Education briefs: Author inspires teacher and students

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2013

On Tuesday, May 21, I had the privilege of seeing a friend living and fulfilling a dream — sharing books she has authored with students.
Retired music teacher-turned author Dicy McCullough was the visiting author at Woodleaf Elementary School for the day. She tirelessly shared her four books from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. with our pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade students. The students were so well behaved and sat intently as she shared “Tired of Being Different,” “Tired of School,” “Tired of Being a Bully” and “Tired of My Bath” using various teaching strategies with the different age groups. She answered questions, took suggestions for new book titles, and interjected writing hints and ideas the students can use in their own writing.
She encouraged them to keep a journal of ideas they may later want to use in writing. In the book, “Tired of Being a Bully”, Mrs. McCullough used quotes from our students as well as students from Cleveland, Mount Ulla, and China Grove elementary schools. The students were excited to be included in one of her books. Susan Herrington, principal of Woodleaf, bought a book for each of the children quoted in the book. McCullough had her picture made with the students and autographed each of their books.
As educators, we are constantly encouraging our students to follow their dreams. Many of us are living our dream as we nurture and train children to be the best they can be. Reading is one of the most important avenues in helping any of us to be inspired to set new and higher goals, and to realize we can be successful in achieving our dreams.
With summer break here, please plan to keep your children reading. Woodleaf Elementary will be open three Thursday evenings from 4-6 p.m. on July 11 and 25, and Aug. 8. Woodleaf students will be able to check out books during that time. Also, the Rowan Public Library would love for them to come check out their summer program and check out books. There are numerous websites that offer free stories. Just a few of these are:,,, Some of these sites also offer games and activities. Of course, the Give Five, Read Five program is strong in Rowan County. Our hope is that every elementary student will have five books to take home and read over the summer.
Are you living your dream? If not, open a book and begin reading and dreaming about what you could do for the next part of your journey. Then, just do it. McCullough did.
COOLEEMEE — A fresh coat of paint brightens up any room, and last week Cooleemee Elementary received 40 gallons of paint to refresh its learning environment. Assistant Principal Andy Mehall, who spearheaded the grant request, accepted the paint from Cooleemee True Value Hardware’s Jonathan Durham.
The paint will be used to brighten up the school’s hallways that will greet the school’s approximately 450 students next fall. Cooleemee’s school was selected as the winner of a paint grant through Cooleemee True Value’s Hardware partnership with the True Value Foundation’s “Painting a Brighter Future” program which believes that it will create a “positive atmosphere for educators to teach children to learn.”
Cooleemee True Value Hardware has been in the Cooleemee Shopping Center doing business for the last 50 years. It is an old-time hardware store where many residents gather every morning to swap stories and catch up on local news. The paint donation is part of serving the community.
“The donation saved the school money, but more important, it helps create a better place to foster learning, inspire creativity and boost morale,” says store owner George Jordan, himself an alumni of the school. Forty gallons of Crisp Petal Easy Care paint were delivered on May 30. “We’re proud to do this,” says Jordan.
The North Rowan High School Dazzling Emeralds Dance and Majorette Team will be hosting its first Dazzlette Diva Dance Experience this summer.
The camp will be held June 24-28 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Miller Center on 1402 W. Bank St.
There will be four days of instruction in jazz, baton and dances for the stands. Upon completion of the camp, the Dazzlette Divas will get to dance with the Dazzling Emeralds at a North Rowan football game.
Cost is $35 per dancer, including a T-shirt and sequin accessories for the game performance.
The Dazzling Emeralds are raising money to get to Tennessee to perform at the pre-game show for the HBCU Southern Heritage Classic. They will hold a Dazzlette Divas camp for both the football and basketball seasons.
For more information, contact
UNC-Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis is sponsoring a summer art and essay contest as part of its five-year anniversary.
To raise awareness of childhood obesity and inactivity, the institute is challenging students to think about how their community could improve the health and fitness of youth. How do you see yourself, your family and your neighbors living a healthy lifestyle?
You can present your ideas in either art format or essay format. Each person may submit one entry per category. Parental permission is required.
• Open to all students in pre-k through 12th grade (rising grades).
• Art can be any medium; must be original creation, two-dimensional, and 81⁄2 by 11 or larger.
• Essays must be typed or neatly printed, must be original unpublished work and cannot exceed 1,000 words.
• Entries must be received by 5 p.m. on Aug. 2.
• Art and essays must be delivered or mailed to the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, 500 Laureate Way, Rm. 1139 Kannapolis, NC 28081
• Judges will choose a winner from each category for eligible prizes.
Categories and prizes: Pre-k-third grade ($50 for art and $50 for essay); fourth-eighth grade ($50 for art and $50 for essay); ninth-12th grade ($50 for art and $50 for essay). Grand prize is $100 for Best Overall Art Submission and $100 for Best Overall Essay Submission. Winners will be announced in September.
Artwork and essays will become and remain the exclusive property of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute and will not be returned.
Submitted art and essays must include a submitted and signed entry form. Forms are available at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, at, or all Cabarrus County libraries.