A shout out to Havelock High School students,Samantha Steichen and Miranda Klein who placed 3rd in the North Carolina Association of School Administrator’s Every Child’s Chance…Every Community’s Future video contest. “PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE GREAT! ”
Ms.Gatchel’s 3rd grade class, at Brinson Memorial, is learning about the body. Pictured are students, Olivia Davis with Madison Clark. This project, X-ray skeleton investigation, was funded by a Weyerhaeuser Mini Grant. Congrats Ms. Gatchel & it is obvious that BME students do not have any lazy bones:-)
On Friday, JT Barber Elementary conducted a Silent March for Peace in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. All 400 students carried a candle and walked silently around the outside of the school. Students were told to self-reflect as they walked and think about how they could make the world, their community, their school and their homes more peaceful. Some carried posters stating what their dream for peace is, or how they feel they can make the world a better place. Also, in the hallways staff placed footprints on the floor that the students wrote what they dream of or the reason they were marching. As the students marched around the school in silence, the famous I have a Dream speech played over the intercom.
It is not unusual to see the cadets of the Havelock High School NJROTC out and about in the Havelock community. Their presentation of the National Colors and Organizational Colors with rifle escorts during the National Anthem at Havelock High School home football games is viewed by thousands each Friday night. They also perform in area parades including the Havelock High School homecoming parade, Christmas parades and annual Veteran’s Day parades; however, these young and dedicated students do much more than wear uniforms and perform precision marching.
The Havelock unit is officially known as the Iron Brigade Regulators of the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC), and is led by Senior Naval Science Instructor Major Alex McCraight and Naval Science Instructor AO1 Dustin Edsall. During the fall semester there were 73 cadets who studied Naval Science in a daily academic setting. Havelock High School clubs and organizations are encouraged to participate in community service, and the cadets of the NJROTC are often called upon to assist in school and community events. The cadets incorporate a code of honor, courage and commitment into their lives and have performed 951 hours of community service since the beginning of the current school year.
Cadets demonstrate their signature can-do attitude and inspirational volunteer spirit as they greet and assist football patrons in the handicapped parking areas of Havelock High School Rams Stadium every Friday night at football games and at other public events. In addition they provide assistance at many local charity 5K runs. They assist with blood drives and help with holiday events for local Marine units. The elementary schools in Havelock have also benefitted from their assistance with Veteran’s Day programs and on field days.
The Salvation Army presented the Havelock unit with the 2013 Salvation Army “Bell Ringers of the Year” award in honor of the many hours of assistance provided during their annual Christmas fund raising drive. Junior Susan Takacs, a Petty Officer in the unit says, “I like working with other cadets during service events. I get to spend time with my friends while helping people in our community.” Senior Naval Instructor, Major Alex McCraight, described his vision for the unit in the following way: “We are moving towards a cadet driven program where cadets develop leadership skills and apply them to events and situations with minimal supervision. Student leadership is essential to the program and cadets are learning that peer pressure is good, as long as it is positive peer pressure.”
The Havelock Iron Brigade Regulators also successfully compete with other local JROTC units in academics, drill, orienteering, physical fitness, and in air rifle matches. The NJROTC program is just one of many outstanding programs at Havelock High School. By focusing on community service and leadership development, the Havelock NJROTC program supports the school vision which encourages students to maximize their potential through academic and personal growth.
Character Education is a national movement creating schools that foster ethical, responsible, and caring young people by modeling and teaching good character through an emphasis on universal values that we all share. It is the intentional, proactive effort by schools, districts, and states to instill in their students important core, ethical, and civic values such as respect, responsibility, integrity, perseverance, courage, citizenship, and self-discipline.
Craven County Schools, under the compliance of the Student Citizen Act of 2001 (SL 2001-363), developed and implemented character education instruction with input from the local community. With the passage of this Act, the state of North Carolina has affirmed that the development of character in our children is the cornerstone of education.
Each month, specific character traits are spotlighted throughout the district and students are encouraged to understand and model core ethical values. Perseverance is the character trait for the month of January. Fourth grade students at WJ Gurganus Elementary School were asked to write their interpretation of perseverance and if they could relate to a time in their lives that they had to persevere:
“I learned how to ride my bike by persevering. I fell over a bunch. It hurt a lot, but I kept trying. I never gave up. It was very hard but I did it.”
“When I learned to ride my bike, I fell a lot and hurt myself. I persevered through (kept trying). I persevered for a long time. My Mom was inside when I finally got going, but she actually saw from the door. So, greater things can happen when you persevere!”
“When I was in second grade, my babysitter took me to YMCA afterschool swimming lessons. I couldn’t even doggy paddle at the start! I worked with Mr. CN (my coach) every Tuesday and Thursday. I even practiced in the pool after every lesson. I wanted and yelled to quit. When I said it was too hard, my parents, family, and babysitter made me persevere the whole time. I got more advanced classes and soon loved swimming. I got so good, in the summer after second grade, my parents removed me. I now just like to sit and think about how hard I worked and what I accomplished in so little time.”
“On the third season, I played soccer. My team was irritating. We won about three games, most of our team had never played soccer before, and most of us never got help. But I never gave up. I wanted to quit so bad, but my team only had a few players and they probably couldn’t play if I quit. So I didn’t give up. I persevered.”
“I used perseverance to write this article. I was trying to think of ideas, but everyone was talking about their article. I lost like 100 ideas because I got distracted a lot! I used perseverance and made it through this article, even though people were bugging me.”
