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Posts Tagged ‘schools’

Growing Green Schools in NC

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Six North Carolina schools received NC Green School awards this year in recognition of the schools‘ environmental leadership and engagement in sustainability activities. There are three levels of Green School Recognition Awards: NC Green School of Promise, NC Green School of Quality, and NC Green School of Excellence. Rainbow Community School is the first school to earn the highest recognition as a NC Green School of Excellence. Rainbow’s Director Renee Owen commented, “We are very honored. Rainbow Community School is committed to nurturing children so that they grow and thrive in a sustainable world with an appreciation for the planet in which they live. We hope to be a beacon of light for others to follow.”

Other NC schools also earned awards, including one NC Green Schools of Promise: Fairview Elementary (Buncombe), and four NC Green Schools of Quality: Hall Fletcher Elementary (Asheville), Queens Creek Elementary (Swansboro), Koontz Intermediate (Buncombe), and Cane Creek Middle School (Buncombe). “We understand how stretched teachers are these days and we are so proud of these schools for their commitment to having a lighter footprint and teaching with the environment in mind,” said Katie Cavert Ferrell, Program Director of NC Green Schools. Schools will be honored at award ceremonies.

A volunteer team of professional architects, county planners and community educators ranked the school applications on how well they met certain criteria based on these five components: Culture and Community, School Sustainability, Healthy Schools, Curriculum Integration, and Innovation. The schools with the highest scores are ones who engage the most students, teachers, parents and the surrounding community in school projects that have a positive impact on student learning and the environment. “I enjoyed this process and am proud to serve the community in this way.Rainbow Community School has made an amazing effort to green their school and I am glad to know so much more about the school than I did before. In my opinion they are very deserving of the Green School of Excellence designation!” said Torin Kexel, Building Performance Director at Green Opportunities in Asheville and a NC Green Schools judge.

NC Green Schools evolved from Reading Riding Retrofit, a program created to help reduce energy costs, support environmental education and encourage sustainability practices within the public schools in Buncombe County. In 2010-2012, the program made a significant impact with an EPA Sustainable Communities Showcase Grant. “We built a strong team of community partners and the schools successfully cut $250,000 from the school’s energy budget per year and have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by over 1250 tons, annually!” said Robin Cape, Executive Director of NC Green Schools. “Since then, we have worked to support schools across the state with resources and tools for teachers and we are excited to celebrate these green schools’ successes.” said Ferrell. The NC Green Schools Learning Network plans to offer workshops for teachers who want to learn more and connect with like-minded educators about how their school can implement programs like Hall Fletcher’s successful composting initiative and Rainbow Community’s use of outdoor educational space.

Online Guide Lists WCU as ‘College of Distinction’

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University has been designated a “College of Distinction” for 2013-14 by an online guide that provides information for prospective college students, their parents and high school counselors.

WCU is one of eight colleges and universities in North Carolina recognized by the website collegesofdistinction.com, which puts the spotlight on the “hidden gems” of higher education. Schools listed on the website are judged in four areas: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.

Colleges are nominated for the honor by high school counselors, college administrators and the website’s selection team. Schools are selected based on interviews with college admission experts, representatives from the nominated schools and administrators at other colleges, and the results of site visits. Other information such as graduation rates and classroom sizes also is considered.

In its section about WCU, that guide says the university “is on the cutting edge of technology, but it holds onto the timeless tradition of a personal approach to education, which has been a hallmark since the university’s inception in 1889.”

For more information about the online guide and to see WCU’s profile, go to http://www.collegesofdistinction.com.

Free Lunch for Kids this Summer

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
Super Summer Meal SitesASHEVILLE NC – Super Summer Meals are now available for ALL kids under 18. To find the most convenient Super Summer Meal site, simply text “FOODNC” to 877877, put in a street address or zip code, and get a list of all locations within a 10 mile radius. A complete list of the sites can be found below.NOTE: Some school sites are closed on Fridays if the school is closed and no other programs operate on the site those days.


