At 8:10am on the morning of September 11, 2019, students and teachers at The Learning Center Charter School gathered in front of the school to remember and pay tribute to the victims of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. After observing a moment of silence, the students mobilized into groups and performed acts of kindness and service across campus and the community.
This was the ninth year in a row the school has performed community service as a means to honor the lives lost on 9/11.
Students fanned out across the campus and community with a spirit of helpfulness. Some picked up litter along the River Walk while others scoured Conahetta Park for trash and debris. The Fifth Grade class volunteered at Nantahala Regional Library where they cleaned and organized books.
“Our annual day of service not only honors those victims, but develops the character of our students as well,” said Ryan Bender, head of school in training at the charter school. “Children’s television host Fred Rogers famously said that when he was a boy and saw scary things in the news, his mother would tell him to ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ Our annual day of service instills in these kids to become those helpers.”
Bender added that in addition to the day of service activities, teachers use the day to encourage dialogue and education in the classroom to this young generation of students who weren’t alive during the 2001 terror attacks. “Our goal is to ensure that these students understand this day and its significance to our history.”
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AIG stands for Academically or Intellectually Gifted. Many students our school work at a level that is considered AIG. We strive to support their continued pursuit of excellence by providing many opportunities to work above and beyond their grade level, as well as taking on leadership positions.
In addition to challenging these learners in the classroom, Ms. Monica also provides opportunities to learn the importance of community service.
During the 2018-2019 school year, AIG students completed several community service projects including litter pickup along the route from our school to the park and traveling to Valley River Humane Society.
While at the animal shelter, the students socialized kittens, cats, and dogs as well as walked animals. The students also learned about the responsibility required when owning a pet.
Eighth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School know how to give back to the community. That’s because throughout the school year they have developed service projects in conjunction with the Lead2Feed program.
Lead2Feed is a student leadership program that blends leadership lessons with community service. The program is designed for 6th-12th grade students and integrates robust leadership lessons with a project based learning model. The goal of the program is for students to increase their understanding of practical leadership skills as they take action to make a positive impact within their communities.
The eighth grade class was divided into four teams with the goal of creating service projects within our community. One team donated over 300 units of food and supplies to REACH in Murphy. Another group was able to raise money and donations for The Friendship House in Murphy. A third team scheduled three liter clean up days.
Teacher Ryan Bender noted that the students worked through all the necessary steps of each service project. “These student groups created team names and logos and worked diligently to determine attainable goals for their projects,” said Bender. “I am proud of their work and they are happy to have made a difference in our community.”
Kindergarten through second grade students participating in the AIG program picked up trash on Monday, May 13, 2019. This was their service project that they chose to do. These young service minded students walked from our campus to the park and picked up litter all along the way. They were very excited to beautify the area!
Under the organizing leadership of teacher Ms. Emily, students at The Learning Center Charter raised $742.11 for the Valley River Humane Society during their month long campaign in January.
Valley River Humane Society (VRHS) is a non-profit volunteer organization with the primary goal of reducing the number of homeless animals in our community by the promotion of spay and neutering, and by the adoption of homeless animals.
Ms. Emily learned of the special needs drive VRHS is running and organized the fundraising event at the school. “I know it takes compassion, commitment and service to take care of animals and I also know that kids are full of love, enthusiasm, and eagerness to help,” said Ms. Emily. “Our students jumped at the chance to raise money for VRHS.”
UPDATE: Kirsty Waller, manager at VRHS, was very thankful of our generous donation and said that $700 goes a long way. Ms. Emily also dropped off quite a bit of donated supplies from students ranging from towels to food to cat litter. Kirsty said continued public support, donations and volunteers are always welcome. Ms. Emily was happy to report that due to our fundraiser and educational literature several TLC! families came to volunteer at the humane society. Later this year TLC! hopes to plan a field trip to the humane society. We are so proud to connect with this hardworking community partner and hope to continue our support in the years to come!
Third grade students at The Learning Center Charter School made greeting cards for residents at the nursing home at Erlanger Murphy Medical Center in Peachtree. The cards were hand delivered and thoroughly enjoyed by the recipients.
Gina Stafford, third grade teacher at the school, said, “The students were very creative and thoughtful while making the cards. They were so happy to be doing something for others.” She added that she enjoyed hearing their thoughts and watching them put so much effort into this project.
From October 8th to October 26th, the entire student body participated in Pennies for Patients. Pennies for Patients is a special program sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s School and Youth Program. This is a service learning program that gives students the unique experience of working together to raise both awareness and funds in honor of thousands of children and adults fighting against blood cancer.
Each class raised funds towards the school wide Pennies for Patients fundraising goal. The total raised was $935. The third grade class raised the most at $208.82 and earned a pizza party as a result.
During the Pennies for Patients event, students held a fundraiser where anyone could dress like a superhero for the day. The students in the following photos dressed as various superheros including as our own science teacher, Ms. Emily.
At 9:00am on September 11th, students at The Learning Center Charter School gathered in front of the school to remember and pay tribute to the victims of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. After observing a moment of silence, the students mobilized into groups to perform acts of kindness and service across campus and the community.
Some students spent the day picking up litter along the local roadways, streams and hiking trails while others remained on campus and performed beautification projects such as tree trimming and weeding. One group helped construct the newly expanded Aquaponics garden while another created new games for one of the school’s playgrounds. Several students operated a car washing station where they washed teacher and staff cars.
“This year’s event marked the eighth year in a row we have performed community service as a means to honor the lives lost on 9/11,” said Mary Jo Dyre, school director. “Our annual day of service not only honors those victims, but develops the character of our students as well.”
After Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas last September, and later Hurricane Irma made US landfall as well, students at The Learning Center Charter School were moved to help. They started a penny drive to raise funds to send to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Over the course of the school year, students raised $722.72, mostly in the form of pennies, to benefit hurricane victims.
“Our students stepped up in a big way and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Mary Jo Dyre, Executive Director of the school. “These kids saw a need and decided to do something about it!”