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Second chance for Bearfield School

Bearfield Primary School of Ahoskie is soliciting online or text message votes in a national contest sponsored by Pepsi. The school is seeking a $50,000 grant to construct a “learning environment” playground. Staff photo by Cal Bryant

AHOSKIE – If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

That’s the rallying cry of a project at Bearfield Primary School that has been afforded another opportunity to earn a $50,000 grant from a national contest sponsored by Pepsi.

In August, Bearfield kindergarten teacher Carol Paul and a host of others put forth a mighty effort to earn Pepsi’s money, funds needed to build a state-of-the-art playground at the school. While that effort fell short of its goal, the Bearfield project garnered enough national votes to be extended another invitation by Pepsi to take part in the voting process for September.

“Bearfield is once again in the Pepsi Refresh Grant Project,” said Paul.  “Teachers and administration are working with all their hearts trying to get enough votes to be in the top 10.”

In an effort to solicit votes, teachers have been at Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, Food Lion, McDonalds, Lowes Foods and Chowan University seeking support.

“This is a whole school effort and if Bearfield gets the votes we will receive the $50,000 pot of gold for our playground,” Paul stated.

However, as Paul pointed out, this project is not just about a playground.

“It is going to be an outdoor learning environment where students will have hands-on learning opportunities and it will extend the classroom outdoors,” she said. “We feel the opportunity to win these needed funds is within our reach if everyone votes everyday.”

Paul said there was a new way to access the Pepsi website that makes it easier to navigate.  Go to www.pepsirefreshproject.com; go to the browse and vote page; look at the top right for the magnifying glass; type Bearfield; go to the bottom left and click sign in…when the Bearfield Primary School project is back on the screen, click vote for this.  You can also text your vote to Pepsi at 73774 and the message is 101432.

“We have learned that you can only vote once per day if you are voting correctly with one email address and once on Facebook,” Paul stated.

Paul and others at Bearfield Primary see this as an opportunity of a lifetime for schools in eastern North Carolina that are without the financial resources to construct such a playground.

“This is about developing the whole child and creating an atmosphere of discovery learning, which research said is the key for all learners,” she stressed. “It will take the whole village to help us win, but this community is quite capable of making it happen.  Bearfield is training education students from Chowan University and East Carolina.  They need to see how outdoor play and learning go hand on hand.”

Paul closed by saying, “We have had a wonderful start to the new school year.  The School Board and Dr. John Fahey, our Superintendent, have set the stage with awesome trainings for all schools to make the journey to excellence.  We are so proud that Bearfield can lead the way.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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