What’s on your tray?


The Learning Center! is hosting “School Lunch – What’s on Your Tray?” an interactive campaign that can inspire every type of student to get excited about healthy school lunch choices.  The campaign culminates during National School Lunch Week, October 11-15, 2010.

Promotions for the campaign include fun and colorful table displays in the dining commons and an informative email brochure for parents about the National School Lunch program.

By visiting www.WhatsOnYourTray.org,  students can take a personality quiz to reveal which of the site’s cool cartoon characters fit their personality the best.  Whether they score as a social star, busy bee, sports fanatic or just totally chilled-out, students can learn what foods are best to fuel them up, keep them healthy and get the most out of their action-packed school days.  Each character comes paired with healthy eating tips.

“School Lunch – What’s on Your Tray?” is being featured in school cafeterias nationwide this fall to emphasize all the components of well balanced school meals.  The campaign is sponsored by the non-profit School Nutrition Association and the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP).

Serving more than 31 million children every school day, the federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced low-cost and free meals to students.  The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for over 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards.

  • Meals are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, meaning they contain no more than 30% of calories from fat, and less than 10% from saturated fat.
  • School lunches include fruits and vegetables, grains and proteins as well as milk, and they must provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories.
  • Meals are served in age-appropriate serving sizes meaning you get the amount of food that your body needs!

Meals served at The Learning Center! meet or exceed these standards, plus we are working toward sourcing  more of our fruits , vegetables and meats locally.  Currently all of the beef and most of the chicken served in our nutrition program is locally produced and hormone, antibiotic and synthetic chemical free.

For more information about healthy school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org

Creatively learning geography

How can you get a seventh or eighth grade student interested in geography?

How about mix it with something they already like?

That is exactly what Ms. Shelley and Ms. Breanne decided to do with their Creative Learning Through Geographic Exploration class.

About a week before school started back in August, each teacher was figuring out their Friday schedule.  For several years Ms. Shelley had wanted to have a bigger chunk of time for P.E. on Fridays and combine some of the grade levels in order to do cooperative learning and team building activities.  At the same time, Ms. Breanne was dreading teaching the same geography class that she had in the past because she just couldn’t get the kids to see the point of learning geography.

The two teachers put their heads together and proposed a plan that would expose the students to geography through hands-on, team building activities.

Ta-dah!  Archery and geography!

And more importantly, 100% participation.

Third grade visits the post office

Yesterday the third graders took what they have been learning about the community in Social Studies out to the field.

They got to see first hand how the local post office operates.

Everything from entering where the trucks deliver the mail . . .

to how the post office recycles all the extra paper . . .

and seeing the big mail sorting machine in action.

I heard more than one student say “cool”  or “awesome”.  I even heard a few parents say, “Hey, I didn’t know that.”

I’d say that is what field work is all about.

Education in the US

We are lucky to have quality education available to us at The Learning Center! Charter School. Not everyone is so fortunate. Though it is not an issue in our community, it is an issue for our country. And we must join the conversation . . . and the solution.

Join the movement. Click here.


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.

Farm to Fork

Learn about the  NC 10% campaign and pledge to spend 10% or more of your food dollars locally.  This is an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and is supported locally by SAFF (Southern Appalachian Family Farms) and Cherokee County Cooperative Extension Office.  The website contains good information about seasonal availability and links to a wealth of food-related information.

Click HERE to find out how it works and to sign up!

You can even follow them on Facebook HERE.

Visitors on campus

TLC! was happy to host North Carolina Senator John Snow and House Representative Roger West on our campus Friday, September 17, 2010.   Senate hopeful Jim Davis visited the day before.

These state legislators were invited to tour our school and be reminded of all the great things we are doing for our students and our community.  Mary Jo Dyre, Karen Brinke and myself presented numbers and successes to the candidates and communicated the value of choice in education.  We also clearly relayed our hopes for positive legislation concerning charter schools.

It was a pleasure to have each of them visit.

Kindergarten meets Johnny Appleseed

Apples and fall go hand-in-hand.  What could be better than learning about both out in the field?

Our brand new kindergarten class got to do just that when they visited the Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center last week.  They learned about apples, where they come from,  played games and got to meet Johnny Appleseed himself.

Little do those cuties know how much apples will become part of how they learn math, reading and writing in the weeks to come.

Did you hear about the salad bar?

Recently I sat down with Ms. Debby to talk about the new salad bar option in our Dining Commons.  This is what she had to say . . .

Normally I wouldn’t declare any new program a “success” so early in the year, but the response to our new daily salad bar has been so positive I think it is safe to say that it is a real hit.

Our salad bar includes lettuce (romaine at present, but it varies with the season and availability), various freshly prepared vegetables,  a variety of protein sources such as cheese, chopped eggs, meats and beans,  wheat crackers, croutons and several choices of individually portioned dressings. Students choosing the salad bar option also receive  milk and fruit qualifying this as a complete meal for everyone whether or not the student qualifies for free or reduced meals.

The salad bar is available as a choice to students in grades 4-8.  We have been delighted and a little bit surprised that so far more of these students are choosing the salad bar option than the hot option.

With our younger students we offer salad a little differently.  Their hot meals are plated and served at their assigned tables.  Tossed salad with dressing is available to them as an “extra” each day that the salad bar is offered to the upper grades.  Our hope is that by making salad available to them daily, these younger ones will learn to consider greens an enjoyable part of a good meal.

Thanks Ms. Debby.   You’ve got the best lunch in town!