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Education briefs

North Hills students build  log cabins

Each year, Leslie Hunsucker’s fifth-grade class at North Hills Christian School builds log cabins as they read Elizabeth George Speare’s book, “Sign of the Beaver.”

The students, with some help from their parents, work diligently to build their miniature cabins.

The students are required to use period-specific techniques, such as notching sticks, chinking gaps and building a three-layer detachable roof. They also have to add furniture and miniature landscaping with a garden, walkway and pond.

The students always show their creative side by the materials they use to build their cabins.  Materials used for the walls included popsicle sticks, tongue depressors, Lincoln logs and hot dogs. Mortar for the construction included toothpaste, caulk, play dough and easy cheese. Roofs were made of graham crackers, straws, pretzels, sticks and various greenery. Blue stones, beads and Jello were used to make the ponds on the property.

The projects were on display in the Rowan Public Library for the entire month of February.

“I started taking them to the main branch of the public library about three years ago because I hated for the kids to do so much work and no one get to see it,” Hunsucker said.

Fourth-graders share love at RHM

Bonnie Clark and Diana Hammill’s fourth-grade classes traveled to Rowan Helping Ministries to spread the love of Jesus Christ to people served by the ministry.

The students and staff delivered more than 160 goodie bags filled with chocolate, valentines, a scripture verse and a handwritten note. The students personalized each of the valentines by saying “We are praying for you.”

The students toured the facility and learned about the many different programs Rowan Helping Ministries is involved in other than the shelter, such as Jeannie’s Kitchen, Clothing Center, Food Pantry, Crisis Assistance Network, Transitional Housing Programs, Rowan Helping Ministries-West and New Tomorrows.

They ended their time at Rowan Helping Ministries by hearing from an individual who no longer receives the services from the ministry, but now serves others in one of the many programs Rowan Helping Ministries offers.

Salisbury Academy students win Battle of Books

Salisbury Academy middle school students won first place in the Region Nine North Carolina Middle School Battle of the Books competition.

Sponsored by the North Carolina School Library Association, the purpose of the Battle of the Books program is to encourage reading. Throughout the year, students read, review, discuss and prepare to be quizzed on their knowledge of each book they read.

Much like a book club, the students meet weekly to discuss the books. Books read by the students are chosen by the North Carolina School Library Association.

The Salisbury Academy team practiced weekly beginning in October with each member reading a minimum of 15 of the 27 books. Some students read all 27.

Middle school students traveled to The O’Neal School in Southern Pines, where they competed against Charlotte Country Day, Cannon School, Burlington School, St. Pius X and The O’Neal School.

The team, coached by Pat Foley, consisted of Roshen Amin, Tom Bristol, Sarah Clifton, Lila Harry, Marshall Overcash, Nicholas Peltz, Nikhil Roy and Patrick Smith. Heather Coulter is the team’s assistant coach. They will advance to the next level of competition for independent schools on March 26 at St. Thomas More School in Chapel Hill.

“We participate in Battle of the Books to expose students to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints by prominent authors in the area of young adult literature,” said Foley. “The game format creates interest and excitement in reading. Through the variety of book choices, students expand their selections beyond their usual genres.”

Original West Rowan principal turns 92

West Rowan High School opened in the fall of 1959 under the leadership of Dr. Frank Greer as principal. Greer remained principal through the 1965 school year.

Teachers and students from that era still revere Greer and the time he spent at West Rowan High School, and several of them celebrated his 92nd birthday with him last week at Oak Park Retirement Home. The Spirit of ‘65 sponsored the celebration.

Local student to star in “In the Heights”

Sierra Key of Mooresville is set to star in Dean College’s production of “In the Heights” April 8-12.

The Dean College production will take place on the Main Stage within the Campus Center at Dean College, 99 Main Street, Franklin, Massachusetts.

Performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $5-$20 and can be purchased online. To purchase tickets and learn more, visit www.dean.edu/intheheights.

Funeral home offers scholarships

Hairston Funeral Home Scholarship application packets are available now and can be picked up at the funeral home, 703 S. Main St. in Salisbury. Completed application packets are due by April 30. For more information, contact Velveeta Reid-Hairston, scholarship chairwoman, at 704-638-6464.

Area farmer directs funds to West Rowan FFA

West Rowan FFA received a $2,500 donation from local farmer Ray Horton and America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.

According to Agriculture Teacher Jason Chester, the funds will be used to improve the club’s livestock facilities. This involves constructing a roof and working chute, and creating a quarantine area for the livestock.

