Sleeping With the Sharks

In Cherokee, NC

Near the end of each school year, fourth and fifth graders at TLC! take a trip together.  This year the trip was to the aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN and this is what fourth grader teacher Ms. Ashley had to say about the trip:

We went to the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee first and learned all about Cherokee village life.  They had craft and tool demonstrations and reenacted traditional Cherokee ways of life.  It was very cool – we even got to go inside the council house!  We then headed to Gatlinburg where we shopped downtown for a few hours.  We had a wonderful dinner at Bennett’s Pit BBQ.  We finally checked into the aquarium.  The kids played a jeopardy game to test their knowledge about marine life.  We got to watch a dive show, where a guy dove with tons of stingrays and sharks.  After that the diver let us go to the top of the tank and pet the stingrays!  There were several different kinds and they were hypnotizing to watch!  The kids did “fish printing’ with paint on t-shirts and pillowcases, followed by a scavenger hunt around the aquarium.  Finally, we got to sleep in the shark tunnel underneath all the beautiful fish and sharks.  The next morning we got an up close and personal look at a “spa fish” that actually eats dead skin off humans! We got to stick our hand in and let the fish clean us! What a strange but cool sensation!  It was a great trip!



Behind the scenes at the aquarium in Gatlinburg

8th Grade Studies Water Quality in Great Smoky Mountains

Recently, eighth graders at TLC! had the fantastic opportunity through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Service to participate in the Water Quality Program. This program is geared towards eight grade students and is combined with the Park’s salamander inventory program.

So what did they do?

The Smokies has over 2,100 miles of rushing mountain streams and rivers that flow through the park. In each mile lives a diverse community of native fish, amphibians, insects, and larvae, some of which are found only in the Southern Appalachians. Park fisheries managers and university researchers monitor water quality, fish populations, and watersheds to better understand the dynamics of water running through diverse ecosystems. During their trip, the eighth grade students assisted the park in collecting data from the stream and identifing the quality of the stream using water quality test parameters and bioindicators.

Something tells me they found ways to get up close and personal with the water quality while there.  What do you think?


Another successful fundraiser for Relay for Life

Chalk up another year to TLC! raising significant funds for Relay for Life.

For three years Ms. Nancy has coordinated TLC’s Relay for Life fundraising drive and each year she manages to raise the bar.  In 2010, TLC! raised $1,219.00 for Relay for Life so Ms. Nancy set the school goal for 2011 at $1,500.  However, with successful events like classroom “A Dime At A Time” campaigns, running laps in PE and earning money from sponsors for each lap, dress down days, and the purchase of luminaries, TLC! was able to raise $3,571.00 for Relay for Life.

Boy-oh-boy!  Imagine the goal we will have to set in 2012!

Living History Museum

Princess Diana, Ava Gardner & Helen Keller

The second and fourth grade classes have worked diligently on biographies in writing class.  Second graders researched famous people and fourth graders focused on famous North Carolinians.  TLC! students as a whole benefited from this hard work when these classes presented a “Living History Museum.”  The students dressed like the person they researched and were able tell visitors interesting facts about them.

Richard Petty


Abraham Lincoln


George Washington


Betsy Ross


Johnny Appleseed


Amelia Earhart


Christopher Columbus


Dale Earnhardt Sr.


William Shakespeare

These are just a sampling of the many famous and historical people that were on campus for the event!

Charter School News From the National Alliance

The Learning Center Charter School’s sole intent is to provide our school community with information about what is happening politically in our state regarding charter school law.  We solely seek to inform.

Dear Dana

Hurry Up and Wait.

That’s the phrase that keeps coming to mind as I think about the North Carolina legislature’s effort this year to strengthen the state’s charter school law.

We’ve waited long enough. It’s time for action.

In February, thanks to your efforts, the Senate voted to lift the state’s cap on charters, narrow the funding gap between charter and traditional public schools, and establish a new path to getting charter applications approved in the state.

In an effort to avoid a threatened veto by the Governor, the House passed an amended version of SB 8 on April 11.  Despite those efforts to address her concerns, Governor Perdue has not come to the table and pledged her support for a measure that would strengthen the state’s charter school law.  Instead, SB 8 has languished in a conference committee for six weeks.

Governor Perdue won’t act unless she hears from the public charter school community that it’s time for her step up and back efforts to improve the state’s charter school law.  Tell her today.

Time is running short in this year’s legislative session.  We can’t let Governor Perdue run out the clock.

I urge you to contact her today and ask her to support efforts to enhance the state’s charter school law.

Thanks for your support.


Todd Ziebarth
Vice President for State Advocacy and Support
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools


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Mini Mall Time Again!

One of the many businesses at Mini Mall.

The Learning Center prides itself on their long standing Middle REAL program offered to 5th through 8th graders.  Middle REAL stands for the Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning.  Additionally, TLC also has a Mini REAL program that serves kindergarten through 4th graders.  Both the Middle REAL and Mini REAL programs are a component of the North Carolina REAL program that is dedicated to helping bring entrepreneurship and small business creation to our state.

Much planning, research and market study is done before any mini mall business can open.


The Mini and Middle REAL programs work together to hold two annual Mini Malls, an event that has students writing business plans, conducting marketing surveys, and devising effective advertising in order to create a successful marketplace.

Mini Mall is a hugely popular event on campus but Middle REAL and Mini REAL achieve far more than just that at TLC!  These programs also educate in the following ways:

·         Community Problem Solving – Students focus on the basic rules of safety at home, in the community and on the internet. Students create dramatizations of problematic situations then model effective solutions. Students compete for “best” solutions much like real-life contractors.

·         Community Environmental Design – Students are involved in the design and construction of a miniature “green” community and the design and creation of a Japanese garden.

·         The Global Community – Students learn Internet safety as they develop an awareness of the world that is accessible with the click of a mouse. Student research will support other Middle REAL classes and Friday activities.

·         Community Wellness –With a focus on overall health of humans and the good earth, students experiment with good-tasting, nutritious, “kid-friendly” snack recipes. These recipes are then be distributed to grades K-4 for classroom use.