So…perserverance is: even with obstacles, you keep on going and do not give up!
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Keep up the great work and enjoy those missions!
As one walks through the halls of Trent Park Elementary School, visitors encounter children actively engaged in the learning process. Peek into the Art room and you will find students creating beautiful masterpieces utilizing a variety of media including paints, pastels, clay and more! Along that same hallway, first grade students work in collaborative groups to complete literacy centers. They are playing literacy games, reading independently, working on the Kindle, participating in active listening at the listening center and working with the teacher. As you continue through the school, you may see a kindergarten class sitting on a brightly colored carpet engaged in a morning meeting. Here they gather each morning to get ready for the day, practice social skills and build a sense of community in their classroom. Outside in a learning cottage, students in Music class are singing, dancing and playing instruments. They are busy integrating music with other subjects to help students be successful throughout the school day.
This all sounds amazing! It is, but it is not an easy task. Dr. Eleanor Patrick, principal at Trent Park Elementary (TPE), issued a challenge to her staff members. She challenged them to earn $20,000 in grants during the 2014-2015 school year. While this may seem like a lofty goal, it is certainly not impossible. Staff members immediately began seeking out grant opportunities and writing grants. To date, TPE staff members have received over $13,000 in grants this school year.
Like many educators, the teachers at Trent Park have found that outside funding, in the form of grants, allows them to provide their students with educational experiences and materials their districts can’t afford. Dr. Patrick calls grant writing a proactive measure. She states “Our students deserve the very best. Rather than accepting the issues surrounding under-funding our teachers work together to creatively write innovative grants in order to meet the educational needs of all students.”
Mrs. Erwin is a beginning teacher at TPE. She has received two Donor’s Choose grants this year. Her first grant was titled “Leveled Library Is The Key To Take You Where You Want To Be.” This grant was funded in conjunction with a donation from Keller Williams Reality. The grant will provide her students with a complete library set of leveled books. When asked to describe the implementation of her grant, Mrs. Erwin said “These items are used daily in order to make Reader’s Workshop, independent reading and Guided Reading/Daily 5 successful in my classroom. Students now have access to books of different levels and genres that they can read. The can choose just right books. I also use these items for individualized instruction based on specific student need to reinforce reading strategies and skills.” She hopes that her students will become successful, confident readers.
Kindergarten teacher, Rebecca Sanchez saw a need for her students. In past years, TPE has been the recipient of the Healthy Fruit and Vegetable grant. This grant provided students with a daily snack. This year, we did not receive the grant. Mrs. Sanchez applied for a $400 Wal-Mart Community Grant. Knowing that providing a daily snack on top of meals at home can be burdensome for some parents, Mrs. Sanchez’ grant will buy healthy snack for kindergarten students. She hopes that this grant will take some of the burden off parents for a short time. Mrs. Sanchez was also the recipient of a CCAE mini grant to purchase big books to teach reading strategies in kindergarten. She says “big books are easier for all students to access and they enjoy reading larger books with partners. Big books also allow easier access for teaching basic literacy skills such as book and print. It is also easier for students to see the print and locate text specific concepts.”
Fifth grade teacher Jennifer Carman has used her grant to create a unique learning experience for her students. Mrs. Carman was awarded a Pets in the Classroom grant from Petsmart. The money from the grant was used to purchase a hamster, food, bedding and other supplies. The hamster has become a member of their classroom family. Students blog to him throughout the year, thus increasing their writing and technology skills. As a member of the class, he will often ask the students questions about science and math. The students write to him in order to “teach” him about the subject. Students truly understand concepts when they are able to teach someone else. Mrs. Carman says that “a lot of the children do not have pets. This gives them the chance to have one. They help clean his cage, feed him and care for him. The students love him. They run to his cage every morning to see what he is doing.”
Across the curriculum, from Music and Art to Reading, Writing and Technology, Trent Park teachers are going above and beyond to provide their students with unique, exciting and individualized learning experiences.
If you ask any adult what the last book they read was, most could not tell you because the last time they sat down just to read for enjoyment is a distant memory. But if you ask them if they read on a daily basis, most, if not all, would answer yes. Some would give examples such as: the newspaper, a magazine article, or something on the internet. Nine times out of ten, what they had read would be classified as nonfiction or informational text.
Reading for enjoyment is something teachers at Arthur Edwards allow their kids to do on a daily basis to instill a love of reading. As you know though, our world is full of information, sometimes an overwhelming amount. Because of this, the third grade teachers have been hard at work, guiding their students and showing them just how to go about using text features to make sense of the magnitude of information an informational piece relays.
As educators, the third grade teachers knew that just being able to identify a text feature is not enough. In order for students to be successful in understanding the text being read, they must know how to utilize the information that has been provided. Not only were the students expected to learn how to identify text features, they had to be able to learn what text feature was best suited to answer questions posed by teachers.
In the beginning of the study on text features, students were asked to demonstrate their knowledge of using these tools. Based on the results, the teachers knew where to begin with instruction. Many lessons and hands-on activities were used to build their knowledge on text features and how to use them such as: searching in books to find text features, matching games, a word splash using key details, developing their own questions based on text features.
Our culminating activity was a scavenger hunt set up in the main hallway of the school. The students had to find and determine which text feature correlated with the question. Once the students determined they were in the correct location, they had to complete an activity based on the text feature.
Shellah Marsh, Third grade teacher at AWE