Spring Musical — The Adventures of Fearsome Pirate Frank


The annual spring drama production showed May 5-7, 2017 to sold out crowds in the school’s Black Box Theater.  The story of the the stage actors playing pirates being kidnapped by Fearsome Pirate Frank and her crew was a rousing comedy filled with talented actors perfectly cast for their parts. These students spent months learning lines, songs and dances and their hard work paid off in the incredible final production!

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A special thanks is owed to the stage hands, make-up crew, sound and lighting team. Also, the hard work of Director, Ryan Bender, Musical Director, Judy Coleman, and Assistant Director, Cheryl Catuto, is both recognized and greatly appreciated.


Finally, this production would not be possible without the support of the Jackie Ward Foundation which seeks to enrich and enhance an otherwise general education by introducing students to the life-changing power of the Arts, while promoting business, entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering  and math education.

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Annual Spring Musical THIS WEEKEND!

TLC Musical for website

The Learning Center! Charter School’s drama group, “The GrowZone Players” is “battening down the hatches” in preparation for this year’s upcoming spring musical, The Adventures of the Fearsome Pirate Frank. The school will offer 3 performances; Friday, May 5th, Saturday, May 6th at 6:30pm and Sunday, 7th at 2pm.

Tickets are on sale now at The Curiosity Shop Bookstore, downtown Murphy and at the school office, call 828-835-7240. You can also purchase tickets on the school’s website.

The musical will be performed in the auditorium on The Learning Center campus. Those attending the Saturday, May 6th performance will be treated to a special ceremony during intermission honoring the life and legacy of Jacqueline Marie Ward, 1950-1997.

After-Event Celebration and Fundraiser

Following the play on Saturday May 6th, make plans to attend a ticketed event celebrating the life and legacy of Jacqueline Marie Ward at The Murphy Arts Center, 33 Valley River Ave. This event includes entertainment by stand-up comedian, Karl Snow, a raffle, hors d’ oeuvres and cash bar. Proceeds from the musical will be used to purchase a multi-use stage and riser system for the school’s auditorium.

Want to Go?

The musical will be performed in the auditorium on The Learning Center campus 945 Conahetta St, Murphy, NC. Three performances (6:30pm); Friday, May 5th, Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, 7th at 2pm. Purchase tickets now at The Curiosity Shop Bookstore, downtown Murphy, online or call 828-835-7240.

1st Grade — Traditional Dress of iNupiaq


Our first grade teacher, Ms. Leslie, is from the Artic Circle in Alaska. She has been bringing in one thing from there each day to share about the ecosystem and culture of the native peoples there. On this day she brought in a whale vertebra, a parka, whale baleen and an example of native clothing of iNupiaq people.



Visiting Artist Plans Recycled Art Project for Campus Gardens


Back in March, Ashevile based artist, Jeff Menzer, visited The Learning Center to plan projects he and students will be implementing on campus this spring. Mr. Menzer specializes in creating “Re-Art” Sculpture, figurative sculpture, and environmental installations using found objects and industrial discards.  This spring he will work with our students to turn discarded trampoline parts into art pieces that will become part of The Outdoor Learning Center.


This large scale art piece project serves to involve students in the design process, involve students in collaborative problem solving of environmental issues through the creative process, and to complete two art sculptures, one a shelter and one large bug, that will be permanently installed on campus.

From Pokemon to Pottery, Learning Center Offers Unique Variety of Electives

unnamedThe Learning Center! Charter School continues to break ground with innovations that present parents and their students with high-quality offerings in 21st century education.

The tuition-free charter school offers unique electives to enrich the curriculum with an E-STEAM learning environment. (E-STEAM is an acronym for Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts/Agriculture, and Math.)  The Learning Center’s offerings for electives are vast for an area the size of Murphy, NC. Some examples include two “purposeful project making” courses in P.E. taught by Shelly Crawford, that offers a boot camp course and a course in which students create flags and jerseys for flag football.

Another example of the school’s electives, “Pop culture creations” encourages students to use Pinterest-inspired ideas to create crafts, activities and art that are inspired by their favorite pop culture themes such as Harry Potter, Mindcraft, Pokémon, Dr. Who and more.

Students interested in math would enjoy the Art/Math elective that uses the principals of math to create art. Science teacher, Jess Karageanes claims art skills are not necessary to create art the mathematical way. Another elective called, “Behind the Scenes Make-up” is taught by Ms. Heidi LaCentra who has over 15 years of experience working in theater in Florida.

The school also has a local jewelry maker and staff member, Cindy Brockway, who leads a group in a jewelry making elective. She will assist in setting up a business so the students can sell their creations at the May Art Walk in downtown Murphy.

Pokémon has been a hit this year with students as well as adults and students will have the opportunity to use Pokémon cards and explore the art behind the characters during this elective. They may even get to take a trip and search for digital Pokémon in downtown Murphy.

Other electives include a book club to spend time studying the written arts, a drama and theater arts elective, and for those who like to get their hands dirty, an aquaponics elective that involves growing plant life without soil. Students have many other choices including pottery, art & design, web design, knitting and crochet, hiking, forest management, puppetry, primative skills, coding, chess, cooking, and many more.

1st Annual Arts Gala Review


On November 4, 2016, TLC celebrated our Inaugural Arts Gala event. The TLC! GrowZone Players put on a delightful production that the audience loved. Our cooking elective students treated guests to house-made hors d’oeuvres. Student and staff artworks were on display as well as an amazing selection of monsters from our Halloween Monster Makers Contest. It was a wonderful evening of the arts!

A special thank you to Drama Director, Ryan Bender, for organizing our inaugural Arts Gala.

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