Education briefs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2015

National Conference for College Women Student Leaders scholarship

American Association of University WomenSalisbury Branch has set the annual goal of sending two students to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, which is held each year at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

This unique conference brings college women together to address important and contemporary leadership issues. It is a fast-paced, two-and-a-half day event that addresses the needs of current and aspiring women student leaders. The conference provides a transformative experience for attendees. Students return home ready to improve their campuses and their communities.

The scholarships provided by the Salisbury American Association of University Women will cover registration, room and board and $75 towards travel expenses. Applicants must be either from Rowan County or attending college in Rowan County, enrolled in college as a sophomore or junior, and have at least a 2.5 grade point average. Awardees may be required to attend a scholarship meeting, presentation and/or an American Association of University Women meeting.

To learn more about the conference, visit the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders website,,; download the application form from; or contact Kathy Pulliam, American Association of University Women branch president.

The scholarship application is due March 15. Submit application and questions to Kathy Pulliam at

North Hills students write persuasive letters

Over the past few weeks, students in Leslie Hunsucker’s fifth grade class at North Hills Christian School have anxiously been checking the mail each day.

Each year, Hunsucker teaches her students how to write persuasive letters as part of their language instruction, and this year, students practiced their newly learned skill by writing businesses, athletes, music groups and President Barack Obama.

Before writing their letters, students learned about different types of persuasive writing, the right way to persuade an audience and how to create a formal writing plan.

The students have received responses from Under Armour, Academy Sports, The Afters and Hasbro. Along with those responses, they’ve recieved discount codes, stickers, coupons and music CDs.

This activity was a life learning experience as the students saw the results of their persuasive words and realized how a few words can change a person for the positive.

Young musician shines in orchestra

The Salisbury Symphony Orchestra doesn’t let just anyone perform “The Nutcracker” with them, but last December, 14-year-old cellist Kevin Agner joined the group in the orchestra pit at Keppel Auditorium to perform.

Agner has been a student of Diane Bonds since he began studying cello approximately four years ago. He was a member of the Salisbury Youth Orchestra for two years and the Greensboro Youth Philharmonic Orchestra for one year. Most recently, he has been a member of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Agner has been awarded a merit scholarship each year he has studied at the Music Academy of North Carolina and was a first place winner at the 2014 Music Academy of North Carolina String Competition.

Recently he performed as part of the Concert Choir’s holiday program, and that is when David Hagy, Salisbury Symphony music director, heard him and invited him to perform with the orchestra for “The Nutcracker.”

Agner is the son of Dr. David and Sally Agner of Salisbury and has two older sisters, Rebecca and Laura. He is currently an eighth-grader at Erwin Middle School and a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, where he often performs.

“Kevin really enjoyed playing with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra in “The Nutcracker.” We appreciate the opportunity for Kevin to play with such wonderful musicians,” his mother said.

For information on the Salisbury Symphony’s music education programs, including the Rowan Youth Orchestra, contact Education Director Susan Trivette at, or call 704-637-4730.

UNC announces 10th consecutive record for first-year applications

With the close of the final deadline for first-year admission for fall 2015, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announces a 10th consecutive record for first-year applications — an increase of 2 percent over last year and 37 percent over five years ago.

As of Jan. 20, the 31,848 first-year applicants came from 99 counties in North Carolina, all 50 states and the District of Columbia and 113 countries outside the United States.

“We’re grateful that interest in Carolina remains so strong, and it is a joy and an honor to read every single application,” said Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions.

“Each application represents a human being, a young person with a unique combination of strengths and challenges, hopes and dreams. We do our best to consider all applicants carefully and to treat them with respect. No applicant deserves anything less from us,” he added.

Applications from students from families with low household incomes, as indicated by their qualification for a waiver of the application fee, rose from 3,505 to 3,563, an increase of 2 percent. The fee-waiver guidelines roughly parallel the thresholds for the Carolina Covenant, the university’s program that promises a debt-free education to all eligible admitted students who apply for aid on time. For the past two years, Covenant Scholars comprised 13 percent of the enrolling class.

Students who applied in October will receive their decisions by the end of January. Students who applied in January will receive their decisions by the end of March.

The university expects to enroll a first-year class of 4,000.

DCCC celebrates 30 years of small business support

The Davidson County Community College Small Business Center joins a statewide celebration to recognize 30 years of support and assistance to small businesses by offering new programming for small business owners in Davidson and Davie counties this spring.

The college’s Small Business Center is part of the Small Business Center Network of the N.C. Community College System that has provided confidential business counseling and seminars to small business owners and entrepreneurs across North Carolina for three decades.

The Small Business Center, based at the Davie Education Center, is partnering with the Davie Chamber of Commerce to bring the “Sales Academy Series: The Sales Workshop” to the county. This two-part series will help businesses and sales staff enhance their skills and generate more revenue in 2015.

Seminars covering topics such as business budgeting and financing, grant writing, creating effective websites, trends in digital marketing and supply chain management are scheduled.

Additional information on these Small Business Center events and other programs and services is available on the college’s website at or by contacting Martha Larson, director, at 336-224-4557.

