Books for the win at Brentwood Elementary
Raleigh-based nonprofit Bonnie’s Book Foundation distributed free books to students at Brentwood Elementary last week.
During the all-day event, organized by foundation workers and school staff, the school’s media center was transformed into a free bookstore with thousands of books for the children to peruse. All 450 students had a chance to choose books that fit their interests and abilities.
“We know that these are children with limited resources, and anything that can be done to support their learning efforts helps,” said Diana Graham, president of Bonnie’s Book Foundation. “Kids who own books at home perform better academically, and are less likely to drop out, spend time in jail or end up on public assistance.”
Brentwood Elementary is a Title I school, with 80 percent of its students qualifying for free and reduced lunch.
Statistics aside, the proof was in students’ enthusiastic comments and smiling faces as they browsed the stacks of titles. Many sat on the library carpet and started reading even before returning to their classrooms.
“Books for the win!” crowed one happy young reader.
Bonnie’s Book Foundation, founded by Graham’s late mother, Bonnie, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1990s, collects new and gently used children’s books and redistributes them to at-risk students and schools.
Tax-deductible contributions may be mailed to 9660 Falls of Neuse, Suite 138, Raleigh, NC 27615. For more information or to donate online, go to www.bonniesbooks.org.
New FFA chapters at area schools
Two new FFA chapters in Wake County are firsts.
The National FFA Organization, which used to be called Future Farmers of America, established its first Catholic school chapter at St. Thomas More Academy in Raleigh. Charter membership at St. Thomas More numbered 26, and school leaders said they expect more students to join as the program “takes root.”
Rolesville Middle School established the first FFA chapter for middle school students in Wake County. Biotechnology teacher Scott Robison will be the adviser for the more than 30 students who have joined so far.
A Rolesville FFA Alumni booster club made up of parents and others interested in supporting the middle schoolers meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the school.
Rolesville Middle School, which opened in July 2012, was also the first Wake middle school to offer a biotechnology class and recently received a $1,500 grant from the Ag Carolina Farm Credit Fund for Rural North Carolina to build raised garden beds. A full-size production greenhouse is on the school’s wish list as it looks for sponsors and other ways to raise money for students to grow and learn about agriculture year round.
Sophomore wins contest to attend inauguration
Michelle Li, a sophomore at Raleigh Charter High School, was the grand prize winner of the 13-17 age group in the Rocket21 Dream Big for the President contest and attended the presidential inauguration with her family. Rocket21, a social network for teens, asked participants to imagine collaborating with President Obama on his inauguration speech by communicating what they believe to be the current concerns and hope of their generation.
Li’s five-minute video entry highlighted her own experience with the American Dream and her optimism in America’s future, despite the challenges ahead. “The topic – about America’s future and my generation’s future – was just something that I had a lot to say about.”
Raleigh Charter sweeps math competition
Raleigh Charter High School students Stephanie Austin, William Eason, Julie Grabowski, Tony Li, Pooja Mehta, Shobana Subramanian and Jonathan Tseng won first place in the countywide Todd Fuller High School Math Competition on Oct. 13 at N.C. State University. First-place winner Tony Li took home a $500 cash prize, and second-place winner, Jonathan Tseng, won $350.
Anti-bullying expert to speak at Ravenscroft
Stan Davis, author of “Schools Where Everyone Belongs” will speak on the topic of raising kind, resilient children at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, in the Christina B. Jones Theatre of Ravenscroft’s Fine Arts Center, 7409 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh.
Lifelong Learning programs
The Wake County Public School System will offer the following classes through its Lifelong Learning Program. For more information, call 919-431-7593 or visit www.wcpss.net/adult-edu.
Personal Computer and Windows Introduction – 7 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 6-27, $85.
Desktop Publishing with Word – 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 7-28, $85.
Easy and Elegant Fish and Seafood – 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, $45.
The Basics of eBay and Online Selling – 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, $50.
Preparation Course for CFC Certification – 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 13-27. $125.
Confucius Says – 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, $45.
You Had Me at Chocolate – 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, $45.
Guitar Made Fun and Easy – 6:30 to 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, Feb. 4-28, $65.
Next Level Guitar – 8 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, Feb. 4-28, $65.
Wake Forest Thales open houses
Thales Academy will hold an open house at its junior high and high school from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 3121 Heritage Trade Drive #104, Wake Forest.
Thales will hold an open house at its K-5 Wake Forest location from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at 3106 Heritage Trade Drive, Wake Forest. For more information, visit www.ThalesAcademy.org.
Thales Academy K-5 tour
Thales Academy will hold a tour of its K-5 school in Raleigh from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at 8151 Town Drive. For more information, visit www.ThalesAcademy.org.
High schools open to prospective students
Wake County schools are starting to have their information sessions for prospective students and their parents.
Youth Legislative Assembly
The Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office of the N.C. Department of Administration will accept applications through Monday, Feb. 18, for the 43rd annual Youth Legislative Assembly scheduled from Friday, March 15, to Sunday, March 17, in Raleigh.
Registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.
YLA is an opportunity for North Carolina high school students to write, debate and vote on bills and share their views with legislators and other state government officials. Following procedures used by members of the N.C. General Assembly, participants will work in one of 10 committees before gathering for general sessions.
The cost is $135 per student staying four to a room or $175 per student staying two to a room. The fee covers the hotel for two nights, five meals, a T-shirt and conference materials. Fees must be included with the application and will increase after Feb. 18. Written notice of acceptance or denial of registration will be provided by March 1.
Registration open at School of Grace
Registration is open at The School of Grace, a parent participatory preschool serving children ages 6 months through 5 years. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit www.schoolofgrace.com or call 919-787-4740.
Scholarships for children of veterans
The N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs offers college scholarships to children of N.C. war veterans. The application deadline is March 1. Interested students should contact their local Veterans Service Office by visiting www.doa.nc.gov/vets/locations.
Brains and Bodies Award
Advocates for Health in Action is seeking applicants to apply for its Brains and Bodies Award, which recognizes individual Wake schools working to improve the health of students and staff. AHA will give awards in three areas: policy/systems, employee wellness and student wellness.
To apply, visit www.advocatesforhealthinaction.org. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Monday, March 11.
Wake Electric accepting scholarship applications
Students can apply for Wake Electric scholarships through March 29.
The Fred M. Alford Memorial Scholarship, for $2,000, will be awarded to the top candidate selected by an independent judging panel. Applicants must be high school graduating seniors who are children of or under legal guardianship of a Wake Electric member or live in a home served by Wake Electric. They must then pursue a four-year undergraduate baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution in North Carolina.
Wake Electric will also award 16 scholarships of $1,250 each, the Touchstone Energy Scholarships. These scholarships are not limited to recent high school graduates, and may be used at one of the state’s community colleges, vocational or technical schools, as well as at a four-year college.
Short fiction scholarship contest
The Wade Edwards Short Fiction scholarship contest is open to high school juniors through May 1.
The annual competition, administered and supported by the N.C. English Teachers Association and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, is sponsored by the Wade Edwards Foundation.
The three scholarships, along with a gift to the first-place winner’s English department, total $10,000. For the first time this year, each of the eight NCETA regions will select a winner to receive a $500 scholarship. The first five entries from each region will also receive a $50 gift card. Students from all schools – public, private, charter and home schools – are encouraged to submit their writing.
For more information and an entry form, go to www.wade.org.