The Learning Center awarded TVA STEM Education Grant

The TVA and local partner, Murphy Power Board, presented a $3,500 grant award to The Learning Center Charter School on February 4, 2020.

The Learning Center Charter School is excited to announce a recently awarded grant of $3,500 by the Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated for a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education project.

“Students will design and construct a putt-putt golf course on our campus,” said Jess Stephens, eighth grade social studies teacher at the school.  The design will center around North Carolina history and will include replicas of historical artifacts. 

“We’ll be using the grant for building supplies and hope to continue adding holes to the course every year,” said Stephens.

The grant award is a part of $600,000 in competitive STEM grants awarded to 142 schools across TVA’s service territory. The competitive grant program provided teachers an opportunity to apply for funding up to $5,000 and preference was given to grant applications that explored TVA’s primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic and career development and community problem solving. Schools who receive grant funding must receive their power from a TVA distributor.

“This is the second year we offered this program to the entire Valley and we saw a major increase in grant applications this year,” said Community Engagement Senior Program Manager Rachel Crickmar. “There is a demand in the Valley for workforce development through STEM education and I am proud of the way TVA and our retirees are responding to that demand by supporting teachers in the classroom.”

For additional information about the TVA STEM grants and see a full list of recipients visit https://www.tva.gov/Newsroom/Press-Releases/TVA-Partnership-Awards-600000-in-STEM-

Perfect Attendance Recognized & School Meets Expected Growth

Under the direction of Ryan Bender, Head of School in Training, students at The Learning Center Charter School were recognized for perfect attendance for the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year.

“It’s important to honor students that have perfect attendance,” said Bender.  “So much happens each and every day at school and missing days or even hours can be disruptive to a student’s learning.”  Bender added that attendance is important because students are more likely to succeed in academics when they attend school consistently.

Also, the school as a whole was recently awarded the Academic Growth Award Certificate from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for achieving expected academic progress during the 2018-2019 school year.

Academic growth is an indication of the progress that students in the school make over the course of a school year.

“Our philosophy of education is built upon the idea that young learners need to be exposed to a broad array of rich learning experiences,” said Bender. “Our teachers and students work hard every single day and we celebrate that success.”

Our School Awarded $1,000 Grant From NC Beautiful

The Learning Center Charter School was awarded a $1,000 grant from NC Beautiful on February 13, 2018.

NC Beautiful has been part of the state’s environmental preservation community for 40 years, supporting awareness, education and beautification efforts across the state. The organization concentrates on hands-on and merit-based programs designed to empower North Carolina citizens to preserve the natural beauty of the state.

Since 2003, the charter school has provided outdoor education for all of its students.  The grant money will be used to enhance four outdoor learning spaces: 1) the front terraced garden; 2) a side garden plot; 3) the aquaponics garden; and 4) a new compost area. In addition to gardening tools such as clippers, shovels and gloves, additional mulch and soil will be added to the listed planting areas.

School Director, Mary Jo Dyre, said, “In this age where “screen time” heavily outweighs “green time,” we carefully craft a school day that allows our students to be outside getting their hands in the dirt as often as possible.”

Outdoor Learning Coordinator at the charter school, Emily Willey, added, “I am so thankful for the NC Beautiful Grant to provide us the funds to continue to maintain the garden beds and the tools to facilitate our spectacular outdoor program. These green spaces provide a much needed opportunity for our students to interact in a real way with the ecosystem around them while also gaining important skills and insights across their academic curriculum.”

Steve Vacendak, Executive Director of NC Beautiful, seen at far left, presented a $1,000 check to a portion of The Learning Center Charter School’s student body on February 13, 2018.

Academic Growth Award

1

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has awarded The Learning Center Charter School their Academic Growth Award for 2016-2017.  This is it’s first year presenting awards for achieving and exceeding expected academic growth.

Academic growth refers to academic progress made over a period of time.

Academic growth represents an impressive amount of hard work by students and educators and our school is proud of this recognition!

Our Odyssey of the Mind Teams All Advance to State Competition

unnamed (12)

The Learning Center! Charter School sent four teams to the Western Region North Carolina Odyssey of the Mind tournament on February 25th. Schools across Western North Carolina came together to compete in various problem-solving events for this competition held at McDowell High School in Marion, NC.

The line-up included a primary team (1st and 2nd graders) an elementary team (grades 3-5) and two middle school teams (grades 6-8).

The primary team received an honorary award called “OMER’s” for their incredible teamwork. The OMER’s Award is given to teams and individuals for showing Odyssey of the Mind spirit. It can be awarded to an individual or team who showed some type of artistic talent, good sportsmanship, teamwork, or for going beyond expectations to help others.

The elementary team won first place for their problem and division and they will advance to the State Competition to be held April 1st in Greensboro, NC.

Both middle school teams will also advance to State. Ms. Cheryl Catuto’s team took first place for their problem and division while Ms. Judy Coleman’s team took second place.

Odyssey of the Mind (OM)  is an international educational program providing creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Thousands of teams throughout the U.S. and from approximately 25 other countries participate in the program. Students apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the regional, state, and world level.

Students participating in the program work together as a team preparing for months before the competition, learning valuable skills such as creative/critical thinking, global awareness, cooperative planning, and complex technical and artistic problem solving.

To raise money for the expenses needed for all of these teams to travel to State, be on the lookout for several ways you can help. This will include a Zaxby’s Fundraiser Night later this month.

