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Passion to Published What it takes to make it

The Kings Kitchen

Feeding the Body, Soul & Spirit

Stefanie Kenoyer On The Ball

Homeward Bound

Finding homes for pets

Rockin’ Reporters™

We’re in the Business of Children’s Smiles!

Spring Is Here, Plan Ahead For Your Child’s Summer Break! With summer break fast approaching we want to make sure that you go ahead and schedule your appointment for your child. Summer break is a prime time for parents to bring their children into one of our convenient locations. Since it is such a busy time we typically are fully booked in advance. We want to make sure that you get the appointment time that works with your schedule so we ask that you schedule as far in advance as possible. Make sure you follow our facebook page more information and more helpful dental tips!

Cotswold/Midtown Office

Davidson Office

University Office

411 Billingsley Rd. Suite 106 Charlotte, NC 28211

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Contents Issue #78 2013 Birthday Summer Fun Issue

16 Features: Passion to Published....................8 The King’s Kitchen....................12 Cover Story: Stefanie Kenoyer.........................16 School Features: Sharon Elementary......................24 Dilworth Elementary .................26 Berewick Elementary...................28 Chalkboard: Homeward Bound......................32 History Fun: A Bevy of Brilliant Balloons........34 Story Time: More Manners.............................36

12 16

Why is That?: Why Can’t You Tickle Yourself?........38


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Ten Top ting is s in ank .com L SR CM orbes F of

Looking back, but moving forward

As another year comes to end, it is not uncommon to look back in life and wonder where all the years have gone. Our 5th grade children will be venturing off to middle school, our 8th grade children will be heading off to high school and if you’re like me, your senior will be heading off to college. In the same respect, I was prompted to take a look back at the very first issue of My School Rocks! magazine and it’s amazing to see how far we have progressed in nine years. The first issue of MSR came out Spring of ’04. Growing up in Charlotte, I attended schools Lansdowne, First Ward, Irwin, then Carmel Academy which later merged with Charlotte Country Day, and finally graduating from East Meck. After reading and hearing about all the negatives about our schools, it was my goal to showcase all the positives while at the same time providing students with an opportunity to learn how to develop and ask questions and write about their experience through our unique Rockin’ Reporter program. According to all the wonderful emails and kudos, I believe we have done a great job. However, we have also had our fair share of hiccups along the way. Even as recent as our last issue, we inadvertently misquoted PTO President Katie Burrows from Lansdowne Elementary. Ms. Burrows would like all our readers to know that Lansdowne has a strong commitment to honor and recognizes diversity by celebrating all cultures and languages throughout the world and values every single student across the board. We also failed to warn our readers in the Bob and Sheri article that some radio shows, including the Bob & Sheri Show, at times, might not be suitable for young children and to use your parental judgment on what your children should listen to.


Inside Scoop!

Copy Editor: Resa Goldberg Production Design: Reema Patel Financial Manager: Shari Sobolewski Illustrator: Zoe Ranucci

On The Cover: Stefanie Kenoyer



schools March 2004 • Volu

me 1 • Issue 1

Kid to Kid Interviews! Parents Pages Galore! Games and Pu zzles!

The family of My School One of Our O wn G oes to Bro Rocks! adway! enjoys feedback both positive and Sterling Eleme ry Interviews nta the Cast negative of OLIVER! and will always strive to produce a magazine that everyone can be proud of. Please keep us posted on how we are doing. You can always email me personally at in conjunction



Contributing Writers: Cover Photo By: Bea Quirk ©2012 Scott A. Miller Courtney McLaughlin Photographers: Kimberly P. Johnson William Brown Resa Goldberg Scott A. Miller Virginia Franco Sales:


My School Ro cks! Schools in the Zone!

Staff: Publisher: Michael Phillips



My School Rocks! is paid for by the sponsors located within the publication and NOT by CMS, or government funds of any kind. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. Send mail to My School Rocks!, P.O. Box 78734, Charlotte, NC 28271-7040; fax 704-973-7863. Copyright 2011-2012 by Kidz Biz Publications, LLC. Printed in USA. My School Rocks! is published by Kidz Biz Publications, LLC. Submissions are welcome, but the editor assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material and may use them at his/her discretion. We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publishers. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any way without written permission from the publisher. For more information or comments call: (704) 401-5268.



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By Courtney McLaughlin

Local writers, illustrators share what it takes to make it When I was eight, a typical Saturday morning included jumping into my parents’ bed poised to read my latest made-up short story. With titles like “Flying Breadsticks In France” and “Trapped in the Middle School Cafeteria,” I was hooked on the power of the pen early in life. I received my first typewriter at age 10, started a neighborhood newspaper at 12 and in my teenage years went through miles of typewriter ribbon, carbon paper, pens, notebooks and drafts. My passion became a career consideration in college. I wrote for the campus newspaper, interned at marketing agencies and built up my writing portfolio. I’ve been fortunate to make a living doing what I love. Some of it is luck, most of it is willingness to buckle down, work hard and being smart enough to learn from exemplary writers and editors. Of course, that is just one path. 8 – My School Rocks!

What does it take for ambition to become reality? “Perseverance,” says Stacey Marshall, author of Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes. “I received many rejection letters from publishers before I finally got a contract.” For more advice about the writing and illustrating business, My School Rocks! spoke with children’s book author Kim Johnson, illustrator Zoe Ranucci and Captain Courage’s creator Marshall. INSPIRATION AND PERSPIRATION Ranucci has been drawing her entire life. It’s not something she thinks about, it’s what she is. “It was never something I had to ponder,” she says. “When all my classmates were trying to figure out what to major in for college, I knew art school was the only way for me to go.” She worked 10 years as a graphic designer in an advertising agency but found her true calling after striking out on her own. “I started to go back to my passion of drawing and the illustrative jobs just starting finding me,” she says. Normal Rockwell, 20th- century

Zoe Ra nnuc c i

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American painter and illustrator, is one of her inspirations. “I love the innocence and humor he was able to infuse into his illustrations.” Johnson has been writing professionally since 1997, but has been sharing stories with friends and family since fourth grade. She writes everyday and is constantly on the lookout for a great story. “For example, if I smell bread, that means there is a magic baker making bread to take to the princess he wants to marry,” she says. She likes to write about animals and has recently started a nonfiction work, “No Fear For Freedom: The Story of the Friendship Nine.” Johnson’s fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Gresham, was an inspiration for Johnson. “She always shared poetry, and I think that inspired me to write my own work.” Marshall’s title character – Captain Courage – was originally created as a tool to teach elementary students public speaking skills. The Captain Courage series evolved into articles and stories where the superhero’s adventures would intertwine with tips about

confident communication and belief in yourself.

and announce to the world I was a children’s book illustrator!”

Marshall later decided to turn her series into a book, which she admits was more difficult than anticipated. “I wrongly assumed that like my articles, I would submit my first manuscript and immediately get a contract from a publisher,” she says. After seven years, numerous edits, hard work and waiting, Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes was released in September 2012. A second book in the series is due out this fall.

Besides writing every day, Johnson says she prefers to do her work in a place with a lot of noise. She says the commotion and conversation help her think. She also encourages young writers to stay open to suggestions and be willing to get up and try again, no matter how many rejections they face. “Remember that ‘no’ to a manuscript just means the door hasn’t opened yet,” she adds.