    Lunch 11:15 – 11:45 am
    Breakfast 8 – 9:30 am, Lunch 11:45 – 12:45 pm


    Lunch 11:15 – 11:45 am
    Lunch Noon – 1 pm


    Breakfast 9 – 9:30 am, Lunch 12:45 – 1:15 pm
    Breakfast 8:30 – 9:30 am Lunch Noon – 1 pm
  • LEDGEWOOD APTS 75 Future St. ASHEVILLE Mon – Fri
    Breakfast 8:45 – 9:30 am, Lunch 11:45 – 1:15 pm


  • ERWIN POOL Mon – Fri
    Lunch 11:15 – 11:45 am
    Lunch Noon – 1:00 pm
    Lunch 12:15 – 1:15 pm
    Breakfast 9 – 9:30 am, Lunch 11:45-12:30 pm
    Lunch 11:30- Noon
    Breakfast 8:30 – 9:30 am, Lunch 11:30 – 12:30 pm


    Breakfast 9 – 9:30 am, Lunch 12:45 – 1:15 pm
  • OWEN POOL   Monday – Friday
    Lunch 11:15 – 11:45 am
    Lunch Noon – 1 pm

What is Super Summer Meals?

Buncombe County Schools is one of 12 out of the state’s 115 school districts to serve as a pilot for expanding summer meals. The pilot program is a collaboration between Buncombe County Schools, Buncombe County Parks, Greenways & Recreation, No Kid Hungry NC, the NC Department of Public Instruction, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health.

The US Department of Agriculture has granted a special waiver to the pilot participants that allow them to waive some of the administrative requirements and receive the highest reimbursement rates for meals served. Buncombe County Schools is receiving a mini-grant from No Kid Hungry to help defray operational expenses. Learn more.

Farm to School is in Swing This Spring

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – At preschools and elementary schools throughout Western North Carolina, students are planting seeds and harvesting early-season vegetables, whipping up fresh local foods, and preparing for enriching farm field trips through ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program.

“While our program runs year-round, there is something special about springtime,” says Growing Minds Director Emily Jackson. “Children get to see the seeds they planted grow into beautiful vegetables and flowers, and our area’s farms are coming to life again. Farms are ready to welcome children for field trips and have product to provide to school cafeterias and to chefs for classroom cooking demos.” She adds, “This season is also the best time for us to share our resources—from free seeds to children’s books to grant funding.”

Teachers are now using cooking kits, distributed by ASAP’s Growing Minds earlier this year, in classroom local food cooking demos. Forty schools received kits valued at $2,000 each; Partnership for a Healthier America awarded the kits to ASAP.

ASAP recently announced recipients of their 2012-2013 Farm to School Community Grant: Bald Creek Elementary in Yancey County, Freedom Trail Elementary in Avery County, and Pinnacle Elementary in Rutherford County. The grantees receive training and technical assistance, $3,000 to launch or expand a Farm to School program, and local food and farm promotional materials.

ASAP’s Growing Minds is also providing 10 mini-grants for farm field trips in 2012. Nine schools—from preschool through high school—in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, and Anderson (SC) counties are receiving $200 to fund educational outings around local food.

Spring is an equally exciting time for the Growing Minds program. They just released the second Local Food Guide for Kids, modeled after ASAP’s popular adult version; the publication is a guide to area school gardens, family-friendly farms, and other Farm to School happenings in Asheville City schools and schools in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, and Jackson counties. It is currently being distributed to students and can also be found online at growing-minds.org. The program will also launch a new website this season. The vibrant new layout and design will make resources for teachers and parents easier to find and download.


ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. Growing Minds, ASAP’s Farm to School program, works to connect farms and schools and give children positive experiences with healthy foods. Experiences include farm field trips, nutrition education, school gardens, and local food in cafeterias.

To learn more about Growing Minds, visit growing-minds.org. For information about ASAP’s work in the region, visit asapconnections.org, or call 828-236-1282.

LIGHT OF WISDOM: A brand new, breakthrough K-8 school in Asheville

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Center for Spiritual Living is honored to announce the formation of a new K-8 school in Asheville where children are learning to be extraordinary  spiritual beings who are creating their lives through the power of their thoughts. Those who have seen Louise Hay’s movie, You Can Heal Your Life, know that our thoughts are amazingly powerful.  Now at the Light of Wisdom School, we are teaching this wisdom to our children.

Most children through traditional educational methods are never given the opportunity to recognize their fullest potential.  As a Youth Education Program of the Center for Spiritual Living, Light of Wisdom School with its empowering educational design offers Asheville families an exciting new approach for learning.

