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).

Why We Encourage Collaboration Between Grades

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We are proud to offer students a truly out-of-the-box K-8 education. Our learning space goes well beyond the walls of the classroom, and we strive to develop a strong sense of curiosity in our students alongside the importance of becoming life-long learners. This also means that we find opportunities to combine classes on special projects so that students are working with peers of different ages. After all, it is rare in life that you will only be with people of your own age!

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These photos show third grade students working with kindergarten students.  Kindergarten students had been learning about penguins and taught the third graders what they learned. The third graders then helped brainstorm and develop penguin habitats according to the younger students’ ideas. Not only did this collaboration encourage team work, sharpen problem solving and compromising skills, but students also had fun!

SolarFest August 20-21, 2017 at The Learning Center! Charter School

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Why Celebrate the Eclipse?

As educators, we know that learning by doing is the best teacher. This incredible, rare event gives us the opportunity to bring our Community of Learners together to witness the awesome effects of planetary motion! How could we pass that up?

We hope SolarFest gives our students and community a memorable, educational, and safe viewing experience!

Our educational booths

3D Printed Pinhole Projectors

Cross-Cultural Constellation Projectors

Solar Selfie Photobomb Booth

  • See a 3D printer make pinhole projectors – we got the design from NASA!

  • see other examples of pinhole cameras, and learn how they use light to capture an image

  • See examples constellations and learn how other cultures name them

  • create your own constellation projector to take home with you!

  • Act out the eclipse with your friends for the best eclipse selfie in town!

  • Sweet costumes will help you make this selfie pop!

Engineering Camp & Mini Maker Expo Coming Soon!

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The Learning Center! in Murphy, NC is one of nine stops across the U.S. for Engineering Camp, for rising sixth graders to twelfth graders. For four days, from July 17-20, from 9am to 4pm, Murphy area Engineering Camp students will be immersed in hands-on learning, using emerging technologies such as 3D printing, 3D CAD design, artificial intelligence, programming and physical computing in a fun and challenging environment.

AND, Mini-Maker Expo is Monday, July 17th from 6:00 – 8:30pm at our school and is geared for young inventors and makers from 1st grade through rising 5th graders.  The Murphy Mini-Maker Expo grabs kids by the eyeballs and sucks them into the world of inventing–2017 style!  No boring books or lectures or videos. Kids get their hands on 3D printers, Blinking LED art, and digital design software for making their ideas come to life.

The Mini-Maker Expo is designed as an eye-catching introduction to the world of innovation and inventing.  For two hours, kids are immersed in hands-on simulations designed to spark curiosity.  The energy in the room is crackling with excitement.  Sign up now before the seats are all taken.

Spots are limited, so call The Learning Center! Charter School at 828.835.7240 for more information and sign up your bored teenager now!

Visiting Artist Creates Giant Beetle at Learning Center

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Who knew what an old trampoline, some creativity and old-fashioned know-how could turn into? That’s what 5th grade students at The Learning Center! Charter School were saying after they teamed up with visiting artist, Jeff Menzer.

 

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Asheville based artist, Jeff Menzer, visited the school back in February to plan projects he and students would be implementing on campus this spring. Menzer specializes in creating “Re-Art” Sculpture, figurative sculpture, and environmental installations using found objects and industrial discards.

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Menzer worked with the students to brainstorm some ideas for the project with the idea that it would eventually be a bug or insect themed art piece.

 

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Menzer returned to the school recently to turn discarded trampoline parts into art pieces that will become part of the school’s “Outdoor Learning Center” program. The 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 an art piece that has now been permanently installed on campus.

 

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As the trampoline was being taken apart and the parts rearranged, the idea for a beetle began to develop. This concept tied into the 5th grade science ecosystems unit and also the math curriculum as students had to figure out lengths for sections of the beetle structure and the size the beetle needed to be relative to the garden area.

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Each student contributed a name for the beetle sculpture. The two names that were chosen were a common name: The Junkyard Beetle, and the scientific name: Schoolias Beetilus. School director, Mary Jo Dyre has her own nickname for the beetle sculpture. “I like to call it ‘VW.’”

2nd Grade Learns About Environment

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Students in second grade completed a project that was all about the environment. The students learned about Earth Day and the importance of recycling, reducing and reusing. Through books and technology, the students were able to research and write about the importance of protecting our environment. They learned that the average person creates about 4.5 pounds of trash per day, so the students re-purposed trash to create something new and presented their creations with their classmates.

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4th Grade Science — Adaptation

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Recently, students in fourth grade learned about adaptation by doing. They explored which food types would be easier to eat with different types of bird beaks. “Beaks” ranged from clothespins to binder clips to salad tongs. Food came in a variety of forms such as beans, corn flakes and noodles. Students got to learn first hand how certain “beak” shapes helped with eating different foods and, as a result, understood the scientific concept of adaptation more completely.

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3rd Grade STEM — Earth Day

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Third grade students composed differentiated Powerpoint presentations on Earth Day and related vocabulary. Students worked in pairs to create a visual display for each word. Upon completion, they presented their work to the class. The class learned about composting and recycling, natural resources and conservation, and alternative sources of energy. Some students narrated their presentation so that the presentation could “present itself” using their recorded voices.

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Have Bored Teenagers at Home This Summer?

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The Learning Center! Charter School has discovered the secret weapon for teen inventors that’s catching on across the country. Four years ago, the school teamed-up with California based high-tech education company, Table Top Inventing to challenge area students with hands-on experiences in emerging technologies. The company’s traveling science workshops, called Engineering Camp, is the brain-child ofTable Top Inventing founder and CEO, Steve Kurti, who grew up in and around Murphy and Franklin, NC.

Each year, The Learning Center! partners with Table Top Inventing as part of the school’s themed summer enrichment offerings.Engineering Camp is designed to challenge students and inspire a generation of kids to be tinkerers, explorers, innovators, and deep thinkers.

According to Table Top Inventing, “Teens that join Engineering Camp develop the tools to thrive in a challenging environment. Some of our past campers, who had never been exposed to engineering, ended up pursuing degrees in STEM-related fields after attending. Hands-on experience, team-building exercises, fun and challenging environments — Engineering Camp has it all.”

The Learning Center! in Murphy, NC is one of nine stops across the U.S. for Engineering Camp, for rising sixth graders to twelfth graders. For four days, from July 17-20, from 9am to 4pm, Murphy area Engineering Camp students will be immersed in hands-on learning, using emerging technologies such as 3D printing, 3D CAD design, artificial intelligence, programming and physical computing in a fun and challenging environment.

Spots are limited, so call The Learning Center! Charter School at 828.835.7240 for more information and sign up your bored teenager now!

For more about The Learning Center!, visit naturallygrownkids.org