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Education briefs: Treasure Feamster Scholarship available

The Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship scholarship committee is accepting applications for the 2021 Treasure Feamster Scholarship through April 9. The scholarships are available for high school seniors who are members of a fellowship-affiliated church, regardless of field of study. Students can check with their guidance office or affiliated churches or call 704-639-1894 or 704-433-3277.

Catawba College nursing student awarded Blue Cross Scholarship

SALISBURY — Catawba College nursing student Martin Solano Munoz of Kannapolis, has been awarded a scholarship from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina for $3,333. Munoz, a senior at Catawba, is one of 25 students at independent colleges and universities in North Carolina to receive the scholarship, which were distributed by the Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC). The scholarships are part of a three-year, $250,000 pledge from Blue Cross NC.

“Martin goes above and beyond to advance his student nursing career,” Valerie Rakes, Chair of the Department of Nursing, School of Health Sciences and Performance at Catawba, said. “He is a leader in his class and has learned the values and professionalism to practice as a nurse. He will make contributions to the profession upon graduation.”

Attendance up at Overton’s Parent Coffee Hour

Staff at Overton Elementary School felt as if they had received a late Christmas present thanks to an increase in attendance at their most recent Parent Coffee Hour in January.

The monthly meeting has grown in popularity over the three years since its inception but, thanks to the Coronavirus, was forced to move to a virtual format and attendance dwindled.

Organizers Rosemary Wood, School Counselor, and Fran Lescoe, Communities in Schools Student Support Specialist, tried new tactics each month to generate excitement and increase attendance.  Usual pre-COVID strategies such as serving food and offering time for parents and their scholars to enjoy breakfast together prior to beginning the meeting have not been options as parents are no longer permitted inside the school building since in-person school resumed in the fall. Principal Marae Reid gave full support when a suggestion was made to send individual coffee cakes home with scholars so that parents would have a breakfast item to enjoy while attending the virtual meeting.  Later, a reminder label with a QR Code Zoom link was affixed to the coffee cakes, making it easier for parents to join in.

Slowly attendance is starting to look more like pre-COVID days.  Those that attend are given an opportunity to meet Overton staff, other parents, guardians, and grandparents, providing families with support and strengthening the school community. Monthly topics help parents learn about ways to improve their child’s academic achievement.  Guest speakers from the community, such as JF Hurley’s YMCA Ester Marsh, are invited to share their expertise as she did when November’s topic was Staying Healthy: Mind, Body, and Spirit.  Coffee Hour participants in December learned about Connecting Art to Learning and received materials to complete a holiday craft with their child at home.

Staff help spread the word to families about the monthly meetings making sure that all are invited.  District Translator Paola Guerrero attends each meeting and provides service to non-English speaking participants.  Hoping the momentum continues to build as staff and families are learning how to stay connected in the age of COVID, Wood and Lescoe are planning the next Zoom for February. With the topic of Cultural Awareness, they are hoping parents will learn the importance of building cultural awareness in their families and that the community strengthening efforts at Overton will ripple out in the community at large.

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