“Keeping the SBCN local helps to ensure that area businesses can access business development services offered by DCCC,” Larson says. “We encourage our local businesses and prospective business owners to take advantage of the valuable services offered locally by the college.”

Multi-sensory approach engages a variety of learning styles

Salisbury Academy is committed to engaging young minds and creating opportunities for hands-on learning and discovery both in and out of the classroom. Faculty participate in professional development throughout the year focused on various areas, including ways to educate children with a variety of learning styles.

Recently, third-grade teacher Kim Petty attended her second seminar on the Orton-Gillingham theory, a multisensory reading approach. This method combines multi-sensory techniques along with the structure of the English language. Students use a variety of tools and activities engaging their senses to help them learn reading, writing and spelling.

Petty has six years experience with using Orton-Gillingham.

“This is a method to teach reading and spelling together, and that allows us to teach to all the ways children process information,” she said.

This conference was an advanced continuum of the comprehensive training Petty already participated in.

The training last year provided a complete understanding of the Orton-Gillingham method and the tools necessary to apply it in the classroom, including phonemic awareness, multi-sensory strategies for reading, writing and spelling, syllabication patterns for encoding and decoding, multi-sensory techniques for sight words, student assessment techniques and guidelines for weekly lesson plans. This training was geared toward kindergarten through third grade teachers.

The most recent seminar, geared toward third- through eighth-grade teachers, focused on Greek and Latin roots, vocabulary, writing and grammar, teaching encoding and decoding with morphemes, and higher level lesson planning.

Petty said the seminar will help her instruct students in order to grow in their experience and ability to read unfamiliar vocabulary and to read that vocabulary in context.

Crosby Scholars final Seventh/Eighth Grade Academy is Feb. 7

The final Seventh/Eighth Grade Academy for Crosby Scholars will be held on Feb. 7 at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Crosby Scholars seventh- and eighth-grade students must attend one academy per year to meet the program requirements. Check in is from 9 until 9:30 a.m., and parent pick-up is 11:45 a.m.  Students or parents must register through their student portal at

The final sixth-grade academies will be held on March 14 and 21 from 1 until 4 p.m. at Catawba College. Register through student portal.

Call 704-762-3512 with questions.

South Rowan FFA receives FFA: Food For All grant to help fight hunger

The South Rowan FFA chapter in China Grove has been awarded $2,500 as part of the FFA: Food For All program. The nationwide program provides grant money to local FFA chapters to support year-long service-learning projects that address local hunger needs.

The South Rowan FFA plans to help fight hunger by raising chickens for egg and meat production and growing various fruits and vegetables on the agriculture department’s land laboratory. The fresh eggs, poultry meat and fresh fruits and vegetables will be donated to Main Street Mission in China Grove and to the Unity Mobile Meals program at Unity United Methodist Church.

FFA members will care for layers and collect their eggs, raise and process broilers, and plant, raise and harvest fruits and vegetables in an effort to provide fresh, healthy foods for local residents in need. This is the fourth year that the South Rowan FFA Chapter has received this grant.

Catawba College one site for Regional Professional Learning Day on Feb. 28

Catawba College will be one of the sites across the state hosting a Regional Professional Learning Day for teachers and prospective teachers on Feb. 28. The professional development day is sponsored by the N.C. Association of Educators.

The Professional Learning Days are offered by the N.C. Association of Educators in an effort to ensure that organization’s members receive the most current, relevant and effective support in their work as education professionals.  With tracks for classroom teachers, college students and beginning teachers, National Board Certified Teachers who wish to work with candidates and association leaders, there is a connection for every aspect of the work of public school employees.

Although sessions are held across the state, the agenda for the day’s events are the same at each location.  Other universities and colleges in the state that are sites for the Feb. 28 Professional Learning Day are Western Carolina University, the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Wesleyan and Bennett.

Tracks will be offered for classroom teachers, student NCAE members and beginning teachers, National Board Certification Candidate Support Institutes, and leadership development. All sessions will provide participants with lunch, materials and a certificate noting a time-value of five contact hours, or 0.5 continuing education units.

The registration deadline is  Feb. 18. Registration fees are $10 for Student N.C. Association of Educators or N.C. Association of Educators members and $40 for non-members.  Registration is available at

For questions, contact the N.C. Association of Educators Center at 800-622-7924.

Food Lion, Coca-Cola and CIAA partner to provide scholarship grants through essay contest

Food Lion, together with Coca-Cola and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, offer the Food Lion Essay Contest as part of the 2015 CIAA basketball tournament. Students of Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association member institutions are encouraged to submit a 500 to 700 word essay answering the question, “How has your Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association school influenced your perspective on life or view of the world?”

Essays are due on Jan. 31 and can be submitted through the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s website.

Four grand prize winners will be chosen to receive a $5,000 scholarship plus two tickets to the CIAA Basketball Tournament games on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 with two nights of hotel accommodations, along with $500 for travel expenses. Fifteen runner-up winners will be selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship. A total of $35,000 in scholarship grants will be awarded to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association students by Food Lion and Coca-Cola.