THE PROCESS AND ADVICE So how do you get ideas and art off the table and into your favorite book or magazine? Illustrator Ranucci begins with a manuscript sent by an author. After reviewing the script, she adds pictures to the story with pencils sketches on a storyboard to show the flow of the narrative. She then presents her idea to the author. Her sketches are mostly in black and white, she notes, making it easier to go back and fill in color once the illustrations are approved. Ranucci was ecstatic to show her friends and family her first illustrated hardcover book, My Mother is My Friend, written by Johnson. “I was so proud to show it to my friends and family

Marshall finds it helpful to seek help and encouragement when starting a new project. “I often enlist the help of family and fellow writers for constructive criticism,” she says. Be patient, as the process can be long and tedious. “For my Captain Courage book series, the process from beginning the first story to having it published took nearly seven years.” The process included numerous edits, finding a publisher, securing a contract, working with an illustrator, waiting for proofs and making final changes. Marshall has stuck to what she is passionate about and that has made a huge difference. “My hope is that my books and articles will not only entertain readers, but also inspire kids, and adults, to speak up with pose and self-assuredness.” Johnson agrees. “Find a topic you are really good at and perfect your knowledge in that area.”ou have dreams of becoming a writer or illustrator, what does it

Kimberly P. Johnson 10 – My School Rocks!

TELL ME MORE! WHERE TO FIND THEIR WORKS Stacey Marshall. “Captain Courage and the FearSquishing Shoes” is available through, and select retailers. For more information visit www. Kim Johnson. Find her characters, programs and other resources at

Stacey A. Marshall

Zoe Ranucci. See her illustrations and portfolio online at www.gooddharma. com or on Facebook, Good-Dharma-DesignIllustration.

My School Rocks! –


Feeding the body, Soul & Spirit By Katya Lezin

Restauranteur Jim Noble, who opened his first restaurant in his hometown of High Point, North Carolina thirty years ago, has many culinary accomplishments and successful restaurant ventures to his name. After moving to Charlotte in 2004 to serve as the executive chef at the restaurant that bore his name, having already opened additional restaurants in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, North Carolina, he opened SouthPark’s Roosters Wood-Fired Kitchen in 2006 to be an alternative to the more upscale Noble’s. He wanted the kind of place where folks would want to eat several times each week. “I didn’t want fancy white tablecloths or 12 – My School Rocks!

a special occasion menu,” he says. “I didn’t want foo foo, just good food. The kind of place where chefs want to go eat when they leave their own restaurants.” Good food is something Noble knows well. Recognized for his “new Southern cuisine,” Noble is passionate about what he serves and insists on the finest ingredients, featuring local and organic fare whenever possible. Anyone who tastes any of his cuisine or sees any of the culinary awards he has won knows he has a passion for food and cooking. What may not be as readily apparent to diners, however, is Noble’s

other passion, one he shares with his wife, Karen. Together, the Nobles founded and now oversee Restoration Word Ministries. As a man of deep faith, Noble started his ministry in 1998, doing a weekly radio show and outreach to the poor. He credits his wife with coming up with the idea of combining her husband’s ministry with his restaurant experience to open a not-for-profit restaurant whose profits would go exclusively to feeding the poor. The King’s Kitchen, whose motto is “feeding the body, soul and spirit,” opened on N. Trade Street in uptown in 2010. It serves the community in three important ways, all of which strive to be a place “where the hungry feed the hungry.” The King’s Kitchen Restoration Program offers an extensive rehabilitation for a limited number of participants who are struggling with life situations. The participants in the rehabilitation program (three this year, with hopes of reaching twelve annually in the future) not only receive on-the-job training in the restaurant but also engage in leadership and skills classes and workshops. They also work in the adjoining King’s Kitchen Bakery that makes all of the bread, baked goods, gelato and other desserts for The King’s Kitchen and all of Noble’s other restaurants.

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My School Rocks! –


The King’s Kitchen also offers a daily afternoon Bible Discipleship Class that concludes with a hot meal for all of the participants. The bible study classes are open to the public and usually draw over 100 participants. Thirdly, both provisions and profits from the restaurant are donated to the King’s Kitchen partner ministries in the area. “Our vision is to grow,” Noble says, noting that he is currently looking for a larger space to accommodate even larger crowds. But to do so, he needs to raise funds outside of the restaurant to support all of the good work being done inside of the restaurant. The good news for Charlotteans who want to support his mission is that there is a simple – and delicious! – way of doing so.

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“Come for dinner,” Noble says. And having sampled some of King’s Kitchen’s fare, you will not be sorry you did. Executive Chef Sam Stachon, who oversees both the King’s Kitchen and King’s Kitchen Bakery, was a member of the first graduating class at Charlotte’s Johnson and Wale’s University. Having grown up on a farm in Northern Michigan, he emphasizes local, fresh ingredients and notes that everything on the King’s Kitchen menu is made in-house.

recipe, “is not submerged in fat.” Noble also recommends the shrimp and grits for dinner. Popular lunch items are salads, sandwiches and the meat plus three plates. King’s Kitchen has also begun offering breakfast fare, including baked goods like scones, Danishes and breads with house-made jam from the bakery next door. Bakers arrive at 3 am each morning to begin mixing dough, and all breads go in the oven by 6:00 am. “All of our breads are 100% organic and artisan,” Chef Stachon says, “and we make them fresh every day.”

The biggest hit on the menu is the fried chicken, which is brined, dipped in seasoned flour and then fried in a cast-iron skillet with a lid that traps both heat and moisture. “Most fried chicken is deep-fried,” Noble explains. “But ours,” his Great Aunt Beaut’s

In addition to plenty of kid-friendly fare on the regular menus, kids may also select something from the King’s Kitchen kids’ menu that includes chicken fingers (made fresh each day); a chicken leg; hangar steak, and a Nutella and banana sandwich. Each

kids’ menu has a fire truck for children to color in and, better yet, if they are the first to yell out “ice cream” when a fire truck drives by (Noble’s creative solution to the nuisance of so many of them driving by, sirens blaring, each day), they get a free scoop of ice cream. For Noble, a full, thriving restaurant means that the King’s Kitchen mission can continue to address what he stresses “is not a problem in Charlotte. It is Charlotte’s problem.” With a need this huge, it cannot, he says, “be swept under the rug.” While donations are appreciated (the link for making them is provided below), Noble notes that “the easiest way to support us is to bring the family in for dinner.” So bring the kids in to enjoy some bacon cornbread, low country succotash, Aunt Beaut’s skillet fried chicken, Stone Fisheries seared scallops, or Crispy duck breast with smoky three-bean cassoulet. And be sure to save room for the house-made coconut cake. It will spoil you for any other coconut cake, anywhere. The only way this kind of philanthropy – a delicious restaurant meal that benefits the community – could be more enticing is if it were calorie-free. To learn more about The King’s Kitchen and/or to donate to its mission, visit www. The King’s Kitchen is located at 129 West Trade Street. To make a reservation, call 704/375-1990 or email

My School Rocks! –


On The Ball By Resa Goldberg

16 – My School Rocks!

Some days are just ordinary and no amount of time spent on the putting green is going to change that. Other days have surprises in store, though you could have sworn you didn’t do anything different. It was a stifling hot day at the Emerald Hills Golf Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, the kind where the sweat sticks to your skin before 10 a.m. Fourteenyear old Stefanie Kenoyer was toting her golf bag to the tee box on number 14. The day had started pretty good, especially considering she had just recently learned how to play golf. She slipped out her 8-iron and smacked her ball 100 yards down the course. Miraculously the ball went right in the hole. A hole-in-one! Great! But why was everyone so excited? Later the local newspaper wrote about Stefanie, citing her claim to fame: she made the first hole-in-one in the history of tournaments at the Junior Golf Association of Broward County.

go in until she saw the ball rolling right towards the hole.

