Leadership. Competition. Travel. Scholarships. Networking. Recognition. What do all of these words have in common? These are just a few of the opportunities available for students who participate in Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO’s) while in middle and high school.
Career and Technical Student Organizations offer students opportunities to prove their skills in competitive environments, develop critical leadership skills, and network with students in the state and nation who share similar goals. Many former students tout networks created through these student organizations as being major connectors to their current careers. All program areas in Career and Technical Education have correlating CTSO’s. Seven of these organizations exist today to carry individual above and beyond the classroom curriculum. Those are as follows:
- The National FFA Organization – First organized in 1928, FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education
- Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda – FBLA-PBL is a dynamic organization of young people preparing for success as leaders in our businesses, government, and communities. This organization is for students enrolled Business and IT Education courses.
- Family, Career and Community Leaders of America – Since 1945, FCCLA members have been making a difference in their families, careers and communities by addressing important personal, work and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education. Involvement in FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life — planning, goal setting, problem solving, decision-making and interpersonal communication — necessary in the home and workplace.
- Health Occupations Students of America – HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA’s goal is to encourage all health occupations instructors and students to join and be actively involved in the HOE-HOSA Partnership.
- DECA – DECA, a national association of marketing education students, provides teachers and members with educational and leadership development activities to merge with the education classroom instructional program.
- Technology Student Association – The Technology Student Association (TSA) is the only student organization devoted exclusively to the needs of technology education students who are presently enrolled in, or have completed, technology education courses.
- SkillsUSA – SkillsUSA is a national organization serving high school and college students and professional members who are enrolled in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations.
Craven County Schools has active chapters of each of these organizations in the middle and high schools. In fact, the newest chapters to be developed have been very successful this year. The HJ Macdonald Middle School TSA chapter has been in existence for just over 2 years. This chapter, led by advisor Michael Haynes, recently won 1st place in several events at the state level and went on to compete at the national level in Nashville, TN. The chapter won the Chapter Excellence Award as well has had students place in the top 20 in the nation in two competitive events. The opportunities these students experienced have made an impact that will last their lifetimes. To become involved in a CTSO, a student should see their Career and Technical Education teacher.
1, 2, 3, 4….Having Fun & Reading More!
Craven County summer reading camp students are doing just that; having fun and reading more! There are three schools hosting the camps in Craven County for students who just finished grades first, second, and third. The three camp locations are Roger Bell Elementary School in Havelock, Oaks Road Elementary in New Bern and Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary in Vanceboro. This year, the three Reading Camp locations have a combined total of 450 students in attendance. Teachers from schools throughout Craven County have joined together and dedicated their summer to inspire in young children the love of reading.
The camp began on Monday, June 27th and will end on Thursday, July 14. The program is a small group, intensive submersion in reading instruction that includes a focus on writing. The North Carolina Standard Course of Study is being taught through fun, motivating lessons that engage students. Students spend their day in whole group lessons, small group activities, partner work and reading stations. Teachers rotate between groups so the students work with more than one teacher during the day. Each day is packed with reading and writing through a variety of lessons and engagement.
Along with the variety of daily reading and writing learning, each student is provided breakfast, lunch and transportation to and from school. Teachers welcome the students off the bus in the morning with a camp cheer, remembering that motivation and the feeling that “you can do it” is so important to learners! The Reading Camp teachers all agree that the key to success for the camp begins with high expectations and requires enthusiasm to grow the children’s love of learning!
Just ask the kids! These students in the Roger Bell Elementary Camp shared their thoughts about Reading Camp. Charles Prusokowski said, “I like reading camp, because we learn that reading a lot helps you keep it in your brain forever!” Oscar Vega Alvarado explained, “I love everything at camp! There is nothing to do at home and I get bored. Reading is fun here!” Kendrick Kelly told us, “When I come in every morning, I’m excited to do whole-brain. When we do whole-brain, we use our hands and our words to learn new definitions. I like books and using the R.A.C.E. strategy to help me write.” Noah Whiting said, “I love it all! I’ve learned so much, I lost count. Stations are the most fun, because I get to learn while playing fun games!” Nestor Lopez wrapped it up with, “Stations are fun. I get to read and understand new words. I like whole-brain the best. It teaches us words that we need even in high school!”
