During the month of October, school-based student transition support teams from Craven County Schools initiated sock drives to help those in need. From “silly sock days” to classroom competitions, participating schools used a variety of methods to encourage sock donations. With a classroom competition, W.J. Gurganus Elementary School in Havelock collected over 6,000 pairs of socks, the most of any school.
Closely following in sheer numbers of socks collected were Arthur W. Edwards Elementary School, Havelock and Craven Early College, New Bern. Rivals Grover C. Fields Middle and H.J. MacDonald Middle held a “Sock It!”competition between the two schools with Grover C. Fields edging out H.J. MacDonald!
Other participating schools included Bridgeton Elementary, Ben D Quinn Elementary, Oaks Road Academy, Trent Park Elementary, Brinson Memorial Elementary, Creekside Elementary, Roger Bell New Tech Academy, Graham A. Barden Elementary, James W. Smith Elementary, West Craven Middle, Tucker Creek Middle, and Havelock High School.
The socks are slated to go to the following charities:
- Lutheran Services Carolinas, Afghan Refugee Immigration Services, NC
- Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 26, Havelock
- Homeless Veterans Stand Down, NC Works, New Bern
- Salvation Army, New Bern
- RCS, New Bern
- Interfaith Refugee Ministries, Inc., New Bern
- Catholic Charities for distribution to organizations throughout NC
All Craven County Schools support student-led transition programs designed to welcome new students and assist them as they adjust to a new school environment. The core value of these service-oriented programs is demonstrating 100% acceptance for others. Fourteen schools are home to the national Student 2 Student program administered by the Military Child Education Coalition. Through a Navy/Marine Corps grant Arthur Edwards Elementary, Creekside Elementary, and Tucker Creek Middle School offer the peer support and leadership program, Anchored 4 Life. The remainder of schools offer home-grown programs unique to the needs of their school.
Although these programs serve ALL students, the original model was designed to help smooth transitions for military-connected children who move and attend new schools 6-9 times during their K-12 school career. As North Carolina is home to the 4th largest military population in the country, the NC Department of Public Instruction recognized the need to support the children of service members with a common set of best practices that include the student transition support programs, professional development for educators, special projects that recognize military families and options for service projects.
Schools throughout the state that implement these practices can apply for the annual NC Purple Star Award, receiving both a banner and a Purple Star designation on the NC School Report Card. This award allows incoming families to see, via the NC School Report Cards, which schools have practices in place to support the unique education experiences of their children.
The Socktober sock collection was a dynamic project giving our students the opportunity to work to together to help others in our community while also satisfying an optional activity component of the NC Purple Star Award requirements.
Submitted by Jennifer Wagner, Director of Public Relations