The Learning Center! Charter School has broken ground on the beginnings of an ambitious facility improvement plan designed to make the school “future-ready.” This summer, the school moved into it’s newly renovated administration office with plans for more expansion and improvements through a recently procured USDA loan.
The school offers a learning environment rich in academics balanced with the arts, music, an award winning nutrition program, daily P.E., and unique electives. This tuition-free public charter school (K-8th) has NO district restrictions and accepts students across all counties. The school’s curriculum blends healthy living, community involvement and an academic program rich in Common Core standards for well-rounded future-ready citizens.
The Learning Center! is piloting a STEM program — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics- for the new school year. The STEM program will complete what will be defined as an E-STEAM approach to education. “E” stands for entrepreneurship and the “A” is representative of a strong arts/language arts emphasis. “It is our goal,” said Mary Jo Dyre, director of The Learning Center “that all facility improvements provide the ideal setting for students to be involved in the hands-on, problem solving approach that is characteristic of a quality E-STEAM education. We will have a stage for our drama program, OM/STEM workspace and a multi-purpose gym included in our up-coming construction plan.”
The school offers a rich music and drama program and will soon have a stage as part of it’s new facilities plans. The highly developed music education program offers chorus, guest musicians and instrument lessons that include bowed string, fiddle, guitar and piano.
The Learning Center! also offers Jr. Beta Club, Odyssey of the Mind teams, “Academics and the Arts” Artists-in-Residency program, “Mini and Middle REAL” young entrepreneur program, compacted math classes for gifted students, and pottery. “Girls on the Run” and “Girls on Track”, and “Chick Challengers Club” are among some of the rich electives and extra-curricular programs available through the charter school program. Recently, the school announced a Partnership with Western North Carolina Pacesettters that will significantly enhance the education experience for Learning Center students by supplementing P.E., STEM, and Aftercare programs with Pacesetters activities, plus offering engaging wilderness outings with qualified staff.
The Jackie Ward Foundation provides both funding and in-kind support for the school’s extra academics and arts programs. Students benefit from a rich cultural environment that complements academic offerings of the highest caliber.
Designated an “A+ Fit School” by The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, the school places a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. Students eat healthy, freshly prepared food (served on real china and silverware) much of it from local sources.
The school also has a rich social media program to better communicate and interact with students, parents and faculty. Visit their new website (naturallygrownkids.org), blog (tlcgrowzone.org/blog) and FaceBook page (facebook.com/TLCGrowZonePage) to get a comprehensive overview of student opportunities.
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 and students can attend from any county.
The school also features a Montessori private preschool that is included in all the exciting development of becoming a STEM SCHOOL. Tuition is charged and prices and hours are parallel to local childcare centers in the county. The pre-school program is eligible for subsidized funds.