“It was just a hole-in-one,” said Stefanie. “I didn’t know it was that big of a deal until I didn’t make my second one for ten long years after that! That’s when I realized how exciting and rare they are.”

Stefanie Kenoyer is a professional golfer, currently playing on the Symetra Tour, a developmental tour that female golfers take, hopefully in route to the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association.) She says Symetra isn’t designed to improve your skills, but rather to develop the skills one needs to play professionally-such as how to travel, how to get sponsors and how to play under pressure. The purse in the LPGA is also higher. Stefanie says the winner of a recent tournament she played in Winter Haven, Fla. received $16,000.

The second time she achieved the elusive hole-in-one, she was playing in the Sara Bay Classic in Sarasota, FL during the 2012 Symetra Tour. Despite the windy April day, she made a 165-yard shot on the 8th hole (a par three) with her 5-iron. She knew it was good, but didn’t realize it would

Some people never achieve the holein-one, but Stefanie did it yet again. In December of 2012, she was playing in the final stage of Qualifying School for the LPGA. She had made the cut and was off to a great start on her final day. Her whole family was there in Daytona Beach to watch her play. On the third hole of the Champions Course at LPGA International, she drew out her 5-iron again, ready for the 170-yeard shot. The ball hopped once on the green and then hopped straight into the hole, making it “one of the best shots I have ever hit during competition.”

My School Rocks! –


The winner of an LPGA tournament last month took home close to $300,000. At the end of the Symetra Tour, the top ten girls will receive an LPGA tour card. Stefanie is just happy that her job right now is to play golf for a living. She didn’t grow up with that desire in mind. She didn’t even start playing until she was 13; an age when many girls on the tour were already regulars at the course. Her immediate family didn’t play, but her grandfather introduced the game to her and she liked it. Before long she was playing in junior golf tournaments around her home state of Florida and getting more serious about the sport. Stefanie worked hard and earned a golf scholarship to Furman University in Greenville, S.C in 2007. In 2009, she qualified to play in the U.S. Women’s Open. That year, over 1,300 people tried to qualify; Stefanie was fortunate to be in the group of 156 that made the cut. “When I played in that tournament, 18 – My School Rocks!

I played as an amateur with the professionals on the LPGA,” says Stefanie. “That’s when I knew I wanted to make golf my job.” That year and the next she was also named Southern Conference Player of the Year (in 2009 and 2010). In 2011, she graduated, turned pro, played 15 matches in the Symetra Tour last year ( with a best finish of T17 at the Sara Bay Classic in Sarasota), and is beginning her second full season on the tour. She will attempt to qualify again for the U.S. Women’s Open (held June 24-30 in Southhampton, NY), followed by a stop in Charlotte to play in the Symetra Classic May 6-11 at Raintree Country Club. She will also make her television debut, as a contestant on the Golf Channel’s “Big Break Mexico”. The show will premiere May 13 at 9 p.m. EST and the 12-week series will run every Monday night through August. She took time out of her busy schedule at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in Winter Haven, FL to talk with our Rockin’ Reporters:

RR: What course did you grow up on and learn to play on? SK: I grew up in South Florida near Ft. Lauderdale and I grew up playing at Pompano Beach Municipal. It’s just a public course that I took lessons at and enjoyed playing at. RR: Why golf? And what is your favorite thing about it? SK: I chose golf because it was a sport I could play and enjoy time with my friends and it was a sport that really challenges me. My favorite thing is that it has led me to travel all over the world. I’ve been to Mexico, Spain, Canada, and all over the U.S. I feel like I have an extended family all over the world. RR: What was your most memorable round and why? SK: There are so many. I would say it was the day I qualified to play in the U.S. Women’s Open. My dad was caddying for me, so that’s was a fun experience and we had to play 36

holes in one day. It was a really long day-- 12 hours out on the golf course. And at the end of the day I found out I made the cut and I gave my dad and big hug and he congratulated me. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for hours because I was so excited. RR: What is the lowest round you’ve ever shot? SK: The lowest round outside competition is 64; in competition is 67. RR: What ‘s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you while you are playing golf? SK: Everybody makes mistakes. Last year in a tournament in Charlotte, I was playing really well. I was in the lead or maybe second, and on the second hole of the second day I made a nine on a par 5. So I fell from leading to way way down the leaderboard. I was really embarrassed and then my friend from Charlotte who was caddying for me, told me a joke. And I forgot about the bad hole and played the rest of the day ok.

RR: What is your favorite golf club to use and why? SK: My favorite is my 5-iron because I’ve made two holes in one with it. RR: How far can you hit the ball? SK: I average about 250 yards off the tee with my driver. RR: How many golf balls do you hit in a full practice session? SK: When I go out to practice, I practice a little bit of everything. I will hit for about two hours at the range; then I will go practice putting for an hour and then some chipping for an hour. So in a long practice session, I would say I hit about 300 golf balls. RR: Can you describe life on the Symetra tour? SK: It’s really

fun. I’ve made tons of friends, all girls doing the same thing I’m doing. They have all different backgrounds and are from all over the world. My best friend is from Australia. We met playing on the tour and I’m going to go visit her in Australia this year. It’s a great way to meet new friends and do what I love, but it is a lot of work. We practice Monday through Thursdays and then play in tournaments Friday through Sundays. So we don’t get many days off. We love it so much it doesn’t really seem like a job. It does require a lot of travel. I traveled to 11 or 12 different states last year and I drove all the way to the upper peninsula of Michigan. Last year I put 14,000 miles on my car in four and a half months. RR: Do you have any lucky charms or superstitions when you go out to play in a tournament? SK: I don’t necessarily think it’s a lucky charm, but I do use the same ball marker; it’s a quarter from the year 1964 because that is my lowest round. I don’t wear the same socks everyday; that would get gross. But sometimes if I play really well, I notice what I had to eat the night My School Rocks! –


before and I might eat that again. RR: How do you prepare and stay in shape for golf season? SK: I do a lot of running. In the off season, I work with a trainer three times a week in the gym. I lift weights and run and swim and work on strength and flexibility exercises. In the off-season to keep up with my routine my trainer writes me up a formula, things I can do in the gym and I take that with me and try to work out as much as I can. RR: If I would like to be a professional golfer, what three pieces of advice would you give me? 1. Play as much as you can and just enjoy it . Have fun. 2. Practice your putting. All of the tournaments are won on the putting 20 – My School Rocks!

green. Everybody out here can hit the ball well. But the ones who make the most putts do the best. 3. Play in as many tournaments as you can and try to get more experience playing under pressure. That’s what it comes down to. RR: Do you have a sponsor? SK: I don’t have a sponsor that pays me money to play golf, but I do have sponsors that have helped me out with their products. TaylorMade has given me clubs and a bag to use. And I have a clothing sponsor called Loudmouth Golf. It’s really crazy patterns on your skorts and shorts. My parents have been really helpful in helping me with the expenses of following my dream. It’s not cheap. RR: How would you describe your

fashion personality on the course? SK: I would say, fairly conservative but fun. Nothing too crazy, but once in a while I will throw in some crazy colors. RR: Which golfers do you most admire? SK: I really like Tiger Woods. I’m not crazy about his decision making but his golf skills are incredible. I really like Rory McIlroy. I think he is the up and coming, the new young star. On the women’s side, I like Stacy Lewis. I played some college golf with her and she is a sweet girl and she is a really good golfer and worked really hard on her game. She is an inspiration to all of us.

