Computer Guts and Other Stuff

Recently Jim Bell, TLC Board of Directors member, visited 3rd and 4th graders to show them the guts of a computer.  He happens to have a computer housed in a clear case so he was able to show the students the contents of the computer and explain how it all works.  This was an excellent way to kick of some basic computer training and Internet safety instruction.

Thanks Mr. Bell!

The Learning Center! brings “top shelf talent” as part of curriculum


In February, The Learning Center! fourth grade students welcomed VIP guest writer and best selling author, Dr. Gloria Houston. They got to spend several hours listening to her stories, asking questions, and being inspired by her books. After reading one of her books called, Littlejim, teacher Ashley Tate assigned a project to her fourth graders, incorporating creativity and writing skills. Students had several options to choose from, or they could come up with their own. Some students made models or dioramas of a scene from the book and had to write a description along with it. Tate said, “Students got really creative. One made a board game, another made a poster, there was a PowerPoint presentation, some wrote a sequel to Littlejim or a children’s version of the story; some wrote letters or poems to Littlejim or Gloria Houston, herself.” Ms. Tate reports that she even had a couple of students make food that was mentioned in the book.

Earlier this year, the school also invited Peter Jenkins, author of three New York Times best sellers including the classic, A Walk Across America. In addition, as part of a strong writing curriculum, The Learning Center! is organizing and supporting The Cherokee County Middle School Poetry and Essay Contest in May through the Jackie Ward Foundation.

Director of the school, Mary Jo Dyre pointed out that “As part of our mission to promote Academics and Arts at The Learning Center, we bring in ‘top shelf talent’ then maximize the experience by incorporating curriculum-linked projects into what they learned from the visit.”

For more information visit Visit our blog: or FaceBook: TLCGrowZonePage.

Academics & Arts 2012 Photo Review

4th grade working with artist Jo Kilmer on an arbor for The Outdoor Learning Center.



Clay turtles as part of Academics & the Arts Week!



Creative writing around the fire pit during Academics & the Arts Week.


Writing contest winners!


Writing contest winners!


Writing contest winners!


Writing contest winners!


Writing contest winners!


Kindergarten and First Grade perform "Squirm" for the choral spring concert.


Second through Fourth grades perform "River Child" as part of the spring concert.


Valley River Ringers Perform Lady Gaga As Part of Academics & the Arts Week

{Please pardon my slight giggle in the middle of the video.  I was getting such a kick out the Valley River Ringers (!!!) performing a Lady Gaga song for our students that I couldn’t wipe the silly grin off my face. . . and it kept welling up into a giddy little giggle in my throat.  I loved it! Thank you Valley River Ringers!  The kids haven’t stopped talking about it since you were here yesterday!}

Scenes from Academics & the Arts Week

Special guest and resident artist of the Cherokee County Arts Council, Jeff Menzer is on campus all week working with various grades and creating "Sensational Snakes!"
5th graders also working on "Sensational Snakes" with Resident Artist Jeff Menzer.

Amanda Kanack with the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition working with 7th graders on aquatic animals and creek ecology as part of Academics & the Arts Week.

Outdoor art project in The Outdoor Learning Center.
Take a stroll through The Dining Commons to see the wonderful student art on display this week!

And don’t forget the spring chorus concert this Thursday at 6:30 at The Henn Theater!  See you all there!



Award Winning Clay Artist Visits TLC!

Award winning clay artist and local resident Mike Lalone visited The Learning Center! recently and spent the day showcasing his work and craft to students and staff.  He demonstrated how he makes pots, bowls and other figures on his potters wheel as well as teaching students specialized vocabulary used in his craft.

Mr. Lalone’s work has been featured in galleries across the southeastern United States and he has been honored with numerous awards.  Click <<<HERE>>> to view a full resume.

Thank you Mr. Lalone!  The sharing of your talent and craft benefit our students and enrich their exposure to fine art.

Award Winning Author Gloria Houston Visits TLC!

Fourth graders at TLC received a special visit from award winning author Gloria Houston today.

Gloria Houston is the author of numerous books for children, including My Great-Aunt Arizona, illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb, which was a Smithsonian Treasure, a Family Channel’s Best Book, an IRA Teachers’ and Children’s Choices book, and an NCTE Best Book, among other honors. She also wrote The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, illustrated by Barbara Cooney, which was an annual Publishers Weekly Bestseller and was named a Best Book of the Decade by the American Library Association.

Fourth graders recently completed Gloria Houston’s book Littlejim and were lucky enough to have several hours of Ms. Houston’s time to ask questions, hear real life stories, see photographs and be inspired by all that she has written.  What an amazing opportunity for these kids!

All of us at TLC! thank Gloria Houston for the generosity of her spirit and time.

Be sure to click <<<HERE>>> to read Ms. Houston’s full biography.  Prepare to be amazed and thoroughly impressed!

4th Grade Treated to Cherokee History and Culture

On January 17, 2012 professor at Tri- County Community College, Billy Ray Palmer, visited the fourth grade class and spoke about Cherokee history and culture. He recounted several Cherokee legends, showed his arrowhead and spearhead collection, and talked about the Seven Clans, hunting and matrilineal culture. He was very informative, a good storyteller, and the students enjoyed adding this rich dimension to their social studies of the Cherokee.

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.