Specifically, this school’s guiding philosophy is rooted in:

  • New Thought – The idea that thought is the most creative and powerful force in the universe.
  • Academic Excellence – Our program maintains or exceeds all standards set for North Carolina academic requirements, K-8th grade. Children also experience activities beyond the classroom to foster a wide-ranging and holistic education.
  • Ethics – Beyond reading, writing and arithmetic, children attending Light of Wisdom School are supported in their character development by consciously practicing honesty, integrity and impeccability.
  • Spiritual Growth – Light of Wisdom School embraces New Thought principles that teach children that there is a power within them that they use to create meaningful successful lives.
  • Emotional and Social – Going beyond the basic requirements of traditional teaching methods, Light of Wisdom School nurtures our children through emotional and social development to support their greatest potential.
  • Honoring the Needs of Each Child – With small classes and specialized attention, every child that attends the Light of Wisdom School is deeply cared for and nurtured in ways that support his or her healthy development.

Barbara Waterhouse, Co-Minister of the Center for Spiritual Living, explained, “The children who come to Light of Wisdom School are becoming the greatest versions of themselves, not only for themselves, but for their communities, their country and the world.”  Currently, there are no other New Thought schools in Western North Carolina; so many eyes are on our groundbreaking initiative in Asheville.

About the School
Light of Wisdom School is fully approved by local and state authorities and is now accepting new student enrollment for grades K-8. Children may enter at any grade level and the only requirement is that parents or caregivers are in alignment with the New Thought spiritual philosophy. To tour our school, meet with teachers and/or receive application forms, contact Nancy Miller at 828-670-6725.

More Information

Light of Wisdom School: www.lightofwisdomschool.com

Email: [email protected]

Center for Spiritual Living in Asheville: www.cslasheville.org

Special Olympics Spring Games Takes Place May 5th

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt!

Special Olympics Spring Games will take place on Thursday, May 5 at T.C. Roberson High School. Opening Ceremonies begin at 9:20 a.m. with a Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the Olympic Torch. Track and Field Events begin right after the Parade of Athletes.

Special Olympic athletes come from all over Buncombe County and represent Buncombe County Schools, Asheville City Schools, Group Homes and Independent athletes. Over 500 athletes will compete in Track and Field events including softball throw, relay races, 50 and 100 meter runs, standing long jump and running long jump. For wheelchair bound athletes there are races and developmental events.

The Special Olympics committee encourages everyone to come by and cheer for the athletes. Arrive early and stay for lunch. Concessions are open all day and events will last into the early afternoon. There is no charge for admission.

For more information call Grace Young at 250-4260 or email her at [email protected].

Montreat College Wins National Award for Environmental Stewardship

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

MONTREAT, NC – Representing about 2 percent of the nation’s carbon footprint (as large as an average state) and educating 19 million future world leaders each year, the nation’s colleges and universities are ideal places for innovation to spark a clean energy revolution and produce green jobs for the U.S. Montreat is one of six winning schools that were chosen from a national pool of entries.

Montreat College’s environmental group Seeds is giving students a voice in promoting environmentally sustainable and socially responsible initiatives in energy conservation and local food production. In one of their most impressive and inspiring programs, Seeds launched their first annual energy-saving competition, the Residence Energy Challenge 2010, as part of an ongoing commitment to improve energy efficiency across campus.

As a result of the competition, Montreat’s campus residents reduced their energy consumption by 19.5 percent and prevented 3.7 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. Through this incentive-based contest, dorm residents also learned a variety of energy saving techniques and how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Montreat’s Seeds team also implemented a community farm called The Garden of Eatin’, a student-founded initiative that grew out of a desire to learn how to grow their own food and to provide more local produce on campus while enhancing community involvement.

“If each American was to eat locally one meal per week, the nation would save 1.1 million barrels of oil per week,” said student gardener Andrea Thompson. “The Garden exists to help build community, to connect people to each other and the food that they eat. It’s an easy, fun and inexpensive way to reduce our carbon footprint, stimulate the local economy, and educate the student body about healthy eating.

Other winning schools in the Chill Out contest include: Central Carolina Community College (Pittsboro, NC), Baylor University (Waco, TX), Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School, Missouri University of Science & Technology (Rolla, MO), and Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA).

“National Wildlife Federation applauds the efforts of these young innovators who are so energized to protect their future and the future of our planet’s natural resources,” says Jeremy Symons, Senior Vice President of Conservation and Education for National Wildlife Federation. “The educators and students have proved it is possible to significantly reduce the pollution that is fueling global warming, and they are creating a clean energy workforce that is prepared to help decrease our country’s dependence on oil.”

