem and surrounding counties. She was honored at a reception held on Friday, Aug. 8 for “Unbound & Unleashed, Celebrating Books and Authors through Art.” Her work, along with four other winning student’s entries, will be on display as a part of this juried art exhibit at the Womble Carlyle Gallery inside of the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts through September 6.

Megan Monaghan, a freshman at Mount Tabor, received second place, and Lauren Busic, an eighth-grader at Clemmons Middle School, received third place. Honorable mentions went to Anna Pate Glover, a senior at Mount Tabor, and Alaina Withers, a seventh-grader at Clemmons Middle.

Bookmarks is a literary arts organization based in Winston-Salem. It sponsors an annual free book festival, author talks, and the Authors in Schools program, which reached 5,000 students in 2013. Bookmarks’ 10th festival of books and authors will be held on Sept. 6, 2014 at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and in the surrounding area on Spruce Street. Visit Bookmarks for more information.

Art for Art’s Sake builds, educates and celebrates Community through Art. Arts on Sunday, held on Trade Street during the months of May and October, features arts, crafts, and music. Visit Art for Arts Sake for more information. Julie Knabb is vice chairman and art director of Art for Art's Sake.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Three Teachers Spend Week at Library of Congress

Maggie Hatling

Nikel Bussolati

Pamela Henderson

Three local teachers just spent a week participating in a program at the Library of Congress.

Maggie Hatling of Paisley IB Magnet School, and Nikel Bussolati and Pamela Henderson of Reynolds High School were chosen from a pool of more than 400 applicants to participate in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute for the week of July 28 to Aug. 1.

“We are finally back on North Carolina soil after having a fantastic week in D.C.,” Henderson said. “It was an amazing opportunity to learn how to best utilize primary sources within our classrooms, and we only wish that more teachers had the chance to experience this caliber of professional development.

“We look forward, with great anticipation, the opportunity to employ what we learned during our time at the Library of Congress within our classrooms. There is no doubt that our students will benefit immensely from our training.”

“The week at the Library of Congress was an amazing time to collaborate with teachers from around the United States and learn new strategies to help in my classroom,” Hatling said. “I am excited to take my new knowledge back to my classroom and colleagues.” 
Each year, the Library of Congress provides the opportunity for K-12 educators to attend one of its five teacher institutes in Washington, D.C.

During the five-day program, participants work with Library education specialists and subject-matter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom, while exploring some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the Library’s website.

This session focused on items in the collections that support teaching and learning about civil rights struggles throughout American history, highlighting those that led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the subject of a Library of Congress exhibition to open in September.

Educators attending the teacher institutes develop primary-source-based teaching strategies that they can take back to their school districts, apply in the classroom and share with colleagues. Teaching with primary sources is a powerful way to help students ask engaged, probing questions, develop critical-thinking skills, and gain knowledge.

All educators can access classroom materials, teaching tools and strategies for teaching with primary sources from the Library’s site for teachers at

Applicants to the Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institutes reflect the diversity of the world of K-12 education. Participants in a teacher institute session typically include school library media specialists and school administrators, in addition to classroom teachers. Those selected come from many different states, representing large metropolitan school districts and smaller, rural school districts. The expertise provided by the Library of Congress during the institutes can benefit every level of K-12 education.

Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects that were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources—accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience. Students working with primary sources become engaged learners while building critical-thinking skills and constructing new knowledge. Teachers working in the Library's collections will explore the largest online collection of historical artifacts with access to millions of unique primary sources for use in instruction.

The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library serves the public, scholars, members of Congress and their staffs. Many of the Library’s resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website at

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ronald McDonald brings $32,000 check to pay for summer meals

Ronald McDonald stopped by Konnoak Elementary School this morning to show students a huge check -- literally and figuratively.

D.J. Britt, Beverly Emory, Darrell Walker and Ronald McDonald
Ronald presented a check for $32,000 on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities of NC that was as big as many of the students in the audience. The money is being used to pay for the summer meals provided to students on Fridays this summer. 

"This is a really big check, isn't it?" Superintendent Beverly Emory said to the students.

Ronald with Konnoak Principal Shelia Burnette
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has provided free breakfasts and lunches throughout the summer for several years. This year, the district is closed on Fridays during the summer. The shortened week allows the district to save about $160,000, which will be used to prevent job losses.

However, being closed on Fridays means no meals for children who need them during the summer. The $32,000 provided by Ronald allowed the district to provide bagged lunches to children on Fridays. 

Local McDonald's owner/operator D.J. Britt presented the check to Emory and Darrell Walker, the assistant superintendent of operations.

After the presentation, Ronald talked to the students about being active, and led them through some of his favorite ways of being active: playing hide and seek, juggling, jumping rope and dancing. 

Ronald juggles
Ronald and students do the sprinkler