Cabarrus honored for excellence in innovation
Friday, Nov. 01, 2013

Cabarrus honored for excellence in innovation

    Bibliophiles make “The Hunger Games” real by learning to make a fire at the “Survival Training Day” at Dan Nicholas Park in Rowan County.
    “The Hunger Games” is a story of competition and survival. As a theme event for the four-county 411 Community Read, participants tried their hands at archery at a “Survival Training Day” at Rock Creek Park in Stanly County.
    A participant in the first four-county 411 Community Read learns to make bread. Several thousand avid readers collectively read and discussed a single novel, “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins, and participated in more than 50 activities built around the book’s theme.

Cabarrus County has received two $1,000 Excellence in Innovation awards from the Local Government Federal Credit Union.

The N.C. Association of County Commissioners collaborated with the credit union in selecting and announcing the awards.

One of the awards is in the public information/participation category, honoring Cabarrus’ 411 Community Read program. The initiative is a partnership between the Cabarrus County Public Library and parks departments, libraries, community colleges and other organizations in Cabarrus, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties.

The Cabarrus library has conducted three other community reads, but this is the first time four area library districts have collaborated on one.

Residents of four counties collectively read and discussed “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins. Besides book discussions, the project included more than 50 fun and educational events, programs and speakers on a variety of topics related to the book.

“Several thousand people took part in the first four-county read,” said Dana Eure, director of the Cabarrus County library system.

The partnership will continue next spring in Cabarrus, Rowan, Stanly and Davidson counties, featuring “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore,” by Robin Sloan.

The other award recognized the county’s new leadership intranet site in the general government category for creating a site that is a one-stop, user-friendly, virtual location to share tools, including templates, resources, announcements and articles, with managerial staff.

Susan Nunn, human resources analyst with the county, and Marci Jones, analyst and programmer in the county’s Information Technology department, collaborated to develop the site, said Lundee Covington, director of human resources for the county.

“We were excited to be recognized,” said Covington, who said they were already seeing the benefit.

“In general, we’ve seen increased usage (of the site), and that’s a positive,” said Covington. “(Managers) are learning different ways to use the site, and it’s really catching fire.

“Instead of reaching 20 or 30 people at a monthly meeting, we are able to reach more than 100 supervisors with a consistent message.”

The Local Government Federal Credit Union serves local government employees, elected and appointed officials, volunteers and their families in all 100 N.C. counties and sponsors the Excellence in Innovation Awards.

Each year, $1,000 awards go to two programs in each of four categories: general government, health and human services, public information/participation and intergovernmental collaboration.

Carole Howell is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Carole? Email her at

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more