The impressive efforts of the six winners will be broadcast in NWF’s Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus webcast on April 13. The colleges will also receive a monetary award from the National Wildlife Federation to continue exploring innovative clean energy and climate action initiatives. This year’s webcast will be co-hosted by Tara Platt (voice and live-action actress) and Yuri Lowenthal (voice of Superman on CW’s Legion of Superheroes), The free program will celebrate this year’s award winners and showcase initiatives occurring on campuses across the nation. The webcast is an excellent organizing tool and will be available for viewing on-demand after April 13.

Campus leaders all across the country are encouraged to host events on their campuses and in their wider communities to watch the webcast. The program will be part of a series of events scheduled on hundreds of campuses across the country building excitement in the week leading up to Earth Day 2011. Visit www.campuschillout.org for details on hosting a live screening party and to view the webcast.

Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus is proudly supported by The Kendeda Fund, National Association for Campus Activities, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Campus-To-Congress, the Campus Conservation Nationals, and many more partners.

National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Program has been an integral leader in the campus greening movement since 1989. In the last two decades they’ve built a library of campus-tailored resources to help thousands of students, faculty and staff at more than one-third of all colleges and universities in crafting programs, incentives, curricula and best practices. As the climate crisis in our country grows, Campus Ecology has also evolved to help campuses tackle the challenges of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. The nation’s 4,100 colleges and universities educate as many as 19 million students in any given year, and NWF is committed to partnering with them and fostering the seeds of creativity growing in some our nation’s most important hotbeds of innovation in confronting the climate crisis.

National Wildlife Federation’s mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. Visit www.nwf.org.

Buncombe County Schools Makeup Day this Friday

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Don’t forget that there is a snow makeup day for Buncombe County Schools scheduled for Friday, April 22 (Good Friday). It will be an Early Release Day for students.

Safe Routes to School Workshop for Woodfin Elementary School

Monday, March 7th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programs grow from the community’s concerns regarding safety, health and traffic. A combination of education, encouragement, engineering and enforcement strategies are used to address these concerns and make Safe Routes to School a reality.

This course provides participants with the knowledge and skills to develop sound SRTS Programs based on community needs and conditions, best practices and responsible use of resources. The day will conclude with the development of an action plan.

Safe Routes to School Workshop for Woodfin Elementary School
Wednesday, March 23 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Woodfin Elementary School

Interested in learning more, see the flyer attached below or contact Jessica Stevermer at 250-4263 or [email protected].

Community Foundation Helps Appalachian Sustainable Project Connect Chefs and Classrooms

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) recently received funding from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to connect chefs and schools for cooking demonstrations. ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School program has been linking the two and helping children establish healthy attitudes and behaviors through positive experiences with fresh, locally grown food since 2004.

Thanks to the nationwide launch of first lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools campaign last summer and the interest of local chef Laurey Masterton, whose passion after attending the launch ignited a spark in her colleagues, ASAP has seen a rise in the number of those interested in
the program. The grant award will help ASAP meet this new demand; specifically, funding will allow the organization to fulfill the important roles of matchmaker and trainer.

As matchmaker, ASAP will ensure appropriate pairings that meet the needs and preferences of the classrooms, chefs, and community volunteers. To ensure successful cooking demonstrations, ASAP will train chefs in age-appropriate cooking techniques and provide them with lesson plans, cooking tools, and other resources, as well as connect them with area growers and farm-fresh foods.
“Featuring locally grown food is key to this project,” says Growing Minds Program Director Emily Jackson. She notes that a focus on healthy food with a connection to local agriculture will help decrease rates of childhood obesity, retain family farms, and increase appreciation for our rural
landscapes and lifestyles. Chef Adam Hayes of Red Stag Grill began leading cooking classes at Glen Arden Elementary in Asheville last fall, including a local winter squash soup demonstration that got multiple classrooms and grade levels, along with faculty, participating. More than 100 students now take part, and he has big ideas for them this year. “I’m excited to create regular cooking classes around ASAP’s Get Local initiative, which highlights a local food each month,” he says. Not stopping at this monthly goal, he plans to bring in farmers and incorporate farm field trips as well.

“This month, we’re all visiting Sunburst Trout Farms in Canton. I’m looking forward to the students making the connection that the ingredients we use can come from just around the corner.” “We are thrilled that chefs want to draw attention to healthy local food,” shares Jackson, adding,
“We are certain this will resonate not only with schools but with families.”