Education briefs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hanford Dole reading club

The first-grade students of Hanford-Dole Elementary School enjoyed the presentation of a Valentine story in the school’s media center last week.

Fran Simpson, one of the Communities In Schools’ site coordinators at the school, read “The Biggest Valentine Ever.”

Simpson told the students the history of Valentine’s Day and the usual customs of sharing cards, candy and flowers.

As Simpson read the book, she brought out the main ideas of sharing and making a plan and new vocabulary words. She also asked the students critical-level thinking questions. She was enthusiastic and kept all the students’ attention during the presentation.

Simpson also did a parent workshop on reading and writing for the parents in attendance as a follow-up on the book that was read. Hanford-Dole and Communities in Schools-Rowan are committed to engaging the parents in school activities to better prepare students and parents to work together with the school.

Hanford-Dole’s book club is sponsored by grants from Target Stores, Schneider Electric and Communities in Schools-Rowan.


Read Across America book drive

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s English department and Rotaract Club are conducting a book drive to collect new, age-appropriate books for local kindergarten and first grade students.

They need volunteers to help gift wrap the books Friday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s South Campus in the Community Room 106, 1531 Trinity Church Rd. in Concord. Email to sign up.

They are also still accepting donations of books, tape, scissors and wrapping paper.

Volunteers are also needed to go to elementary schools in Concord and Salisbury between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on March 2 to read a book to kindergarten or first-grade classrooms, tell them a little bit about Read Across America and hand out gift-wrapped books for them to take home. To sign up to read, email .


DCCC’s Davie Campus hosts civil rights program

Key figures and scenes from the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s were brought to life in a powerful program presented last week on the Davie Campus of Davidson County Community College.

“Let It Shine: The American Civil Rights Movement Play” depicted pivotal events that advanced the cause for equal rights, creating a better understanding of the era for students, faculty, staff and community members attending.

The production opened with actors and narrators Adrian Blount and Alex Keane of the Bright Star Touring Theatre leading the audience in a spirited rendition of “This Little Light of Mine,” a theme song adopted to help “light the path” of the civil rights movement.

Events depicted began with Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white passenger in 1955 and the subsequent boycott of the bus system that led to the emergence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the nation’s foremost civil rights leader.

Other events discussed and dramatically portrayed by Blount and Keane included the integration of a Little Rock, Arkansas, high school in 1957, the lunch counter sit-in at the Greensboro Woolworth’s in 1960, Freedom Riders who rode interstate buses into the segregated South in 1961 to challenge non-enforcement of federal civil rights laws, the deaths of four young girls in a Birmingham church bombing in 1963, the Salem-to-Montgomery marches of 1965 and King’s final speech in Memphis before his assassination in 1968.

“We as a people have come a long way,” says student Tichina Morrison. “The actors did a really good job.”

Student Phillip Peck notes he enjoyed the program and it helped him realize “as African Americans we’re still struggling but overcoming.”

The Bright Star Touring Theatre of Asheville specializes in literary, curriculum and character education-based performances presented to audiences across the United States.


Morgan Gray Scholarship available

The deadline to apply for the Morgan R. Gray Memorial Scholarship Fund is March 31. The amount of the scholarship is yet to be determined, but more than $7,000 has been awarded since 2005.

The scholarship for Rowan County students who were homeschooled during their junior and senior years was established in memory of 11-year-old Morgan Gray, a Rowan County homeschool student who died in an automobile accident in 2001.

Applicants must be a full-time student accepted by a college, university, nursing, business or trade school; present evidence of good character by participation in extracurricular activities including community affairs, church, employment and other endeavors, and show proof of home schooling during the junior and senior years of high school.

Unlike many scholarships, this one is open to any full-time college student meeting these requirements, not just rising freshmen. Funds may be used for tuition, books, and/or school supplies. Previous applicants may re-apply for this scholarship.

Applications can be found in the Homeschool Vertical file at the Rowan County Public Library in Salisbury or online at .

Questions can be directed to Peter Gray, 704-267-5131.


Reading here, there and everywhere

Students can often become stressed when it comes to reading, but not Kathy Neadeau’s reading students at North Hills Christian School.

Her classes had a special reading assignment to fulfill their reading challenge. The students’ homework was to find different ways to read that didn’t involve sitting at a desk or in a chair. They were challenged to turn their book upside down and read or just to read upside down.

“I loved this assignment. I realized I can read anywhere,” said Lynsi Hunt.

Some of the activities included reading upside down, reading to a pet, reading in front of a mirror, reading in the car, reading to a family member, reading in pajamas and reading under the bed or under furniture – students were encouraged to read anywhere and everywhere.

Reading classes at North Hills Christian School are especially exciting when it is their turn to read to Marley, a licensed and certified therapy dog with Canine Angels, Inc. Elementary students at the school love to snuggle with Marley as they practice their reading skills. Marley brings a special element to the reading process because he always makes them feel confident in their reading skills.


N.C. Department of Public Instruction looking for feedback on English and math instruction

North Carolina public school parents and community members are invited to go online and give their feedback on the standards for English language arts and mathematics instruction for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction has launched the online survey for parents and community members to provide feedback on the standards currently in place for students. The survey is available at until April 30.