My School Rocks! –


Rockin’ Reporters in Their Own Words

Kate 6th grader Alexander Graham Middle School Some things I liked about Stefanie were that she was very sweet and had good answers to the questions we asked her. I thought it was very interesting that she got a full scholarship to Furman for golf. She is definitely a great person and I really do admire her now. I am so excited to see her in the tournament. Kate likes to dance, play basketball and hang out with her friends at the mall and outside and have sleepovers with them and watch movies. Her favorite subject in school is language arts.

Taylor, 5th grader Providence Springs Elementary I think it’s funny that Stefanie Kenoyer played golf at Furman like my dad. My mom went to Furman too. Being a reporter is really cool because you get to interview professional players from around the globe and maybe get to go see them play. Another cool thing about Stefanie Kenoyer is that she admires Tiger Woods and so does my family. Also, my aunt plays golf at Congressional and she is awesome at it! After school, Taylor enjoys playing baseball, basketball or football with his friends. He likes swimming, reading books, playing with his dog and the iPad, watching tv, video games, bike rides and spending time with his family.



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Sharon Elementary School “Where Multiple Intelligences Shine” By Bea Quirk

For more than 100 years – since 1912 -- Sharon School has been teaching the children of Charlotte and preparing them for the world they will grow up in. Alumni include Billy Graham and former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot.

Principal, Catherine Phelan

The school was originally a three-room schoolhouse located in what is now SouthPark, at the corner of Sharon and Fairview roads, behind the area’s iconic Burger King. It moved to its current location on Foxcroft Road in 1976. Today, as a neighborhood elementary school, Sharon has a little more than 800 students in grades K-5. The school mascot is the Eagles. It was a School of Distinction last year and is “on the cusp” of becoming a School of Excellence, says principal Catherine Phelan. During its illustrious history, Sharon School was once a K-12 facility and at one time was a magnet school for communications arts. Today it distinguishes itself by focusing on multiple intelligences (MI) learning. Indicative of the pride the school takes in this approach, the school motto is: “Where Multiple Intelligences Shine!” The basis of MI is that each individual person learns in different ways – it may be tactile, auditory, visual -- and so the best way to teach them is through different modalities. For example, for some people, using a map is the best way to get to a new place, while others prefer written or oral directions.

24 – My School Rocks!

Explains teacher Debra Baker, “Paper-andpencil assessments are not the only authentic approach. Not everyone can sit down and recall facts --- but they might be able to show what they have learned through music, art or speaking, creating a portfolio or problem solving collaboratively. We want to make sure every child is happy and confident and wants to come to school.” Adds Phelan, “There are different types of intelligences, and there are different ways children are smart. We believe in project-based handsDebra Baker on learning where the rigor is extremely high, and we make sure every day is exciting. By letting students show their knowledge base in different ways, we take learning beyond what is required and make it come alive beyond the textbook.” For example, the first, third and fifth grades participate in three curriculum-based student productions that are put on each year. This

year, the fifth grade production was called “See the USA,” which included aspects of history, geography and literature. First and third grade productions in the past have focused on mythology, American folk tales and the books of Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss. The productions include singing, dancing, poetry, skits and acting. Every child performs on stage. Another annual schoolwide effort is the Halls of Wonder. Each grade has a topic, and students develop group projects based on that theme that allow them to share their knowledge and teach their classmates. These projects can include dioramas, songs, videos or poems. Students and their parents are invited to visit the handiwork and hopefully learn something new as well. Field trips are another important part of the Sharon curriculum. The fourth grade goes to Raleigh each year to see state government firsthand, and the fifth grade goes to Charleston to learn about science and history. For extracurricular activities, students throughout the year can choose to participate in four-week-long sessions in such areas as fencing,

lacrosse, jewelry making, Spanish and golf. The Odyssey of the Mind team has made it to the state tournaments and world tournaments in the past. There’s also a Girls on the Run club and a choral group, MI Express Choir, that sings at locations all over Charlotte, such as the Government Center and the Levine Children’s Hospital. Teachers are a big reason for the Sharon success. Says PTA President Peg Deschamps, “The teachers work hard to make learning fun for the kids. They make every child feel smart and successful. The students come to school each day excited to see what’s in store. Whether it is researching a subject for Halls of Wonder or learning a new dance for a production, there is something to look forward to each day.” Phelan calls her teachers “phenomenal,” and the staff is helped by the administration’s firm commitment to their professional development. For one thing, it is handled in-house and on-site, led by an MI coordinator. “It’s about collaboration and teachers leading and teaching others to best meet the students’ needs,” she says. But everyone acknowledges that the school wouldn’t be as special as it is without its volunteers, who include parents, grandparents, parents of former students, members of the community and college students. Last year, nearly 1,000 volunteers donated their time. “Our volunteers are an extension of our staff,” Phelan says. “There’s a strong community feel here. The children even play on the grounds

here on the weekends.” Notes Rashonda Rose, who was recently named the school’s Teaching Assistant of the Year, “It’s family here, and it’s great to work here. People care about every child here. And it’s not just academics…they care for them as if they were their own. “ Sharon also hosts a six-week Freedom School during the summer in conjunction with Trinity Presbyterian Church and Church at Charlotte. It is a free literacy-focused program run with the help of volunteers; enrollment is income-based. The PTA is another big contributor to the school’s success. “The school is special because of the dedication of the staff and the PTA and the working relationship they have,” observes Baker, named Sharon’s Teacher of the Year in February. “The PTA goes above and beyond… they listen to our feedback on what we need and do what they can to get it.” The PTA raises money through its annual fund drive and the yearly Boosterthon Fun Run. The annual fund drive serves as a capital campaign that pays for the PTA’s operating budget, the school’s technology plan and other extras. This has recently included purchasing smart boards and laptops for the teachers, new playground equipment and a new marque.  

The spring Boosterthon raises funds to help pay for field trips. As a result, many of the field trips are free, and others are much less expensive than they would have been otherwise. The PTA also sponsors a variety of activities throughout the year. There is the back-to-school picnic each fall, book fairs, a storytelling festival, a celebration event for fifth graders, a staff appreciation party and events for prospective parents. The annual Fun Friday, the family carnival held every spring, is undoubtedly the PTA’s most popular project. Booths offer face painting and teacher dunking; at the M.A.S.H. tent, children get colorful fake casts to wear; and everyone dances to tunes spun by live DJs. There’s a raffle for books or such out-of-the-box prizes as lunch with the principal. Tickets can be purchased, but students can also earn them by meeting their Accelerated Reader goals.

PTA President - Peg Deschamps & Children

Sharon Elementary School 4330 Foxcroft Road Charlotte, NC 28211 PH: 980-343-6725 sharonES/Pages/Default.aspx Principal: Catherine Phelan

My School Rocks! –


Dilworth Elementary

A well-oiled machine uniting 3 schools into a great neighborhood By Virginia Franco

Teeming with history, Dilworth Elementary has morphed once again following a transition just three years ago from a magnet back into a neighborhood school. Once news of the rezoning became final, families and staff Principal dove in, recalls Literacy Terry Hall Facilitator Meredith Parrish, to address challenges inherent with uniting students and families from three different schools, and to ensure quality education to those former students of Eastover, Irwin, and Selwyn Elementary Schools. The staff that opened the school following its return to neighborhood status was handpicked, says Principal Terry Hall, and geared up to offer “the best of the best” with regards to innovative ideas designed to unite these disparate groups. UNITING STUDENTS AND FAMILIES The school hit the ground running by introducing themselves as the Dilworth Dragons complete with Dragon Houses. When students and teachers arrive they choose a sorting stone assigning them one of four dragon houses. House members unite two times monthly to put together skits, create dragon house cheers, discuss character traits, and read as part of a reading buddy program. “It’s been a great way to get the kids all together and promote team spirit,” Hall says. It is also an ideal way to unite children across grades that otherwise may not have had an opportunity to interact. If increased enrollment is an indicator of success it appears clear their efforts are working. The school has experienced year over year growth since its inception. “We are now using classrooms we hadn’t before and are almost at capacity,” Hall says. “Much of our growth is in grades K-1, which means we are attracting those families that may have opted for private schools previously.”

