DNCR delivers!

Published 4:42 pm Friday, October 6, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

AHOSKIE – An effort initiated by Governor Roy Cooper had an impact on school-age children across the state, including those locally.

In late July, Cooper announced the beginning of the Governor’s School Supply Drive, encouraging people across the state to donate school supplies in support of public schools, students and teachers. Cooper stressed that North Carolina teachers spend over $500 out of their own pockets for classroom supplies each year.

On Thursday morning, classroom supplies were delivered to Ahoskie Elementary School by Reid Wilson, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR).

“We collected numerous items at our (DNCR) office in downtown Raleigh. There’s also supplies donated through the [North Carolina] Museum of History and the Museum of Natural Sciences,” said Wilson, adding that state agencies each “adopted” a county for the school supply drive.

While visiting one of the 5th grade science classrooms, Reid Wilson answers a question as posed by a student (seated). Staff Photo by Cal Bryant

“The Governor stressed that schools are not adequately funded and teachers should not have to spend their own money to purchase supplies for their students,” Wilson added. “That’s why I’m here today. I’m happy to deliver all these supplies and hope you will be able to use them.”

The supplies covered a table located in the lobby of the school’s auditorium. Two larger boxes of supplies sat on the floor below the table.

Wilson said his mother was a third grade teacher, recalling how she, after preparing and enjoying dinner with her family, would sit at a desk in the home, grading papers and preparing lesson plans.

“I am very grateful and have much respect for the work our teachers do on a daily basis,” he remarked.

Wilson, walking the halls of Ahoskie Elementary with Principal Elenia Riddick, was impressed with the educational facility, particularly taking note of the technology used in the classrooms.

On the second floor, Wilson and Riddick visited two fifth grade science classrooms.

“Are you enjoying science class,” Wilson asked, to which the students loudly expressed a “yes” answer in unison.

He explained to the students that a part of the state government office he oversees in Raleigh includes science museums.

Wilson also promoted local and regional state parks, to include Merchants Millpond and Jockey’s Ridge, as well as the state-owned Aquarium on Roanoke Island.

“We try to connect people to all the wonderful things in our state….our natural areas, our arts, our history,” Wilson told the attentive students. “Science is something you need to learn about. The more you learn about science – how scientists are able to send someone to the moon or explore the depths of the ocean or understand how our climate is changing or how to cure diseases – the more you will learn about how the natural world works.”

Wilson, who also paid a visit Thursday to New Ahoskie Baptist Church where a Civil Rights Trail marker was unveiled last year, encouraged Riddick to look into taking AES students on field trips to local state parks and perhaps to the Aquarium in Manteo.

Shown here is just a portion of the items delivered on Thursday morning to Ahoskie Elementary School. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant

“I thank Mr. Wilson for visiting us and for bringing us the school supplies,” Riddick stated. “Our students can surely use those supplies. We appreciate the opportunity to show off our beautiful school. We will follow up with Mr. Wilson on arranging for trips to the state parks, including the Aquarium, to help broaden the education of our students. Those places will bring to life what they are learning in the classroom.”

In addition to the state agencies, the State Employees’ Credit Union and Communities In Schools of North Carolina served as partners to the Governor’s School Supply Drive.

DNCR manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program.

For more information, visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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.

email author More by Cal