Midtown Raleigh News

School Notes

Joyner students win Odyssey of Mind

Two Joyner Magnet Elementary teams took first place in Odyssey of the Mind Eastern Regional competitions in Chapel Hill. They continue to the state competition at the end of March at Wingate University.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.

Teams of students choose to tackle different problems. One Joyner team finished first in the region on the Ooh-Motional Vehicle Problem. The problem requires teams to design, build and drive a vehicle that will travel a course where it will encounter three different situations. The vehicle will display a different human emotion for each encounter, and one will cause it to travel in reverse. The team will create a theme for the presentation that incorporates the vehicle and the different emotions. The emphases will be on the technical risk-taking and creativity of the vehicle’s engineering for travel and change of emotional appearance.

A second Joyner team finished first on the Odyssey Angels Problem. The team had to create and present a performance in which a group of students travel throughout one or more team-created places, encountering negative situations. These “Odyssey Angels” change what they find and turn them into positive situations. On their journey, they help two individuals with different problems and help save an entire community from a bad situation. One Odyssey Angel cannot speak, and another has a special team-created power.

Joyner has a history of strong performance in Odyssey of the Mind, winning the World Championship in 2001, finishing third in the world in 2003 and sixth in the world in 2009.

Reflections district winners selected

District winners for the North Carolina PTA’s Reflections program have been selected and will move on to the state competition. The program is designed to enhance arts education for students in preschool through grade 12.

Area winners include:

Dance: Morgan Clark, Enloe High, Raleigh; Matilda Spoor, Underwood Elementary, Raleigh

Literature: Bonnie Elingburg, Martin Middle, Raleigh; Ryan Lloyd, Underwood Elementary, Raleigh; Suzanna Murawski, Joyner Elementary, Raleigh

Music: Cameron Cokas, Wakefield Middle, Raleigh;

Visual Arts: Brookelyn Jenks, Heritage Elementary, Wake Forest

Kindergarten workshops offered

Track My Steps, a community group dedicated to closing achievement gaps, will hold a series of literacy workshops to prepare children for kindergarten. The workshops are for parents with children 5 and younger.

The workshops will be held on Tuesdays during March at the Wake County Eastern Regional Center, 1002 Dogwood Drive in Zebulon, and on Wednesdays during March at Wake County Northern Regional Center, 350 E. Holding Ave. in Wake Forest. Workshops will begin every half hour from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

To register, call 919-295-0595 or email info@trackmysteps.org. Find more information online at www.trackmysteps.org.

Greater Raleigh National College Fair

Wake County high school students can register now for the Greater Raleigh National College Fair, set for 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, at the Raleigh Convention Center. Students who register online and bring their barcode printout to the fair will not have to fill out information cards on site.

Representatives from more than 160 colleges and universities in North Carolina and the Eastern United States will attend. Four 45-minute workshop sessions are scheduled with discussions on planning for college, paying for college, testing and writing essays.

To register or for more information, go to www.nacacnet.org/EventsTraining/CollegeFairs/ncf/Spring/

2012 Pieces of Gold Performance

The 2012 Pieces of Gold annual student performance will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh. The show will feature performances by more than 1,000 Wake students from 30 schools.

Of the 65 schools that auditioned, the following were chosen to participate:

Leesville, Briarcliff, Joyner, Sycamore Creek, North Forest Pines, Wilburn, Lacy, Barwell, Bugg, Powell, Zebulon, Underwood, Fuller, Millbrook, Washington, Pleasant Union, Fuquay-Varina, Conn and Oak Grove elementary schools.

East Cary, East Millbrook, Martin, Moore Square, Ligon and Centennial middle schools.

Enloe, Fuquay-Varina, Wake Forest-Rolesville, Leesville, Southeast Raleigh and Garner high schools.

Proceeds from this year’s ticket sales will benefit the Teacher Leadership Grants program of the Wake Education Partnership. The program helps teachers improve their level of instruction through four types of grants including a professional learning team grant and three innovative instruction grants. To learn more about the grant program or to apply, go to www.wakeedpartnership.org.

Program on teen substance abuse

Wake County families are invited to a viewing of the new Just Think First video and a program addressing teen substance abuse at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at the Living Arts Center, 3000 Wakefield Crossing Drive in Wakefield.

The movie, “Just Think First Personal Responsibility,” tells the story of what happened to one Wakefield High School student and his family while educating viewers on the impact drugs and alcohol have on our youth today.

Dr. Scott Swartzwelder, a Duke University psychiatrist and expert on the subject will be the keynote speaker. Others who will participate in the main program include a local ALE officer, a principal and a parent. A number of related vendors will be on hand at the beginning of the evening including representatives from MADD, Kidtrackeronline and Drug Free NC.

Videos also are available for purchase on the website, www.justthinkfirst.com. For more information, contact Assistant Principal Vivian Wells at vcwells@wcpss.net.

Attention program at Ravenscroft

Cathy Davidson, author of “Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work and Learn,” will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, in the Christina B. Jones Theatre at Ravenscroft School Fine Arts Center, 7409 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh. She will talk about her research on attention blindness and the challenge it creates. A question-and-answer session and a book signing will follow. Davidson is the Ruth F. DeVarney professor of English and John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University. For more information, call 919-847-0900 or visit www.ravenscroft.org.