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UNIQUE OFFERINGS AND A STRONG SENSE OF HISTORY Located in the heart of Dilworth in close proximity to downtown Charlotte, the school first opened its doors in 1904. Although the original eight-room building no longer stands, today second graders learn in a portion of the building that dates back to the 1950s. Numerous additions and renovations later, students benefit from an inhouse partnership with the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation, to whom the school leases space. According to Hall, this unique partnership enables students to utilize a full-size gym, two large soccer fields, and eight tennis courts, and has enabled the school to offer after-school programs that range from sports offerings like Meredith Parrish Girls on the Run, yoga, tennis, and Soccer Shots, to academic pursuits like Odyssey of the Mind and Play Spanish. “These after school offerings are a win-win for

Parks and Rec and for the school,” says Hall, and go a long way toward allowing families with working parents to have their children involved in extra-curricular activities. PTA SUPPORT FROM THE GET GO PTA President Katharine Bolt is proud of the school’s PTA participation, and of the high numbers of mothers and fathers who have rolled up their sleeves since the school reopened as a neighborhood school. “We came from three schools that we all loved,” she recalls, “but when we realized that this was going to be our ‘new normal,’ we did everything we could to ensure things were up and rolling when the doors opened.” The school’s two and only fundraisers have remained hugely successful, and have allowed the PTA to fund everything from field trips to family festivals, hospitality to weekly readers, library books, and technology. The SPARKS summer reading and math fundraiser raised $56,000 last year while helping to keep learning fresh over the summer. Students must obtain pledges for summer reading and math activities, and get rewarded when they return back to school in the fall for the amount of time

they spend on scholastic efforts. To keep it fun during the summer, teachers encourage games like Scrabble and online math games to keep their learning current. The school’s “Tip the Scales” fundraiser is earmarked for the Principal to spend at his or her discretion. In years past, the PTA has raised more than $100,000. “The participation is phenomenal,” says Parrish. Now that the PTA has accomplished its initial goal of getting everyone up, running, and excited, this year Bolt’s team is focused on hosting events that proved successful at their former schools in the past. “We are throwing things on the calendar to see what works for Dilworth,” Bolt explains. “Some may stick and others not.” Events this past year include a father/daughter dance and a spring art showcase.

and allows parents to mentor students by offering them academic and social support. “Come by in the morning and you’ll see the cafeteria filled with parents eating breakfast with their buddies, playing games, and working on assignments,” Parrish says. “It’s a great way to start the day,” she explains, “and it is wonderful to see these partnerships blossom and grow over the years as the students grow.” A FOCUS ON ACADEMICS A former teacher and principal in Atlanta as well as a principal at Davidson Elementary prior to her tenure at Dilworth Elementary, Hall has strived to maintain a balance between differentiated and integrated learning in a school with a diverse range of student skill levels.

CREATIVE COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS The PTA has shown creativity in its partnerships with the community. Because the school does not need to rely on local businesses for financial support, students work to give back via gradelevel service projects that include craft kits for the Levine Children’s Hospital, vegetable garden proceeds for a local food bank, and participation in Friendship Trays.

She has achieved this balance by leveling students in subjects like literacy and math while keeping all skill levels together for homeroom, social studies, and science. Key to this balancing act are her four certified teachers assistants who help during reading and math, and support teachers in the classroom during two hour literacy blocks that include classroom instruction as well as workshop time to facilitate small group conferring and discussion.

In gratitude for providing meals at cost for teacher luncheons and the like, supporter names are advertised on the schools website, and school families patron those that support the school. Dilworth’s Learning Buddies program run by Parrish has proved a highly successful program to support and mentor students in need. The program has more than tripled since its inception,

“We spent a lot of time getting to know our kids,” Parrish says. She describes the staff as extremely creative and resourceful. The result is both integrated and differentiating lessons designed to pinpoint and address what they need. Hall is excited to potentially launch looping next year that allows students to stay with their teacher for two years. “Looping is amazing because

teachers and kids have really gotten to know each other by the end of the first year and have worked out the kinks,” Hall says, “they are able to avoid any lag time when school starts the next year.” A GREAT VIBE As a resident of Dilworth, Hall was admittedly nervous about working in the community where she lives. Her fears proved unfounded, she says, and she describes her neighbors and students as incredibly respectful. “Dilworth is a community that is respectful of diversity and of differences of opinion,” Hall says. “You can see it when you walk around and this is mimicked at the school.” “It has a great vibe,” Parrish explains. “We came from different places but we are one now and are a well-oiled machine where teachers enjoy coming to work, kids like coming to learn, and parents feel welcome.”

Dilworth Elementary 405 East Park Avenue Charlotte, NC 28203 980-343-2240 dilworthES/Pages/Default.aspx Principal: Terry Hall My School Rocks! –


Berewick Elementary A Young School on the Rise by Virginia Franco Berewick Elementary School opened its doors just four short years ago. During this period, however, it has been strongly embraced by the community, and is well on its way Principal to being recognized by Mojdeh Henderson CMS as a school on the rise. While the adage that every child can learn is well known, the leadership and staff at Berewick have truly owned it and believe it, according to Principal Mojdeh Henderson. “We have embraced data to make this happen,” she says, “by making sure that every effort we make is about the kids and not about what works best for us as teachers.”

The Parks and Recreation Department’s office is located within the school building, and as a result the students, families, and community residents can take advantage of a dedicated school gym as well as fields.

Part of the neighborhood located in Southwest Charlotte near the intersection of I-485 and Steele Creek Road, the community of Berewick was established in 2002. The community was instrumental in getting the school built, Henderson says. “They were very invested in the school and remain very involved today.”

GROWTH, GROWTH, GROWTH No matter how you slice it, it is clear that Berewick is growing. The school’s rich and diverse student population has seen an increase in its enrollment year after year. With more than 700 students, “we are using every nook and cranny of the school,” says Schultz.

Berewick Elementary greeted its first students in 2009, and is surrounded by Berewick Town Center featuring apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes as well as offices, retail shops, and restaurants.

Henderson, together with teachers and facilitators like Schultz, have worked to build upon this academic progress, while continuing to foster parent involvement, enhance existing community partnerships, and reaching out to build new ones.

Those that have been here since the beginning have had the unique experience of getting a school off the ground. “I fell in love with it and am very connected,” says Grades 3-5 Academic Facilitator Linda Schultz. Families and pioneering staff had a say in everything from naming the school to voting on the Bobcats as the school’s mascot.