Year Long Celebration of “Academics and the Arts”

20160526_113442The Learning Center! Charter School’s “Academics & The Arts” – originally a two-day event – has morphed into a year-long celebration of the arts. 20160526_113750The event, now in its eighth year, includes year-round, cross-curriculum activities combining art and academics. 20160526_114028

Students create a wide variety of art, music and creative writing, in addition to using tools for projects and conducting science experiments.20160526_114345Designed to stretch minds, senses and creativity to its limits, the event culminates in an end-of-year awards day for student art and writing. 20160526_114717On May 26th, students were awarded ribbons and also a “basket award” drawing for any student who participated in the annualAcademics & The Arts contest. 20160526_114945Although Learning Center Director, Mary Jo Dyre coordinates both the writing and visual arts contests, she maintains the event could not be the success it has always been without teachers in participating grades (2ndthrough 5th) and the assistance of art teacher Carrie Dyer for Kindergarten though 8th graders. 20160526_115140 20160526_115401 20160526_121630 20160526_123553

TLC Advances Odyssey of the Mind Teams to State Competition

2016 Cheryl team at RegionalFive teams from The Learning Center! Charter School participated in the Western Region North Carolina Odyssey of the Mind tournament on February 27th at Enka-Candler High School in Enka, NC.2016 Jay team

Schools across Western North Carolina came together to compete in various problem-solving events for this competition.

The line-up included two middle school teams (grades 6-8), two elementary teams (grades 3-5) and one primary team (K-2). “All of our students performed exceptionally well,” said Odyssey of the Mind coordinator and coach, Judy Coleman.  “I am so proud of what our students have accomplished.”  Both middle school teams coached by Cheryl Catuto and Judy Coleman and one of the elementary teams, coached by drama director Ryan Bender, took 2nd place in their respective problems and divisions

2016 Judy team at Regional 2016 OM banquet_all teams

Odyssey of the Mind (OM)  is an international educational program providing creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Thousands of teams throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program. Students apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the regional, state, and world level.

Students participating in the program worked together as a team preparing for months before the competition, learning valuable skills such as creative/critical thinking, global awareness, cooperative planning, and complex technical and artistic problem solving.

2016 Primary at Regionals

Congratulations to all the teams and their coaches for their countless hours of hard work and dedication!

2016 Ryan team at Regional

Charter School Earns USDA Award for Nutrition Program

hussc-learningctr-silver
The Learning Center nutrition director, Susan Blomeley (left) accepts the USDA’s “Silver Level Award.” The award was presented by Veronica Barnes, (right) Branch Chief, School & Family Nutrition Programs, USDA/FNS – Southwest Region, Atlanta, GA.

The Learning Center! Charter School has a long history of dedication to good nutrition and believes it is the cornerstone for building better students. With that high priority and commitment, it’s no surprise the school has won multiple awards over the years.

The latest was an impressive “Silver Level Award” plaque presented to the school during the 2015 Annual Conference for School Nutrition Administrators held in Durham, NC. on October 29. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) presented the award as part of their “HealthierUS School Challenge” Program. The distinction also included a $1000 cash award and a banner that hangs in the school. The Silver Level Award recognizes the school for healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. The Learning Center is the only charter school in North Carolina to earn this prestigious recognition to date.

Charter School Wins Prestigious USDA Award for Nutrition Program

IMG_2543The Learning Center! Charter School has a long history of dedication to good nutrition and believes it is the very foundation for building better students. With that high priority and commitment, it’s no surprise the school has won multiple awards over the years. The latest was an impressive “Silver Level Award” banner and plaque presented to the school on May 3rd by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of their “HealthierUS School Challenge” Program. The distinction also includes a $1000 cash award. The Learning Center is the only charter school in North Carolina to earn this prestigious recognition to date.

In February, the school received a congratulatory letter from First Lady, Michelle Obama for the recognition. The HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) is a certification initiative that recognizes schools for their efforts to create healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. Some of these efforts include improving food and beverage offerings, teaching kids about nutritious food choices, providing opportunities for physical activity, and having supportive school wellness policies. The HealthierUS School Challenge program supports Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign by recognizing schools that are creating healthier school environments through these activities.

To qualify for the award, nutrition director, Susan Blomeley worked with nutrition education coordinator, Debby Intemann and curriculum coordinator, Cheryl Catuto to submit a formal application and document criteria set forth by the USDA Food and Nutrition Services. The program’s criteria reflects the recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published recommendations (April 2007) for foods that should be served outside of the organized school meals program. The HealthierUS Schools Program must meet additional criteria demonstrating its commitment to a healthy school environment, as well as implement a local school wellness policy, as mandated by Congress. Schools receiving The HealthierUS Schools award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four-year certification period.

The Learning Center, designated an “A+ Fit School” in 2010 by The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, adds this award to numerous others over the past five years. These include recognition and awards by the USDA and the NC Dept. of Public Instruction for its dedication to maintaining the highest standards in child nutrition.

USDA Silver Award

IMG_2543In December 2014, our school was awarded the Silver Award from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of their HealthierUS School Challenge.  The Learning Center Charter School is the only charter school in North Carolina to earn this prestigious recognition to date.

The HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) is a certification initiative that recognizes schools for their efforts in improving food and beverage offerings, teaching kids about nutritious food choices and being physically active, providing opportunities for physical activity, and having supportive school wellness policies. It supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign by recognizing schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition and physical activity.  Sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the initiative encourages all schools take a leadership role in helping students to make healthier eating and physical activity choices that will last a lifetime.

To qualify for an award, a school must submit a formal application and meet basic criteria set forth by the USDA Food and Nutrition Services.  The HUSSC criteria reflect the recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published recommendations (April 2007) for foods that should be served outside of the organized school meals program.  HealthierUS Schools must meet additional criteria demonstrating its commitment to a healthy school environment, as well as implement a local school wellness policy, as mandated by Congress.  Schools receiving a HUSSC award commit to meeting the criteria throughout their four year certification period.

Congratulations TLC!