WNC Healthy Kids Conference

(Ms. Debby, our Child Nutrition Program Manager/ Nutrition Education and Wellness Team Leader here at TLC! is serious about nutrition, educating our kids about healthy eating and about teaching parents and our community about it too.  Today is a guest post from Ms. Debby and what she learned at a recent conference here in western North Carolina.  Take it away Ms. Debby!)

I recently had the privilege of attending a regional conference on child nutrition and health in Asheville. The theme of the conference was “Communities Working Together” and the idea was to bring together concerned professionals from various disciplines to discuss solutions to the current health problems facing children in our area.  What I learned was both frightening and encouraging.

“Frightening” because our area, along with the rest of the country, is facing a true epidemic of obesity that is now affecting our children along with the adult population.   These maps, which were referenced repeatedly at the conference, tell the story in a way mere words can’t.  Please do take a minute to view them.   Along with the rise in obesity has come a rise in type 2 diabetes, hypertension and other “adult” health issues among children.   Just prior to the conference, USA Today had published an article that stated that, if current trends continue, by 2050 one third of our population will have developed diabetes, and for the first time in generations, the life expectancy of our children is shorter than that of the current generation of adults.    In a bizarre sidenote, many of the professionals there also noted that while obesity was on the rise, so was malnutrition and that it is entirely possible to be both overweight and undernourished at the same time due to poor food choices.

There is much more I could share on why this is so alarming to me, but let me talk to you about why this conference was also so encouraging.  The CDC says that if the trend toward obesity is to be reversed, we must address the availability of healthy foods, increase opportunities for physical exercise and create a system that supports health.  One of the presenters, Emily Jackson of ASAP, was quoted as putting it this way,  “what we all want to do is create a community environment where kids can’t help but grow up healthy.”   I feel that that is exactly what we are trying to do here at The Learning Center! and I see evidence that we are being successful.   There is, of course, much yet to be done, and there is more need than ever for our TLC!  Families to reinforce at home what our students are learning about health here on campus.  I encourage you to partner with us in creating a healthy future for our kids.

Couldn’t have said it any better.  Thanks Ms. Debby.

Chef Ann: Eliminating Chocolate Milk in Schools | Lunchbox

Why No Flavored Milk with Meals?

Ms. Debby gets asked frequently, especially by new members of  The Learning Center! family, why we don’t offer flavored milk at lunch and breakfast.  After all, it is milk and it does have all the good stuff associated with milk like calcium and vitamin D.  True…  BUT along with “the good stuff”  there is a lot of added sugar and thus a lot of extra calories that many students do not need.  Our compromise has been that we do offer chocolate milk as a snack item.

Chef Ann, a pioneer in bringing better foods to school lunch programs, explains it well in the video below.

Chef Ann: Eliminating Chocolate Milk in Schools | Lunchbox.

The Learning Center! Reaches High Performance Goals

On Thursday, October 28, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released the NC School Report Cards for the 2009-2010 school year.  The Report Cards include information about school and student performance, class size, attendance, school safety, instructional resources and teacher quality.  Report card data will be available for every regular and charter public school, for each school district, and for the state’s education system as a whole.

Highlights from The Learning Center’s 2009-2010 Report Card include the following:

  • TLC! received the School of Distinction designation, meaning 80 to 90% of our students performed at or above grade level.
  • TLC! reported no incidences of violence or crime.
  • TLC! had a 95% attendance rate.
  • All teachers at TLC! met highly qualified requirements as defined in the No Child Left Behind Act.

Our teachers go above and beyond to ensure that the students receive the best education possible.  We are proud of our accomplishments and will use this data to identify and improve upon our weaknesses.

To learn more about the NC School Report Card, you may contact Ms. Dyre, Karen Brinke, Testing Coordinator, or visit the NC School Report Cards website.

Way to go TLC!

Welcome to TLC Grow Zone!

Da-Da-Daaaahhhh!  Cue the drum roll!

Welcome to TLC Grow Zone!  So glad you are here!

TLC Grow Zone has been in process and being worked on behind the scenes for months.  Today it is introduced to our students, parents and community and I feel like I need to insert a marching band scrolling across the screen.  Or perhaps confetti tumbling continuously down your monitor.


Because you are the reason to dream up, plan, create and maintain TLC Grow Zone in the first place!  It is here that you can find out exactly what is going on at The Learning Center! Charter School.  You can view photos and videos.  You can read about what we have done and what we are planning.  You can get information about events.  And most importantly, you can become part of the discussion!

Let me show you around a bit.

First of all, see those icons in the upper right hand column?  When you click on one, it takes you to that place.  TLC Grow Zone is this blog and so much more.  It is also YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, and Flickr.  These social media tools provide new methods to communicate among teachers, students, parents and community.  So, go ahead and click on some of those icons . . . I’ll wait for you.

Cool right?!?  Now check this out.

At the bottom of every blog entry (called a blog post) is a place to read comments and leave comments.  Make it a practice to read these comments and to leave your own.  You can ask questions, offer insight and make suggestions here.  Be part of the dialogue!

Finally, any time there is highlighted text, click on it to go directly to a site that has more information or may be helpful in learning more about the blogged topic.

See?  TLC Grow Zone is a wealth of useful information and will become a hub for discussion.  It is a living, breathing place to connect.  A one-stop-shop to connect with students, teachers, parents and the community.

So, look around.  Stay awhile.  Comment.

Yes, definitely comment.

I am so glad you are here!

Monster Mash Bash Begins Saturday

October 23rd 6:30-10:30 and Maze Only on October 30th 6:30-10:30

Preparations for our annual Monster Mash Bash begin months in advance but really move into high gear in the weeks leading up to the event.   Ms. Karen can be found out in the maze everyday, all day for weeks beforehand.  And if you’re  looking for Ms. Mary Jo, go near the maze and holler her name for she is in there somewhere!

There are countless volunteers that make this event possible.  Parents and community members generously give of their time, talents and donations.  I’d picture them here but seems they don’t want their photo taken while they are covered in paper mache, paint or other various and assorted grime.

Either that or they have fallen down the rabbit hole.

More on the November Elections

The North Carolina Alliance for Public Charter Schools recently blogged about the upcoming election and how to find out how our candidates for public office feel about charter schools and raising the cap on charter schools in North Carolina.  I am re-blogging below with their permission.

I have been asked if the Alliance will publish a “voter’s guide” for the election now in process. We have not and the only one I am aware of with a question about charters is the NC Family Policy Council’s. Its fourth question was “Should the General Assembly remove the cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the state?”

Here are the NC Senate responses and here are the NC House responses.

There was only one vote on charters during 2010. On June 17, 2010 I made a motion to Senate Bill 1201 to remove the cap on charter schools and the motion was “tabled”, meaning the motion itself would not be voted on at all. The vote for the tabling is also attached. Those voting “aye” voted to table, ending the opportunity to remove the cap. The vote was 26-20 to table.

All of you likely know the charter cap has been a partisan issue for years following the Charter School Act’s bi-partisan passage in 1996. Republicans have favored lifting the cap and Democrat leaders, who control committee bill referrals, have generally not allowed charter bills to be heard. That does not mean there are no charter supporters among the  Democrats of course.

For 2011, the Republican caucus has committed publicly to lift the cap. I have emailed the Democrat senate leader, Martin Nesbitt, for his party’s plan regarding charters.

Eddie Goodall

President, NC Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Please make informed decisions about the General Assembly candidates, as they affect charters.

The Learning Center! Charter School is non-partisan and cannot and does not endorse candidates.  However, we do encourage you to be aware of candidate positions, and more importantly, their legislative history, and by all means vote!


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.