The educators agree that teaching summer camp is a lot of work, but it’s a very rewarding experience. This opportunity allows the teachers to bond with the students and focus not only on instruction; but also, building self-esteem and respect for others. To be successful in this setting, everyone must work as one team; one team for the success of all children!
3rd Reading Camp Teacher at
Roger Bell Elementary in Havelock,NC
First grade geologists cranked up the heat in the science lab with Mrs. B! Armed with starbursts and scissors, they watched in awe as their sweet treats turned into sediment, compacted into sedimentary rock, morphed into metamorphic rock, bubbled as magma and cooled as igneous rock. Way to “rock” the rock cycle first graders!
W.J. Gurganus Elementary “Girls on the Run” team celebrated the culmination of a fantastic Spring season by completing their first Super 5K race sponsored by the Twin Rivers YMCA. Girls on the Run is a program that uses running to encourage lifelong health and fitness, and builds confidence through accomplishment. Our inaugural year saw eleven young ladies Alesia, Addison B., Trinity, Melissa, Kate, Shalyn, Mackenzie, Kayala, Madalyn, Chelsea, and Addison D. commit to and complete the season. Through teamwork and interactive lessons, the girls came to realize how they connect with and shape the world at large, and discovered their potential is limitless. The team would like to thank their parents, Ms. Hurst and Hobby Lobby for their support in helping make this a successful season. WJG is very proud of our “Girls on the Run.”
Last month, parents of students at Trent Park Elementary headed back to school, but not just for lunch or parent conferences. TPE’s second annual Title I-funded “Bring Your Parent to School Day” was held on Thursday, April 14th, with families attending kindergarten through fifth grade classes. Throughout the day, family members had the opportunity to participate in math lessons, reading workshops, science lab, and resource classes such as art, music, and physical education. Title I funds also provided each parent with a barbecue lunch, including sides and desserts, which was prepared by the TPE cafeteria staff and served in the Tiger Café.
Students and teachers alike were excited to have family members come for the day. When asked about her favorite part of the day, first grader Mbali shared that she liked that her mom got to sit with her in the classroom, while her classmate Glenwood was excited that his mom took him to the book fair to buy a new book. Second grade parents participated in centers and used various technology tools, including OSMO devices, the game-based Kahoot! learning platform, and Lego Education robotics activities.
Parents across grade levels were able to observe how students work together in cooperative groups, and how technology and hands-on activities are used across the curriculum to support learning standards. “It was nice that parents had the opportunity to see first-hand the instruction of Common Core, and how various skills are taught with a lot of hands-on materials,” shared Tae’jon Owens, who teaches special education students across grade levels.
Two fifth graders shared how they felt about having their parents with them for the day. “I like that my mom came because it was fun, and it was great for her to know what we do and how we do it, and she got to meet some of my teachers that she hadn’t met,” said Tia. Taevion added that he was happy both of his parents were able to come, even though his mother had to leave work early to join him at school. “She said it was very fun and she was happy that she was able to come,” he said.
Staff and students weren’t the only ones to enjoy the day. Family members enjoyed seeing what their children experience on a daily basis, and gained a greater appreciation for all the work teachers and assistants do. Several parents were overheard saying “I’m tired already, and it’s only lunchtime!” Leah Alvarado, mother of kindergarten student Isaac, shared, “We know what our children are learning and some of the activities they have during the day, but I appreciated being able to see how the teacher taught and join the activities. I was very surprised at how packed the day is.” Kat Muse, whose children Dylan and Kendall are in second and fifth grade respectively, added, “Not only was it extremely informative, but it was a fun way to spend the day with our children, enjoy Trent Park, and truly see the care that they receive every day. Thank you for allowing us to become elementary students again!”
