NOTE :: "Celebrate N.C. Schools" feature stories contained on this site are for historical purposes only. While each story was accurate on the date it was published, it may be outdated when viewed.

Below are some innovative programs in North Carolina school and districts that have made local, state and national headlines. To see your program featured here, contact Vanessa Jeter.

MAY 2017

FOUR GUILFORD COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOLERS’ BOOKS CHOSEN FOR PUBLICATION (Greensboro News & Record) Four of the Greensboro area’s newest soon-to-be-published authors are not even old enough to drive a car. The students, who attend Brown Summit Middle School and Southeast Middle, will have their work published by American Reading Company. In addition, the students received $1,000.

Several students from the schools submitted books to be evaluated by American Reading, which receives about 100 student submissions each year. Although the company has only published two other books in 18 years, publishers liked these four students’ books so much, they decided to publish them.

“These students created such exciting and well-researched books, we decided to publish them to inspire, entertain and inform future students,” said Gina Cline, executive vice president of curriculum and instruction at American Reading Company. “I’ve seen hundreds of student books, and each of these four stood out as surprising or unique.”

SATURDAY SCIENCE PROGRAM OFFERS EIGHTH-GRADERS EXTRAS, FROM ROBOTS TO NAKED MOLE RATS (Charlotte Observer) Ashley Park Principal Meaghan Loftus insists her eighth-graders weren’t upset when she asked them to attend Saturday school.

The STEAM Saturday classes that just wrapped up for the year are a reward for top students, not a catch-up program for those who struggle. The activities, provided by the Charlotte-based nonprofit Digi-Bridge, include composing digital music, programming robots and using household supplies to explore kidney function.

The program also included weekday field trips to Discovery Place, SeaLife Aquarium and Duke University, all designed to boost STEAM skills. (It stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math).

Student Toni Teah blogged about the most noteworthy part of the Discovery Place trip: “One animal that almost everyone was shocked to touch was a naked mole rat… A NAKED MOLE RAT!! He is naked because he has a genetic mutation that makes him not have any hair like a normal mouse or rodent. Cool isn’t it?”

Digi-Bridge provides STEAM Saturday classes around the county at $25 per student per session, but has gotten grants to serve about 500 low-income students at Ashley Park and Allenbrook schools and Renaissance West community center.

SCHOOLS PREPARING KIDS FOR FUTURE JOBS (Mount Airy News) When it comes to economic development, there is no doubt that education plays a big role.

Every company needs skilled workers to thrive – whether it’s someone parked in front of a keyboard, running a piece of sophisticated machinery or elbows deep in muck.

While local schools are proud of their graduates who go on to advanced college degrees, a good school system also needs to focus on getting other students ready to enter the job force.

Local educators say they have made a point of emphasis of preparing kids to be college-ready and/or career-ready.

Students at Selma Middle School got a boost from well-wishers around the globe as they prepared to take their end-of-grade exams.