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Last summer when Henderson joined Berewick, she reviewed the school data and identified opportunities for academic growth as well as further refined its focus on student-centered learning. As a Response to Intervention/Instruction (RTI)

28 – My School Rocks!

and Balanced Literacy Phase III school, testing was in place to allow teachers to analyze individual learning and create plans to tailor their instruction to meet the unique needs of each Academic Facilitator child. Linda Schultz “By differentiating the learning you can really impact growth,” Henderson says. The school schedule has been reworked to include two hours of math and literacy daily, and encompasses both math and literacy workshops where the focus is on allowing for small group instruction and conferring with individual students, the hallmarks of differentiated learning. Academic facilitators like Schultz remain integrally involved in classroom planning and hands on instruction. The school’s assistants work in staggered schedules to ensure all grade levels have an extra hand during reading and math workshops. “At the end of the first year teachers and kids were all coming from different places andbackgrounds,”

Schultz reflects. “Now we are seeing that what we are doing is really helping, and that our interventions are working.” Results clearly speak volumes, and within just three quarters individual academic growth has become apparent, with many students performing well ahead of their grade level.

According to English, the local 4H has also remained involved in the project, and has created lesson plans with the garden in mind for teacher use during science instruction. “The classroom and the garden will really make learning relevant for the children,” Henderson says. “We are all very excited about it.”

In addition to academic leaps, the school has also implemented Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as part of the RTI program. By adopting a set of consistent rules, defining expectations with child-appropriate lesson plans, and rewarding positive behaviors, Henderson has also seen a decline in disciplinary issues.

English was also instrumental in securing a $500 IKEA grant for classroom supplies that together with additional funds allowed the school to build cost-effective document cameras as well as provide additional lighting, book containers, and the like.

A PTA THAT WORKS WONDERS Jena English is Berewick’s PTA president, and in this capacity has led this high achieving group to achieve great things. In addition to earning a PTA award for increasing membership by 100 members, English has applied former grant writing experience to secure several grants that have greatly benefitted the school. The greatest coupe thus far has been the $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox Grant, which together with incredible support from the neighborhood have helped the school go above and beyond throughout the construction process. The result was the creation of an outdoor classroom and a Friendship Garden. Plans are underway for children to plant and nurture herbs and vegetables in the garden, and to return a portion of their bounty to groups like Meals for Wheels and Friendship Trays.

Henderson notes that the PTA also funded Time for Kids, provided starter money for classroom libraries, and even earned a safety grant to supply walkie talkies as part of an increased safety initiative. CURB APPEAL The Outdoor Classroom and Friendship Garden, complete with a 16x16 patio bricked with the names of school supporters, will surely go a long way to improving the school’s curb appeal. However Henderson and English believed more could be done to beautify the exterior of the school where the limited trees and sparse grounds announce its newness. To this end, the school is poised to receive 150 trees courtesy of Trees Charlotte in conjunction with Hands On Charlotte. TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER From dinners donated by local restaurants like Nothing from Noodles; Panera Bread, and Zios,

to donated hams and turkeys that provided holiday meals to teachers and families in need courtesy of Bilo, Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, and Food Lion, it is clear that Berewick’s community takes care of the school and vice versa. “I am proud of our school’s partnerships,” Henderson says. Judah Church sends volunteers on a weekly basis, and is installing a sound system for use during Sunday services that the school will be able to use. Newer partnerships include a relationship with the Queen City Futbol Club that will begin offering weekend soccer clinics as well as providing character education in the classroom, and one with Peaceful Dragon Martial Arts, which has held classes at school and donated proceeds back to the PTA. ON THE PATH TO GREATNESS Berewick Elementary School may be young, but its approach to academic excellence, strong family ties, and community partnerships are noteworthy—with results that speak for themselves.

Berewick Elementary 5910 Dixie River Rd, Charlotte, NC 28278 PH: 980-344-1010 berewickES/Pages/Default.aspx Principal: Mojdeh Henderson My School Rocks! –


Homeward Bound

Local shelter offers several ways for students, families and individuals to help pets find homes

By Courtney McLaughlin

Friends come in all shapes and sizes, and often the four-legged ones make the biggest impact. The Humane Society of Charlotte has lots of potential BFF’s and many ways for families, students and individuals to help puppies, kittens, dogs and cats find a home. Nikki Oliver found a friend and her future roommate at the Humane Society of Charlotte last fall. Oliver is senior studying art history at Queens College University. “My mom and I periodically went to the Humane Society to look at the cats,” says Oliver. “I wanted a cat to bring with me once I move out of the house, but the afternoon I got Remy I went with no intention of getting an animal.” Oliver brought Remy – renamed after the artist Rembrandt – home after spotting her at the shelter. “I fell in love with her immediately.” The Humane Society of Charlotte was founded in 1978 and is housed in its third home at 2700 Toomey Avenue, the former Charlotte/Mecklenburg Animal Shelter. On average, the organization has over 200 foster families and 110 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens waiting for adoption. “We primarily have dogs, cats, puppies and kittens,” says Donna Ragan, marketing and public relations manager for the shelter. “However there have been times that we have had chickens, ducks, etc.” 30 – My School Rocks!

Summer Soccer Camp Series 2013

BMW Sports Elite Camp – Cabarrus


June 10th - June 14th; 9am - 12:30pm; Elon Park; Rising U12-U13

June 10th - June 14th; 9am- 12:30pm; CSA North Complex, Rising U6-U18

Youth Elite Camp II Youth Elite Camp I

June 10th - June 14th; 9am - 12:30pm; Elon Park, Rising U8-U11

Dynamic Speed and Agility Camp June 11th -14th; 5:30pm - 7:30pm AND June 15th; 9am – 11am; Elon Park; Rising U10-U18

Ball Mastery Camp 1

June 17th - June 21st; 5pm - 8:00pm; Davie Park; Rising U8-U12

Becoming A Better Defender & Midfielder Camp June 17th - June 21st; 9am - 12:30pm; Elon Park, Rising U8-U18

Ball Mastery Camp 2

June 24th - June 28th; 5:00pm - 8:00pm; Davie Park; Rising U13-U18

BMW Sports Elite Camp - Charlotte

Register Early to Secure Place

June 24th - June 28th; 9am - 12:30pm; Elon Park; Rising U6-U18

Goalkeeping and Striker Camp

July 8th – 12th; 9am - 12:00pm; Davie Park, Rising U6-U18

Recreation Elite Camp

July 8th – July 11th; 9:00am - 11:30am; McAlpine Elementary School; Rising U5-U18

Register online at: or Email:

Featured on Restaurant Impossible on The Food Network!

9101-I Pineville-Matthews Rd. • Pineville, NC 28134 • 704.855.1803 9101-I Pineville-Matthews Rd. Pineville, NC 28134 • 704.855.1803 My School Rocks! –


the Humane Society of Charlotte, laughingly calls herself a “failed foster” after adopting three of the dogs she was charged with fostering. While she couldn’t give them up, she is so thankful to the over 200 individuals and families who take puppies, kittens and adult animals from the shelter into their homes. “The volunteers and fosters are some of the most important people at the shelter,” says Edwards.

If adoption isn’t the best fit, the Humane Society has a foster program, junior volunteer opportunities and offers school service hours and Girl Scout patches. And, of course, monetary and supply donations are always appreciated. However you choose to help, you can make a difference. IT TAKES A VILLAGE The Humane Society of Charlotte houses over 2,000 animals a year. That translates into a lot of supplies. Cat Belteau, the organization’s volunteer coordinator, notes that in one year the facility uses over 3,400 rolls of paper towels, 2,500 litter pans and enough dishwasher detergent to wash over 6,200 loads of food bowls. You can find a complete list of needed in-kind donation items on the Humane Society’s Web site. The shelter also offers tours to students and other groups. “We show our set up, the dog kennels, the cat kennels and – when possible – we can bring a few pups out for them to interact with,” says Belteau. The tour lasts 45 minutes to one hour and up to 24 people, can be accommodated. 32 – My School Rocks!