In addition to participating in classroom activities, parents had the opportunity to attend information sessions offered by the Title I Reading Interventionist, Jennifer Voliva. During the sessions, families learned about grade level expectations and how to help their child at home. Third through fifth grade parents also received information about End-of-Grade testing and tips to help their child prepare for the tests. Based on feedback from parents, the staff at Trent Park is considering offering quarterly Parent Academies next year. These grade-level specific sessions would “teach” parents upcoming math standards, and would give them strategies to use when helping their child at home.
Fifth grade teacher Jennifer Carman summed up why Bring Your Parent to School Day is so important: “It makes the parents more comfortable in a school setting. It lets them feel invited and welcome, and they get to see what it’s like in a typical school day, and why it’s so important that their child is here every single day. There’s so much that goes on and so much that the children learn in such a small amount of time.”
Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary recently partnered with their local Food Lion grocery store to transform the store into a classroom. The busy aisles of a grocery store have never been so fun, or educational. The goal of Math Night is for students to be able to take the math skills they’re learning in the classroom and apply them to grocery shopping. To encourage community involvement, students created posters advertising the event. The posters were colorful, incorporated Food Lion with a math theme, and were displayed at the store. Participating students were entered into a drawing for a basketball goal donated by Utz Quality Foods.
When families arrived, they were directed to the check-in table where their child was given a clipboard and grade specific worksheet. Students, families, and teachers worked together to complete real world math activities throughout the store. Food Lion supplied complimentary snacks, raffle prizes, goodie bags for students and gift card drawings for teachers. Everyone had a great time during the event while developing a deeper understanding of the importance of using math in day-to-day life.
Armed with a glow stick, flashlight or light saber, James W. Smith families braved the darkness making their way around our illuminated hallways for our annual Title I Science Night. On April 14th, hundreds of students and family members were “glowing with greatness” as they flew a hovercraft, raced night crawlers, plunged in moon sand, launched night rockets, created a working circuit, toured our planetarium, tangled with back light twister, made glow in the dark slime, created a UV bracelet, built a firefly and much more. This was a great night for James W. Smith students and science to shine!
On May 6, 2016, our National Honor Society Chapter at Early College East High School in conjunction with our student led clubs held our 2nd annual NHS Club fair for our school family. The students from each club created and planned various activities to raise money for each club to participate in various club activities outside the normal club days. The staff participated by taking turns in the dunk tank or having student sign up for a chance to pie their teacher in the face with whipping cream. The event was well attended and enjoyed by young old.
A special event preceded the NHS Fair in that we as a school honored our graduating seniors by hosting a college signing day in which parents and student are encouraged to come sign a certificate in front of the school community and be recognized for acceptance into the college of their choice, military acceptance, and future non-profit organizations. Some the future colleges or universities represented in the signing where University of Alabama, Barton College, Craven Community College, East Carolina University, Norwich University, University of North Carolina , Asheville, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina , Charlotte, University of North Carolina, Pembroke, University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Students were also recognized for acceptance into our Military branches of service and AmeriCorps. Parents and students alike were proud and were grateful the recognition of their student’s accomplishment that will extend beyond their high school experience.
On May 11th, special angels from New Bern Family Eye Care visited Bridgeton Elementary to meet with all students who wear glasses. Each student’s glasses were assessed for any damages and repairs needed. Some students had their glasses cleaned and the arms tightened. Some glasses were readjusted or had nose pieces replaced. There were even some students who received brand new frames! The students can SEE better now and are ready to finish the school year! 32 students participated and a few staff members also had their eyewear evaluated. A special gift package was given to all teachers from the staff at New Bern Family Eye Care. A special thank you to Shannon Klienwolterink, Melisa Mosely, and Optician Suzanne Scott for taking the time to make sure the students of Bridgeton Elementary are sailing smoothly with clear sights for summer.