United Way gives schools ‘eye-opener’

Sep. 23, 2013 @ 09:41 PM

A local partner could make it possible for Vance County Schools to launch a new initiative aimed at raising the literacy levels of third-graders.

The United Way of Vance County’s board of directors met last week with school officials to move forward with a new reading initiative that would bring in reading volunteers for assisting children and fundraising efforts for new books.

At Monday’s community relations committee meeting, the Board of Education members agreed to set up a meeting between elementary school administrators, third-grade teachers, and United Way board of directors where the three parties could discuss the best way to move forward.

“Basically, what they want to do is serve as a catalyst in our community to bring other organizations, whether that be civic organizations, government agencies, businesses, individuals, just about anybody else you can think of,” said Vance County Schools spokeswoman Terri Hedrick. “They would like to appeal to them through an initiative or campaign that they want to begin as soon as possible in getting folks excited about helping our kids reading at or above grade level.”

Third-grade students are targeted based on the Excellent Public Schools Act, a bill passed by the N.C. General Assembly aimed at improving K-3 reading levels.

The legislation established N.C. Read to Achieve, with the goal of ensuring that every student read at or above grade level by the end of third grade.

Superintendent Ronald Gregory said the United Way is leading the community to help the county's schools with its proposal.

“We have got to involve folks who will make a difference,” Gregory said. “This is an eye-opener here and I hope it will go to fruition."

In other business:

• The ‘Save Our Kids’ water safety classes have begun for all second-grade students.

• All fifth-grade students will attend two environmental field days near Satterwhite Point near Kerr Lake Oct. 22-23.

• Southern Vance High School will host the N.C. Barbell Weightlifting and Strength Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Oct. 12.

• Vance County Schools will recognize the Teacher of the Year, Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year on Nov. 5.


Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.