Gaston & Catawba

Gaston/Lincoln school news

Gaston County

Social workers help families: Sadler Elementary social worker Tabatha Rainey and several colleagues recently organized a Give Back to Those Who Give Back food drive to help food pantries that will likely be depleted during the holiday season.

In November, Rainey and other school social workers held food drives during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

The drive collected 3,329 canned goods and 10,126 pounds of food, as well as $271 in cash and many boxes of paper products, personal hygiene items, socks and hats.

Recipients included the food bank of New Destiny Worship Center, the Outreach Food Ministry of Christ Community Baptist Church, the Cramerton Ministerial Relief Fund’s pantry at Riverside Baptist Church, Cramerton Crisis Assistance Ministry, the Salvation Army, Revolution Church, Bessemer City Crisis Center and St. Michael Church Ministry.

Participating social workers were Mandi Payne of Stuart Cramer High, Tabatha Rainey of Sadler Elementary, Ali Akers of New Hope Elementary, Brittan Connor of Warlick Academy, LaTonya Burgess of Rhyne Elementary, Marsha Beattie of Bessemer City High and Michelle Black of York Chester Middle.

Robotics team: Belmont Middle School’s Beauty and the Bots robotics team recently raised more than $300 to purchase iTunes gift cards for learning apps and music for Holy Angels residents.

The team visited Holy Angels and learned how technology helps children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn. For example, one young man who cannot speak on his own uses an iPad app to communicate by typing words into a program that talks for him. He also enjoys listening to music on his iPad.

Now the Belmont Middle robotics team is challenging all Gaston County schools to join them in their iCan for iTunes community project to support Holy Angels residents. Donations will be accepted through March.

Belmont Middle’s students also developed a presentation about Holy Angels to give at team competitions. Teacher Deb Elmore is helping write a grant to purchase more iPads for the residents.

To help, contact Deb Elmore at the school at 704-825-9619 or

Free library card: Pleasant Ridge Elementary media specialist Ann Perkins-Davis is helping students develop a love of books and reading through the Free Public Library Card campaign.

Perkins-Davis contacted the Gaston County Public Library to start the campaign after realizing many families at the school did not have a library card due to language barriers or a lack of awareness about library resources. Parents visited the school’s media center where public library staff members answered questions and signed up new cardholders. Library employees also brought a selection of books and let families check them out.

Keturah Scarborough, an interpreter for Gaston County Schools, helped parents communicate with library staff.

Spirit Night: Belmont Middle School sponsors Spirit Night 5-8 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at Johnny B’s Pizza.

Patrons should write BMS on the back of their receipt. Dine-in and carry-out orders apply to the Spirit Night fundraiser for the school.

Mobile app available: Gaston County Schools has a new mobile app to enhance communication with parents, students, employees and the community.

The mobile app is available as a free download in the Apple iTunes and Google Play online stores. Find it by searching Gaston County Schools.

Lincoln County

Hour of code: Computer Programming I students from Lincoln County School of Technology participated in the 2014 Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week Dec. 8-14. The high school juniors and seniors completed tutorials throughout the week, trying new languages and platforms with as JavaScript and Python.

On Dec. 12, teacher Angie Helms led students in an Hour of Code activity with third-graders from G.E. Massey Elementary. Students enjoyed fun, interactive tutorials from “Frozen” and Angry Birds.

Mentors needed: West Lincoln Middle Schools needs volunteer mentors for several students.

For information on how to participate, call Penny Hullette, CIS Coordinator, at 704-276-1760.

Parent portal available: Parents of children attending Lincoln County Schools can now sign up for the Home Base PowerSchool Parent Portal. The free Internet-based system allows parents to see grades, attendance and class schedules and to monitor their child’s academic progress.

A computer with Internet access is needed to view the website.

For an instructional video and other support documents, visit

Driver’s ed: Lincoln County Schools has contracted with North Carolina Driving Schools Inc. to provide Driver Education for students.

Participants must be 14 1/2 years old and enrolled in a public, private or home schools. Students should sign up shortly after they reach 14 1/2.

The driving school is open on a first come, first served basis. The oldest student applicants participate in the classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction first.

For information, visit

Teachers can win gift cards: One teacher from Lincoln County will be recognized each month this school year with the Hometown Hero Teacher Appreciation Award. The program is sponsored by Charlotte law firm Charles G. Monnett III & Associates and features a $250 gift card for classroom supplies.

Educators in Mecklenburg, Catawba, Iredell, Cabarrus and Union counties also will be recognized for their hard work and dedication. Each winning teacher’s classroom also will receive a pizza party courtesy of Domino’s Pizza.

To make a nomination or vote, visit and click on vote. Nominations may be made each month.

Compiled by Leigh Pressley