More than 900 Wake County public school students from 34 different schools will take the stage and work behind the scenes in the 31st annual Pieces of Gold at Memorial Auditorium March 12. Pieces of Gold is the annual arts extravaganza produced by the Wake County Public School System and Wake Education Partnership. It is one of the signature artistic programs in Wake County. Continue Reading . . .
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Students at Olive Chapel Elementary School in Apex either took shelter against an inner wall in their classroom or filed quietly into hallways to practice an annual statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, March 5. Once crouched in the protective position with hands over their heads, the children waited for several minutes until the all clear message was given.
Nick Petro, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh spoke to a classroom of fifth graders following the drill about how to be alert to dangerous storms.
The annual tornado drill is part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 2-8. The drills are conducted in cooperation with the National Weather Service, local broadcasters and State Emergency Management.
At 9:30 a.m., NOAA Weather Radio stations, along with local broadcast stations, used the Emergency Alert System to transmit the tornado drill message. The drill gives local schools and businesses an opportunity to test their preparedness and action plans for a severe weather event.
Below are tips on how to be safe:
Tornado Safety Tips
Tornadoes can occur with little or no warning. The Department of Public Safety recommends that family members have a safety plan to respond quickly in case a tornado threatens at home, work or school.
Listen to local weather broadcasts
- Listen to the radio, local television, weather channel or a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) radio for information on any severe weather in your area.
- A watch means conditions are right for tornado formation; a warning means a tornado has actually been sighted.
Go to the lowest level and inner rooms
- If a tornado threatens, the safest place to be is underground in a basement or storm cellar.
- If you have no basement, go to an inner hallway or smaller inner room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.
- Do not open or close windows. Stay away from them.
- Stay away from skylights and large open areas.
- Stay out of gymnasiums, auditoriums and other rooms with a large expanse of roof.
- Try to find something sturdy you can get under to protect yourself from flying debris or a collapsed roof.
- Crouch on the floor in the egg position.
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
- If severe weather threatens seek other shelter. Even mobile homes with tie-downs are not safe from high winds.
- Know beforehand where you can go for safe shelter whenever the weather turns bad.
If you are outside
- Lie on the ground, in a ditch or depression if possible.
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck and wait for the storm to pass.
- While waiting, be alert for the flash floods that sometimes accompany tornadoes.
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in a car. A tornado can toss cars and trucks around like toys.
- If you see a funnel cloud or hear a tornado warning issued, get out of your vehicle and find safe shelter immediately.
- Falling hail is a danger sign if there is a tornado watch or warning posted.
- An approaching cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado, even if a funnel is not visible.
- The wind may die down and the air may become very still before a tornado hits.
- Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm.
- It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.
- A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground and swirling with debris. (A funnel cloud rotates, but has no contact with the ground, no debris and is not doing any damage).
- Tornadoes usually are preceded by very heavy rain and sometimes hail.
- If hail falls from a thunderstorm, it is an indication that the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. In general, the larger the hailstones, the more potential for damaging thunderstorm winds or tornadoes.
- The most violent tornadoes can have wind speeds of 250 miles per hour or more.
- The typical width of a tornado is about 50 yards wide.
- An average tornado damage path is one to two miles long. However, a tornado damage path can be more than one mile wide and 50 miles long.
- The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, though tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
- The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.
- Tornadoes can occur throughout the year; however, the peak season in North Carolina is March through May.
- Tornadoes are most likely to occur between late afternoon and early evening, but the twisters have been known to occur at all hours of the day or night.
- The National Weather Service uses Doppler weather radar to sense the air movement within thunderstorms. Early detection of increasing rotation aloft within a thunderstorm can allow time for lifesaving warnings before a tornado forms.
Thanks to NC Department of Public Safety, Patty McQuillian
Broughton High will holds its annual International Festival at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 6 at the school. The event celebrates the countries represented by the student population. Students plan the entire event, which will include Broughton’s African Drum Ensemble, a local Chinese dance group and dancers from Wiley Magnet Elementary. There will be food from Armadillo Grill, entertainment, cultural booths and a silent auction. Admission is $5. Proceeds from the event will fund the school’s Stop Hunger Now food packaging event. Students want to raise $25,000 to package 100,000 meals later this month.
The bright lights of Broadway are shining down on a 7th grader from Wakefield Middle School as he prepares to take the stage in Motown the Musical. Reed Shannon will make his debut portraying multiple characters, as the young version of King of Pop Michael Jackson, Motown music mogul Berry Gordy, and Grammy winning artist Stevie Wonder in Broadway’s first national tour of Motown the Musical.
“I was speechless,” said Reed after getting the call back. He was No. 245 in line with more than 1,000 others who showed up for the open call auditions in September at New York’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
“I was prepared. I was confident and I stayed focused,” said Reed as he sang Jackson Five hits such as “I Want You Back”, “The Love You Save” and “ABC.”
Reed begins rehearsals on March 10. The show opens May 14 at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre then heads to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Detroit. The tour is expected in Charlotte in August of 2015, and the Durham Performing Arts Center is on the list too for the 2015 season.
At the young age of 13, Reed is no stranger to the stage. He just finished the NC Theatre’s production of Les Miserables, which kept him busy in the role of Gavroche. Reed was bitten by the acting bug when he was a three-year-old; he now has ten-years of acting, singing and dancing experience under his belt. His first appearance on the main stage at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium was in Oliver! (2012 – Workhouse Boy).
Reed performed the lead role in North Carolina Theatre Conservatory’s 2013 production In the Heights, and starred as the youngest Tommy in the conservatory’s 2012 show, The Who’s Tommy.
Reed says he will miss all of his friends at Wakefield Middle School including his teachers, class assignments and homework.
“I’ll have a tutor who will travel with me,” says Reed. “I’m sure I won’t fall behind in my education, because maintaining good grades is very important to me.”
Reed plans to earn a college degree in fine arts and a college degree in international relations. He plans to become bilingual, train to become an international spy and also wants to serve his country as an officer in the United States Army.
The Wake County Board of Education will honor the pioneers of the school desegregation movement of the 1960s-70s in a Black History Month program. The effort will begin a year of research and efforts to recognize the individuals who helped integrate the schools that would become the Wake County Public School System.
NC Beautiful has presented an environmental education grant of $1,000 to Athens Drive High teacher Jason Hunning. Continue Reading . . .
Many Wake County children have few books in their homes, and arrive in kindergarten without the vocabulary, knowledge, and experience skills to excel in the classroom. WAKE Up and Read’s goal is to ensure all low-income students have tools and resources to become lifelong readers and learners.
From March 2 – March 29, 2014, WAKE Up and Read will collect new and gently-used books for children ages birth to 12. The organization’s goal is to collect 40,000 books in four weeks—enough to share with schools and child care facilities across the county. WAKE Up and Read wants to ensure every child in our community has the opportunity to develop a love for reading. Continue Reading . . .
The TE Connectivity Foundation awarded a $4,000 grant to the Ballentine Elementary PTA on February 17 to support the school’s FIRST LEGO League robotics program . Continue Reading . . .
The National Theater for the Deaf will perform at Martin Magnet Middle on Thursday, February 20. There will be two shows performed – at 7:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. – for the entire student body. Continue Reading . . .