“Donations like this are vitally important to our organization’s ability to provide industry-relevant instruction to the students of our community. With support like this, we are able to expand the infrastructure, teaching materials and quality of our programming to provide students with the best opportunity to expand their growth in the area of agricultural education,” Chester said. “In addition, this funding helps us to completely fulfill our mission of providing premier leadership, personal growth and career success.”

A sister program in the America’s Farmers effort, Grow Rural Education, is currently in its farmer nomination phase. Farmers interested in supporting math and science education in their communities should visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com from now through April 1 to learn how.

Hanford-Dole book club

The first grade students at Hanford-Dole Elementary enjoyed the presentation of the book “Duck on a Bike” in the school’s media center.

The guest reader this month was Michelle Macon, executive director of Cornerstone Child Development Centers and a member of the board of directors of Communities In Schools-Rowan.

With Macon’s background of working with small children, she was able to bring the book to life for the first-graders. Her enthusiasm kept all the students’ attention throughout the presentation.

Macon asked the students questions regarding the parts of a book, the animals on the farm and sequencing of the order of the animals that Duck met.

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

Fran Simpson, one of the Communities in Schools site coordinators, did a parent presentation on reading and writing to the parents in attendance as a follow-up to 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.

NC Symphony to perform for   fifth-graders

On March 20, the North Carolina Symphony will make its annual pilgrimage to Salisbury to provide what for many fifth-graders is their very first live classical concert.

To accommodate all of the county’s fifth-graders, two concerts will be held in Keppel Auditorium — one at 10 a.m. and the other at 12:30 p.m. The concerts are made possible through the support of The Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation and the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation.

In addition to the Rowan-Salisbury School System, North Hills Christian School, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Salisbury Academy, Lexington City Schools and home-schoolers plan to send their fifth-graders.

By concert time, music teachers will have taught students about the musical compositions and the composers. Selected students will perform on recorders and other instruments, and all the children will sing.

An added treat for the N.C. Symphony musicians in Salisbury is that the Friends of the Symphony hosts a picnic lunch for them between concerts. This is the only community to do so and reflects the hospitality reputation of Rowan County. Special thanks go to Dr. Martha K. West for donating the cost of the meal.

Homebuilders Association to offer scholarships

The Salisbury-Rowan Homebuilders Association is awarding three $1,000 scholarships to Salisbury-Rowan high school and college students who are pursuing a career in the homebuilding industry.

A student must possess academic promise and exhibit personal characteristics that would lead to success in the homebuilders’ trade and must be a resident of Rowan County. Transcripts must be provided. The student must also submit a short paragraph on what he or she feels this scholarship would help achieve and complete a short application.

Applications can be downloaded at www.srhba.com.  Click on “Forms,” then “SRHBA  Scholarship Application.”

All applications must be received by April 10.

Call Chris McNeely 704-213-3793 with any questions.

Rowan County Crosby Scholars

Rowan County Crosby Scholars’ final academy for seventh- and eighth-graders is tonight, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Randy Hemann Room of the F&M Professional Center.

Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG offers scholarships

Salisbury/Rowan PFLAG will offer six $1,000 scholarships to Rowan County gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and/or their straight allies for academic year 2015-16.

The group offers the Anne Stanback-Charlotte Kinlock Scholarship, named for Salisbury native Anne Stanback and her wife, Charlotte Kinloc; the Founder’s Equality Scholarship; Salisbury/Rowan PFLAG chapter scholarship; the Linda Ketner Community Service Scholarship, named for Salisbury native Linda Ketner; the Bob Page-Dale Frederiksen Business Scholarship, named in honor of Bob Page, the founder and CEO of Replacements Ltd. in Greensboro and his life partner, Dale Frederiksen; the Salisbury Pride-Scotty Ray Gilbert Scholarship, named in honor of Salisbury Pride’s former entertainment director, Scotty Ray Gilbert; and the Roger and Linda Hull Scholarship.

“The six scholarships are offered to all Rowan County public, private and home-schooled seniors as well as Rowan County Early College students,” said Mike Clawson, president of the local chapter.

“Our scholarships are unique in that students do not have to be attending a traditional four-year college to apply. We encourage anyone planning to attend a community college or trade school, including cosmetology or culinary school, for example, to apply for one of our scholarships,” said Merry Overholser, chairwoman of the Scholarship Advisory Committee.

Scholarship applications are available at all local high school guidance offices or can be downloaded from the Salisbury Pride website at www.salisburypride.org. The deadline to submit application is April 20, and all candidates will be notified of the outcome by May 15.

For more information, contact scholarships administrator Overholser, at 704-550-7385 or merryohyes@gmail.com

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