“The tour guide starts with a discussion about our services, the different kids of animals received, and ways people can help.” Typically students and other organizations that tour the shelter bring supplies and other donations with them she says, and advanced reservations are requested. Schools can also help by encouraging students to become junior volunteers or classes can take on a project. “Our junior volunteers have held so many wonderful fundraisers,” says Ragan. “From a young potter that had a pottery fundraiser, to birthday parties for the animals where children forego gifts and collect food and toys, neighborhood food drives, class toy drives and more.” The Humane Society can also help students complete service hours through a variety of projects including fundraisers, writing research reports, gathering items on a supply wish list or making blankets for the animals. Girl Scouts can also earn their Pet Pals Patch by doing shelter-related activities. FOSTERING A PET Linda Edwards, foster coordinator for

There are several programs and situations where animals are put into foster homes. Newborn puppies and kittens can stay with a foster family for one to two weeks while they wait for shots and to be spayed or neutered. Through the Foster Ambassador Program, individuals take charge of a dog or cat and make it their mission to help them get adopted through networking with friends, posting on Facebook or going to dog parks. Pregnant dogs and cats will stay in foster care until the litter is born and animals with heartworms are placed in foster homes for up to 30 days while being treated. “The goal of fostering is to provide a temporary home for animals that might be sick or too young for adoption,” says Jorge Ortega, vice president of operations. “Our foster families can also take healthy animals that might need some time away from the shelter.” Fostering can also be a great way for a family or individual to determine if the time is right to add an animal to the family. “The kids may think they want a puppy and parents can teach about responsibility and pet ownership,” adds Edwards. Those interested in fostering are asked to complete an online form on the Web site then attend an information session.

phomore High School So ll Ke y re rd A , Sam pet Luther. and her foster

TIME FOR A PET? When Vicki and Bruce Walker got married in 1997 they had four cats - two hers, two his – all strays and all adopted. By 2010, the cats had aged and passed away and the family that now included two children began thinking about adopting a pet. Vicki Walker says the family discussed what responsibilities would come with bringing a pet home. “They had very few responsibilities with the older cats, but we did tell them they would have far more with the new pets,” she says.

The family started visiting the shelter in 2010 in search of a four-legged fit. On Father’s Day 2011, Rooney (a lab/Springer mix) and Summer (a kitten) joined Vicki and Bruce and their children Rachel, age 12 and eight-year-old Jake. The adoption process starts with a visit to the Web site or shelter. “Interact with our wonderful animals, and when you have decided it’s the right time and the right dog, cat, puppy or kitten, meet with a customer service representative to discuss the next steps,” says Ragan. Adoption fees range from $100-$175 per animal and include vaccinations. All animals have been screened by a veterinarian and are spayed or neutered. They also come with personality profiles – something the Walker family found very helpful. “That helped guide us towards pets that had a temperament aligned with our family structure,” says Vicki Walker. “That gave me an extra measure of confidence about our choices.” Oliver says part of the reason she adopted from the Humane Society was because she knows how caring and committed the staff is to helping animals find homes. “The adoption process was easier than expected,” says Oliver. “The most difficult thing was getting my dad’s approval.” HUMANE SOCIETY OF CHARLOTTE

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU ADOPT Once you’ve decided you’d like to adopt a pet, there are some actions the Humane Society of Charlotte suggests you take: Research the right pet for you, your family and your circumstances. Learn about different breeds and mixes. Visit the Humane Society of Charlotte to meet the animals. Find an animal that is compatible with you, your home and your lifestyle – now and in the future. Spend quality time interacting with the animal you’d like to adopt. Many times an animal’s behavior is different when away from other animals or in a kennel. Schedule a visit so your current pet can interact with the pet you’re considering adopting. Commit to being a responsible pet owner which includes having the necessary time, understanding the financial commitment, providing medical care and exercise and training.

LOCATION: 2700 Toomey Avenue, Charlotte, NC WEBSITE: PHONE NUMBER: (704) 377-0534 HOURS OF OPERATION: The Humane Society of Charlotte is open every day from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. My School Rocks! –


History Fun

By Resa Goldberg


Balloons Balloons are the penultimate tool for celebrating. They provide pomp, pizazz and just plain fun. Can you imagine a birthday party without bunches of balloons tied with colorful ribbons? It didn’t start out that way. The beginning of balloons was an inauspicious one, born out of experiments and using materials at hand. Long before there was such a thing as rubber, early balloons were made out of animal bladders and intestines. Indian and Eskimo children used these in play, jesters manipulated them into amusing animal shapes for entertainment and Galileo inflated a pig’s bladder to measure the weight of air. The first rubber balloons were made by famous scientist Michael Faraday in 1824 for use in his experiments with hydrogen at the Royal Institution in London. Faraday made his balloons by placing two sheets of rubber together and pressing the edges together. The tacky rubber welded automatically, and the inside of the balloon was rubbed with flour in order to prevent the joining together of two surfaces. He filled the thin rubber bag with hydrogen gas and called this invention “caoutchoucs.” Later it was found that hydrogen was highly flammable and was replaced with helium gas. Helium is a non-toxic and inflammable gas and was found to be a better option compared to hydrogen gas. The very next year, the product became available for purchase. But people didn’t go to Party City and buy a bag of 100. They had to make the balloons them-

34 – My School Rocks!

selves from a kit marketed by Thomas Hancock, a rubber manufacturer in England, complete with a bottle of rubber solution and a condensing syringe. Finally, by 1889 balloons were sold through the Montgomery Ward catalog in the United States for four cents each or 40 cents a dozen. The Anderson Rubber Company in Ohio was the first producer of balloons on a commercial basis. Since then, balloon technology has continued to evolve, using materials such as latex, foil and plastic. Latex, made from a highly flexible substance extracted from plants, began to be used more in balloon making and by the 1930s was available to the mass market. In the 1970s, foil was used to make the product, and though it was more expensive, it kept the helium gas from escaping for several days. Did you ever see one of those shiny star-shaped metallic-looking balloons? It was probably made of foil and when it finally deflated, you might have kept it as a souvenier of the day that you turned 10!

THE BUSINESS OF BALLOONS Balloons are not just for fun. Did you know that their relative low cost has led to a wide range of applications? Many balloons are purely decorative, but others have been used in fields such as transportation, military defense, meteorology and medical treatment. Take a look at the 10 statements below. Label each one with a T or F to designate True or False.

