Friday, September 30, 2016

Independence Day at Lewisville Elementary School

This morning, kindergarten students celebrated Independence Day by walking into the school on their own.

To read the story, go to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures:

Arts Council Gives Diggs-Latham Art Teacher Its Arts Educator Excellence Award

At its annual meeting on Sept. 26, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Arts Council recognized Amanda Gordon, who teaches art at Diggs-Latham Elementary Schools, with its second annual Arts Educator Excellence Award.

According to the arts council, "The Arts Educator Excellence Award recognizes an educator or teaching artist who has enriched the education of our community’s youth and inspired the next generation of artists, patrons and creative individuals."  

“I received a certificate and an original, hand-made glass ‘trophy’ created by a local artist,” Gordon said. “I was recognized for leadership in my school and community and making the difference in the lives of my students and colleagues.” 

In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities at Diggs-Latham, Gordon has taken on the leadership responsibilities for several school committees and events and has written and received numerous grants. In nominating her, the principal and assistant principal at Diggs-Latham noted that Gordon goes above and beyond in all that she does.

In her acceptance speech, Gordon said:

“I was honored to be nominated and very humbled to receive the award. So many teachers and art instructors work hard every day and also deserve the award. 

“I have a heart of service as I was influenced by many wonderful mentors over the years and am now taking the opportunity to give back. I grew up in a rural area but was fortunate enough to be valedictorian of my graduating high school class and be the first generation of my immediate family to go on to attend college.”  

She thanked all of her many mentors, supporters, family and friends for all their support and, most importantly, God “for faith that guides all I do in my career and personal life.” 

Gordon has have been teaching for 13 years in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree – with High Honors (Magna Cum Laude) – from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The award was announced in Reynolds Place of the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in downtown Winston-Salem. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Taking a Reading Safari at Konnoak Elementary

Thanks to media assistant Tawanda Treadwell, students at Konnoak Elementary School have a mighty tree to keep them company whenever they take a “reading safari.”

Treadwell and media coordinator Kristin Bachman have been turning one corner of the school’s media center into an area where student are invited to “go on a reading safari.”

With the help of a giant roll of brown paper and sheets of green construction paper, Treadwell created an inviting “Tree of Knowledge” for the corner. 


Two Students Collect Thousands of Pop Tabs for Ronald McDonald House

Hayden Adams is a senior at Reagan High School and his sister, Finnlea Adams, is a seventh-grader at Meadowlark Middle.

For as long as they can remember, they have been saving the tabs from soda cans to donate to the Ronald McDonald House, which uses the tabs to raise money to help people stay in the house.

No matter where Hayden and Finnlea were, they would collect tabs and tell people why they were saving them, said their mother, Angela Adams, who teaches first grade at Lewisville Elementary.

On Sept. 20, they took containers filled with tabs to the Ronald McDonald House and donated them.

“It has taken them over 10 years (actually closer to 12) to save these containers full,” Angela Adams said. “Although we didn't count, we can safely say they donated thousands of tabs to the Ronald McDonald House!”

“It was a small reminder of how lucky they are: health, safe home, good schools, family.”

As the Ronald McDonald House puts it on its website:      

“Collecting pop tabs is a great way to teach kids about philanthropy and the importance of recycling while raising funds to help children and their families at the same time. Some of our Chapters raise thousands of dollars with their pop tab collections – up to $30,000. Look for special RMHC pop tab collection containers in the shape of a house at schools, community and civic groups, and other local organizations in your area. You can also contact a Ronald McDonald House near you to ask about getting your own house for collection."

To find out more about the Ronald McDonald House in Winston-Salem, go to Ronald McDonald

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Junior League Holds Health Fair at Kimberley Park Elementary

On Saturday, 40 volunteers from the Junior League of Winston-Salem held a health fair at Kimberley Park Elementary School.

To read the story, go to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Here are more pictures:

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!