As Seen in the Cherokee Scout: Tuition-free Public Charter School Offers Rich Program Across All Districts

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Murphy – The Learning Center, a tuition-free public charter school, continues to break ground with high-quality offerings in 21st century education. On-going facility improvements – including a newly renovated dining commons – are designed for rich academic opportunities on this “future-ready” campus.

The Learning Center! offers an E-STEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts/Agriculture, and Math) learning environment. The school’s education philosophy includes the belief that all young learners have the right to experience a broad, rich, and rigorous range of academics during the formative K-8 years. Additionally, the school offers an award-winning nutrition program, daily P.E., unique electives and extra-curricular opportunities. The school’s emphasis on healthy living, community involvement and high academic standards is designed to produce future-ready citizens. This tuition-free public charter school (K-8th) has NO district restrictions and accepts students across all counties.

The Learning Center’s Montessori Blend Kindergarten program has proven to be a strong approach to instruction for even the youngest learners. “We’ve had consistent success with the feeder Montessori Program that is located on our school campus,” said school director, Mary Jo Dyre.

The school’s “Above and Beyond” programs include Compacted Math classes for gifted students, Flexible Grouping in Math, K-4 chorus and a highly developed drama program. The upper grade’s CREW Program, in its second year of operation, promotes character development, goal setting and responsible behaviors.

More extras including National Honor Society, Odyssey of the Mind teams, “Academics and the Arts” artists-in-residency program, “Mini and Middle REAL” young entrepreneur program and Writers Club provide students with the opportunities to become all they can be.

Designated as a “USDA Healthier U.S. School” (Silver Level), The Learning Center! places a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. The school also has a free breakfast and lunch program available for ALL students.

The Learning Center! serves approximately 200+ students and is open to both in and out-of-county students. There is no tuition for grades K through 8th. The school also features a Montessori private preschool, serving ages 3-5 years. After School programs are available for all ages. Summer Enrichment Programs such as “Engineering Camp” and Intervention programs are also offered.

For more information or to schedule a tour, call 828.835.7240. Visit www.naturallygrownkids.org, their blog (tlcgrowzone.org/blog) and FaceBook page (facebook.com/TLCGrowZonePage).

Living History Museum

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Back in May, upper grade students “opened” a Living History Museum to the younger grades. These older students each selected a historic figure and not only presented information about that person, but dressed like them as well. They essentially became that historical figure.

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For this project, these upper grade students had to synthesize the information they learned to create an exhibit representative of their subject. In order to select pivotal events or recreate significant circumstances in an individual’s life, students had to research the person but also critically evaluate the people, places, and events surrounding them in order to develop a powerful exhibit. Deciding on a format, selecting key material for younger students to understand, and putting it all in context required active learning and encouraged creative interpretation. As they worked, students needed to understand the subject and the world in which he or she lived.  Additionally, this Living History Museum introduced younger students to subjects relevant to their history studies beyond their reading ability.

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The Celtic Company Concert

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On April 3, 2017, The Celtic Company with Susan Clearman performed traditional Celtic music for all students at The Learning Center. John Maschinot played the uillean pipes.  They are smaller than the great Highland pipes and powered by a bellows operated by the player’s arm. Susan played the accordion and Evan Kenney played guitar and banjo. They performed with singer/step-dancer Olivia Bradley who performed traditional Irish dance as well as played the bodhran, the traditional Celtic hand drum.

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The authentic, traditional music was available to our students thanks to the Brasstown Concert Association and the Jackie Ward Foundation. Students couldn’t help but to tap their feet and clap along to the wonderful Irish singing and dance!

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Spring Musical — The Adventures of Fearsome Pirate Frank

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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.

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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!

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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.

Tickets on Sale Now for Pirate Themed Musical, “Fearsome Pirate Frank”

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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 and Sunday, 7th. Performances begin at 6:30pm.

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. Purchase tickets now at The Curiosity Shop Bookstore, downtown Murphy, online or call 828-835-7240.

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.