How many words can you spell with the letters in BALLOON?

ents ed to probe curr balloons were us s. ot 1. Hydrogen filled t pil an effort to assis over the Earth in ported en a magazine re were amazed wh le op ere in pe , wh 29 me 19 so In 2. released from on llo ba se ou M that a Mickey Africa. the U.S. landed in to cameras attached rnment uses tiny ve s. go mp S. ca U. e ist Th or 3. terr information from balloons to gather cts. th clogged tear du en used to help wi be ve ha s on llo 4. Ba lly pushed into ict was accidenta nv co d pe Pig ca es an by a giant Porky 5. In 1975, rk and clobbered Yo w Ne of s et . the stre Day Parade y‛s Thanksgiving balloon in the Mac eled to Mars. successfully trav ve ha s on llo ba 6. Hot air king a g patients by ma joy amusing youn en s ian ric at di Pe 7. t of latex gloves. balloon octopus ou ts University studen , three Cambridge ; 06 on 20 , llo 18 ba . m pt liu Se 8. On e using a he the edge of spac to ra e me th ca r a te nt se ved af tures were retrie more than 800 pic ought back br s wa ra me the ca balloon burst and chute. to Earth by para CA from Long Beach, 9. In 1982, a man n chair law a to s on llo m ba attached 40 heliu re fo feet in the air be and rose 16,000 l ra d fined seve he was rescued an by the FAA. rs lla do thousands is the balloon 10. Gastonia, N.C. . rld wo capital of the 1. True 2. True 4. True 6. False 7. True 9. True

My School Rocks! –


3. False 5. False 8. True 10. False

Story Time

More Manners By Kimberly P. Johnson • Illustrated by Zoe Ranucci

“Say Tha

nk You!”

“Be Polit


“Say Ple

“Use Y our M



use “Say Exc



“Matthew please remember to say thank you when the lady hands you the ice cream cone; and Matthew don’t forget to say excuse me when you step past the gentlemen sitting by the door!”

coat and headed toward the door. “Mom may I please drop these books over to Kelly, she forgot her science book?” “Yes, of course dear,” Mom replied. Mom sat down at the table in disbelief and displeasure. She had raised Matthew to show more respect and kindness than he was displaying. It was time to teach Mr. Matthew a lesson about manners. Her plan would start the very next morning!! She wanted to show Matthew that a lack of manners could mean missing out on some of life’s extra pleasures. When the alarm clock went off, Matthew raced downstairs to eat his favorite homemade biscuits. Sunday biscuits had been his favorite since…. forever. However, when Matthew reached the last step, he almost fell backwards - there were NO Sunday morning biscuits. “Where are the biscuits?” he asked. “You told me you would make some for today and you said that they would be hot and ready!” “You know Matthew, I did tell you that but you forgot to give me a very important ingredient in order to ensure the biscuits would be made.”

Matthew’s mother was constantly reminding him to use his manners. Sometimes he would remember Matthew propped his head on his chin and began but MOST of the time he forgot them. “Why do I always have to say something every single time thinking. Nothing came to his mind – flour, water, somebody does a little something for me?” Matthew sugar, nope all there. “Mom, I have no idea what you are talking about.” blurted. He felt that, “Thank yous” and “Please” were a waste of energy. Even He felt that, That is when Mom began explaining though Matthew’s sister had the best that every Sunday she woke up early manners at home, at church and at “Thank you’s and to make this special treat but Matthew school – Matthew believed that she Please” were a never bothered to thank her for her extra was just trying to be a show-off. waste of energy. time. Matthew felt a little disappointed because – he had forgotten to say When they arrived home, Mom asked, thanks for the delicious biscuits. The “Don’t you think it will be a little more pleasant everywhere you go if you choose to use rest of the day, Matthew thought about how much he manners? Matthew just grunted and raced up actually didn’t use manners. He never thanked his the steps past his sister. He bumped her into the friends for letting him take an extra turn. He never wall and knocked over a flower pot. Sissy was so apologized when he was wrong about something. mad that she shouted down the hallway, “YOU’RE He had even broken line at the amusement park EXCUSED!!” Sissy shook her head, grabbed her when he wanted to get on the rides quicker. 36 – My School Rocks!

The next morning, when it was time to get ready for bathroom rules. Maybe her plan to help Matthew school, Matthew jumped out of bed and raced toward would actually work! the bathroom to get ready. His sister was already Matthew carried his manners with him all during the in the bathroom, as usual. Matthew banged on the door, like he always did, but got no response. Then, day – on his way to school, at school and even after school. Though there were moments he thought about how horrible he that he forgot to use his manners, he ...he tried very had felt the night before and what tried very hard to remember everything his mom had said about manners hard to remember his Mom had said, “People love to see leaving a lasting impression. He had been extremely mean to his everything his Mom you use manners.” He really liked the way people were starting to treat him sister and had always demanded had said, “People when he used his manners, especially that she leave the bathroom even when she wasn’t finished yet. love to see you use his teachers. He wasn’t getting into trouble anymore and even Mrs. Grimsley, Matthew tapped on the door and manners. ” the P.E. teacher actually smiled at him said politely, “Excuse me sis, I’m when he said, “Yes Ma’am.” The coolest sorry for always being rude about thing was that he LIKED using his manners. the bathroom. May I please get in the bathroom now?” She popped her towel-covered head out of the After about a week, Matthew’s mom complimented bathroom door; she was clearly in shock. Besides him on not forgetting to use his manners. They even being in shock that her brother said “Excuse me,” talked about why it was important to use them. she was even more impressed that Matthew told her that he was Matthew apologized for being rude. noticing how other kids weren’t More importantly, she could tell using their manners and that he really meant it. She how he reminded them to quickly gathered her stuff and be polite. Matthew’s mother held the door open. “Thanks felt really proud of him and Sis!!” Matthew grinned. gave him a giant hug. “Thanks “You’re welcome little brother.” Mom” Matthew grinned. “I’m glad that our house truly has more Mom was standing in the manners!” I’m glad too Matthew,” hallway when all of this Mom agreed. “Now are you ready happened. This was the first for some of those delicious Sunday time she had seen both of biscuits?” “Yes, please!” Matthew them actually work together exclaimed, “I can’t wait.” as a team when it came to the

THINK ABOUT IT: 1. Why is it important to use good manners? 2. What are certain words you may hear when good manners are being used? For example: thank you, please – can you think of any others? 3. What would you do if you saw someone using poor manners? 4. Should adults use good manners too? Why or why not? 5. How can good manners help you in life? My School Rocks! –


Why is That?

by Resa Goldberg • Illustration by Zoe Ranucci

“I’m NOT ticklish!” How many times have you valiantly professed those words, only to be proven wrong? You see your sister across the room, with a sly grin on her face. Suddenly she starts waving her arms and wriggling her fingers. Panic and laughter simultaneously bubble up inside you as you start to run. She’s faster and pounces on you like a playful kitten. The tickling commences and it is worse than you anticipated. Oh the agony! Please STOP! When she finally tires of torturing you, you pull yourself up and wonder why you were so darn sure it wasn’t going to happen that way again. You had conducted the tickling experiment

several times. You ever so softly scratched along your neck, your ribs, behind your knees and the bottom of your feet. You spent lots of time on the feet and nothing. Not a hint of anything out of the ordinary. You were gold, good to go, game for whatever the sister could dish out.

But it didn’t work and now you want to know why you can’t you tickle yourself? Believe it or not, research has actually been conducted on the topic. Results suggest that it is impossible to tickle yourself due to the element of surprise and the feelings that are associated with that, such as fear, laughter and sensation. Laughter is what usually happens when someone tickles us, but what we actually feel is the unease and uncertainty of where they will strike next. When you tickle yourself, you’ve lost the surprise factor. Your body will not be surprised to receive that kind of touch because your brain has already sent out a message that YOU are doing it. The cerebellum is the part of our brain that watches our movements and knows what kind of feelings to expect. When you tickle yourself the cerebellum tells the rest of your brain, “It’s just you, nothing to worry about” and focuses instead on looking out for unexpected, external stimuli— such as little sisters!

CONGRATULATIONS To All the Schools for Participating in the 2013 Most Rocking School in the Carolinas

My School Rocks is a coproduction between MSR Magazine and WTVI

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My School Rocks!