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Compiled by Gina Smith
Teacher Innovation Fund grants: The Charlotte Hornets, Lowe’s and FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth, in partnership with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools Foundation, awarded $41,200 in Teacher Innovation Fund grants to nine Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers to support innovative and dynamic ideas. The teachers were recognized during a halftime ceremony in the Hornets game against the Detroit Pistons on April 1 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers will receive a total of $250,000 in grants through the program over the next three years. The money will be given through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools Foundation. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers receiving grants this year are:
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Denise DiTondo, third-grade teacher at Barnette Elementary: $5,000 to fund a student-developed and operated farmers market on campus. It will serve the surrounding community as well as the school’s students and families.
Latonya Simpson, personalized learning facilitator at Ridge Road Middle School: $5,000 to fund Personalized Learning Labs to promote student interaction, collaboration and diverse learning styles. The labs will also support professional development for teachers.
Sabrina Walters, talent development teacher at Huntersville Elementary School: $5,000 to fund a MakerSpace and implement Genius Hour, both of which will allow students to explore their personal academic interests.
Girls on the Run collection: The Blythe Girls on the Run group is collecting laundry and cleaning products, toiletries, baby items and household goods for The Children’s Home of Kannapolis. Items will be collected in a drop box by the office through April 30. To view a wish list of needed items, visit http://schools.cms.k12.nc.us/blytheES/Pages/Default.aspx.
Field Day: Parents and community members are needed to volunteer to help out with Field Day at various times 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 1 at the school. For details and to sign up, visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1yZu_B0shzfYTLRCT-v6S1DccwsTw9QI4c1nh7Vx8e90/viewform.
State championship: The Odyssey of the Mind took first place in the North Carolina State Tournament held April 11 at Appalachian State University in Boone. The team advances to compete in the World Finals at Michigan State University on May 20.
Cup-stacking tournament: Physical education teacher Frank Smithwick hosted a cup-stacking tournament for students on March 30 in the school cafeteria. Smithwick also added an impromptu division for parents. Cup stacking, also known as sport or speed stacking, involves stacking plastic cups in specific sequences as quickly as possible. Winners were: 6 and younger age division, Eli Jeffery with a 3-3-3 stack in 6.7 seconds; 7-8 age division, Austin Barrow with a 3-3-3 stack in 4.5 seconds; 9-11 age division, Sonya Dutt with a 3-3-3 stack in 4.7 seconds; parents’ division, Reena Dutt with a 3-3-3 stack in 4.6 seconds. The winner in each age division received a golden cup as an award. Smithwick plans to continue teaching cup stacking in his physical education classes and hosting a tournament each year.
Golf tournament: The inaugural STEM Team Charity Golf Tournament will be held April 27 at River Run Country Club, 19125 River Falls Drive, Davidson. Registration is $150 per player and includes a round of golf, lunch provided by Cafe 100, an awards dinner at River Run’s clubhouse, a golf shirt, a swag bag, and entrance into a silent auction. Proceeds will benefit the school’s National STEM League team, which will be competing in the National STEM League National Finals in May in Houston, Texas. To register, visit www.horsepowermotorsports.weebly.com/golf-tournament.html.
Cyberbullying seminar: Professor and criminologist Susan Wind will present a seminar for parents of Bradley Middle School students and Barnette Elementary fourth- and fifth-graders 6:30-8 p.m. April 28 in the Bradley Middle School Media Center. The seminar will focus on cyberbullying and what students have access to and are doing on social media sites. Admission is free, but registration is required. Sign up at www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0848aeac2aabfc1-parent. For details about registration, contact Melissa Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org at 980-343-5750.
Fundraising success: Cannon School raised more than $30,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by participating in the JDRF Walk for a Cure on April 10. To raise the money, students, parents, faculty and staff members participated in events such as penny wars and spirit days throughout a two-week period which led up to the walk. School nurse Brenda Newman organized the event. It was the first year for the school to participate in the fundraiser.