The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) and the Hunt Library played host last month to 50 educators from Lee and Pitt counties who were participating in their first County-to-County Collaborative Day. The teachers, all in their first through fifth year in the profession, spent time learning about education policy, the North Carolina General Assembly and their elected officials, as well as effective channels of communication and engagement. They followed up their discussions with a visit to the NC General Assembly for the opportunity to experience cross-over week firsthand.
These events were the culmination of Lee County’s six-month beginning teacher program entitled Take the Lead. One of the three funded Community Action Plans resulting from the 2014 Emerging Issues Forum,Take the Lead was designed to provide opportunities to develop leadership, networking, and mentoring skills. Pitt County, also having applied for a Community Action Plan focused on beginning teachers, participated as a way to build networking and support opportunities across the districts.
Once at the General Assembly, both Lee and Pitt County educators had the opportunity to engage several members of the fiscal research staff, as well as a number of legislators, including Senator Louis Pate, and Representatives Jean Farmer-Butterfield, Brad Salmon, D. Craig Horn, Brian Brown, Robert T. Reives II, and Susan Martin.
Legislators shared their background, districts, the committees they sit on, and their priorities, including several bills of interest to the educators in the room. Looking for feedback, the legislators posed several questions to the educators regarding the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed bills.
Between phone calls back to their schools to check in on their students, there were many meaningful exchanges among the teachers about the event. Feeling like equals at the table with their legislators, and seeing themselves as part of the process for the first time, these educators, early in their careers, described the day as one that “lit a spark in them.”
The day concluded with a photo on the NCGA steps with Rep. Farmer-Butterfield and recognition at the start of the House Session. To say this was an experience these teachers will never forget is an understatement. For one day, they said, they were the students. The educators approached each session with open minds and left for home with chests full of pride!
Meningococcal disease is a rare, but potentially life-threatening bacterial infection. It can potentially kill an otherwise healthy young person within 1 day after the first symptoms appear. Rising 7th graders are now required to receive the meningococcal vaccine that can help prevent this disease. Read more about this requirement here: http://www.immunize.nc.gov/schools/6thgrade.htm
Do you have questions about what immunizations are required for your child? Click on the following link for more information: http://www.immunize.nc.gov/family/nc_immnz_requirements.htm.
Yearbooks are here!!! Purchase yours today for $37.45. See Mrs. Harris if you have money to purchase your yearbook.
Yearbooks will be distributed at the yearbook distribution party next Tuesday, May 26th during each IE time. Students who have purchased a yearbook will attend the party to pick up their yearbook, socialize and have fun signing each others yearbooks. Popcorn, drinks and snow cones will be sold for $1, so bring a few extra dollars so that you can enjoy some snacks!