Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
Acclaimed children's book author Kimberly P. Johnson's unique professional and educational background were put to good use when she guest read to groups of preschool aged kids at Thompson Child Development Center on Wednesday, March 21.
The North Carolina native and author of 14 books charmed a room full of eager four-year-olds as part of Thompson Child & Family Focus 16th annual “March Madness for Reading” initiative, a month-long quest to encourage kids to read and discover other literacy activities. Her lively and engaging presentation also attested to her background in Early Childhood Education, Youth Development and Leadership, as well as her 18 years of experience managing boisterous groups as a flight attendant with US Airways.
By mid-March, nearly 9,000 books had been read at school or home during the month of March to the diverse group of 140 kids who attend the Center. The school's ultimate goal is to complete 25,000 books by the end of the month with the aid of volunteer readers. This cheerfully decorated, state-of-the-art facility serves children birth to age 5, including a significant population of children with fragile backgrounds (some of whom have been exposed to domestic violence, substance abuse or poverty) and special learning needs.
Winterfield Elementary’s Youth Orchestra presented a program Tuesday, March 6, that highlighted what the 65 students have been learning this year. The Connecting Families Through Music event was the second in a series that brings together students, parents and faculty at the East Charlotte school.
Among the student ensembles that performed with violinist Rosemary Furniss and Charlotte Symphony musicians were the student chorus and winds, string ensemble and the “bucket band.” Pianist Noel Freidline and soprano Dawn Anthony also performed with the youth orchestra.
The group’s final performance for 2011-’12 is set for May 1.
- Women and minority employees in state government were disproportionately nailed by budget cuts in 2011. Recently released data provided by the state show that 58% of those who lost their jobs in this past budget year were women, while women comprised only 47% of the state workforce. Forty percent of the laid-off workers were minorities, although they only comprised 34% of the state workforce.
- Black History Month: In 1964, Thebaud “T.” Jeffers helped break through the color barrier in North Carolina when he sat down and ate dinner at a Holiday Inn restaurant in Gastonia. Twelve years later in 1976, Jeffers became Gastonia's first black mayor, seven years ahead of Charlotte’s electing Harvey Gantt as the Queen City’s first black mayor.
- A former junkyard on North Graham Street has been transformed into 85 apartments for the homeless. A four-year effort by the Urban Ministry Center raised $10.5 million for Moore Place
- Some residents of the Elizabeth community, meanwhile, are raising concerns about a proposal to build an 80-unit affordable apartment project in their neighborhood. A public meeting held last week on the project attracted more than 100 area residents, many of whom voiced concern Elizabeth is becoming a haven for the homeless.
- CMS students spend as many as 20 days a year taking standardized tests. How well students perform is also used to assess a school's performance. A few years from now, how well students perform on standardized tests could be a factor in teacher pay.
- Presbyterian Hospital has been working to improve the health of African Americans and Latinos in the Charlotte region. So far, more than 50 black churches and about an equal number of Latino congregations have joined the effort, dubbed Congregational Health Promoters.
With the holidays approaching, blood donations tend to tank. So Sunday, the American Red Cross and Presbyterian Hospital kicked off an effort to encourage more people to donate blood and platelets. The "12 Days of Giving" campaign runs through Dec. 15.
Almost 14,000 children in the greater Charlotte area being helped by the Salvation Army's Christmas Bureau. So far, 7,000 families have signed up to receive help from the volunteer-based program that provides gifts to low-income families.
The CMS school board wants to hear from the community about what people want in their next school superintendent. The district will hold six meetings this week at schools throughout Mecklenburg County to gather local opinion.
Panhandlers are proliferating Uptown and most of them are not homeless, Charlotte Center City Partners’ Michael Smith says. And local homeless services groups and shelters are on board with CCCP to help curb nuisance begging. Note cards with information about homeless resources will be distributed in Uptown restaurants and businesses. The campaign encourages people to hand a beggar one of those cards instead of cash.
Writer Ken Garfield explores why Levine Children's Hospital Chapel is a quiet place that offers comfort and hope. You can see the evidence in the messages left in a notebook to the tear-stained floor.
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