- Jerry Zucker Middle School
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October is National Bullying Prevention MonthOctober is National Bullying Prevention month and bullying prevention starts with school-wide implementation of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at Zucker.What is SEL? SEL is the process of developing self awareness, self control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success and that directly aligns with the CCSD mission, " to support every child in becoming career, college and citizenship ready."Second Step (the SEL program at Zucker) is an evidence based, data driven curriculum for all students. Originally SEL was skill-set focused; today the research backs up school transformation-- increasing academic engagement while decreasing problem behavior, and emotional distress. SEL is not a distraction from the work of numeracy and literacy; it supports instruction and engagement. Take a couple of minutes to watch a Second Step video about social/emotional wellness and bullying prevention.Want to know more about how SEL looks outside of school? Parent Teen Connect https://www.parenteenconnect.org/ is a free online experience loaded with videos, resources, and useful advice to help teens and adults navigate hot-button topics such as screen time, independence, communication, and responsibility. This site compliments the Second Step middle school curriculum.For more information about SEL, contact one of the Zucker guidance counselors, Naquita Page-Dawson or Jordane Lotts:firstname.lastname@example.org_lotts@charleston.k12.sc.us
School Receives Book Angels Donation
On Thursday, September 26th, Mr. Clarence B. Manning from Book Angels SC delivered over 1200 donated books to Jerry Zucker Middle School. Students will be able to check out the books from their classroom libraries and bring them home to read. When they return a book, they can select another to take home.
Book Angels is a national literacy organization founded in Chicago in 1999 with the aim of encouraging recreational reading habits among pre-K through 8th grade students in high poverty schools. The program was developed with the belief that “kids who read succeed” and that having access to books at home is one of the keys to reading success. All the books disbursed to schools through the Book Angels program are obtained through book drives hosted by schools, libraries, businesses, and community organizations. There is no cost to the school that benefits from the donated books, but there are several “rules” to the program: student participation is voluntary, students must bring the books home to read, and parents/caregivers must be encouraged to turn off the tv for 20-30 minutes each night and read along with their student.
Jerry Zucker Middle School was the first South Carolina middle school to participate in the Book Angels literacy program, and this is the 8th year that the school has been part of the program.
For more information, contact Mr. Clarence Manning at email@example.com or visit the Book Angels SC Facebook page.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage
A Hispanic Heritage Festival was held on Friday, September 20th during students' exploratory classes and all three grade level lunches. Students attended one of three different sessions, which included presentations by Hispanic women and men from the local community. Students learned about the culture of the presenters' countries of origin as well as the presenters' experiences as immigrants to or first generation residents of the United States. Students also had the opportunity to listen to Hispanic music and learn how to dance the Salsa. During lunch, students and staff enjoyed authentic Mexican tacos and quesidillas from Mendez Tacos. The Hispanic Heritage Festival was organized by ESOL teacher Ms. Best with assistance from ESOL teacher Ms. Nicholas, Spanish teacher Ms. Platt, guidance counselor Ms. Lotts, and JZMS staff members Ms. Vickers, Mr. Crankfield, and Ms. Guzman.
Students Attend Anti-Bullying Summit
Recently, five 7th graders, accompanied by guidance Counselor Ms. Lotts, attended an Anti-Bully Summit in Columbia, SC with students from other schools in Charleston County and all over the state. Zucker was proud to have these five students attend: Chardnay Griffin, Mahogany Hollington, Anya Brown, Hannah Jones, and Yudi Cano Garia. The Summit consisted of guest motivational speakers, performances, and discussions about our school's anti-bullying program. Summit leaders shared these important numbers for students to get help: National Suicide Prevention 1-800-273-TALK or text 741-741.
JZMS Recognized at CCSD Board Meeting
JZMS was one of three schools recognized at CCSD's Board Meeting on Monday, April 22, 2019. All three schools were recently named National Capturing Kids' Hearts Showcase Schools. Speaking about the recognition, JZMS Principal Jacob Perlmutter said, "We are proud to get this national recognition from CKH for a second year! Our faculty and staff has worked hard to create a great school climate at Zucker Middle School. Like other schools, we focus on connectivity and character traits and kindness but we also stay focused on positivity every day, one student, one interaction at a time. We've learned that by creating a place that we enjoy working, we create a place where our students enjoy working too!" [Pictured in the photo are administrators from the district's three Capturing Kids' Hearts National Showcase Schools. Mr. Perlmutter is third from the right, and standing on his right is JZMS guidance counselor Ms. Naquita Page-Dawson.]
JZMS Named National Capturing Kids' Hearts Showcase School
For the second year in a row, Jerry Zucker Middle School has been named a National Capturing Kids' Hearts Showcase School. Ms. Ashley Giles from the Flippen Group made the announcement:
"We are so excited your campus has been selected as one of our Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase SchoolsTM for the 2018-2019 school year! You and your team have created an outstanding environment for students and staff to learn and grow together. We have loved watching the videos your campus has submitted and the various ways you have implemented Capturing Kids’ Hearts into your campus culture. It has been such a joy seeing all the ways you have empowered your students as campus leaders." For more information about the Flippen Group and Capturing Kids' Hearts, visit their website https://flippengroup.com/education/capturing-kids-hearts-1/.
Miss Dorchester County Visits Zucker
Miss Dorchester County, Carli Drayton, visited JZMS on Friday, April 5th. She gave a presentation for female students in which she addressed pageantry life, a typical day prepping for a contest, and her platform of Depression Awareness.
About Carli Drayton:
Carli Drayton is the reigning Miss Dorchester County. Miss Dorchester County is an official preliminary to Miss South Carolina. Carli is a five-year pageant veteran. Carli began her pageant career in 2013 after being the first black woman to win Miss James Island Charter High School. After her high school pageant, Carli went on to become Miss James Island Teen USA and competed in Miss South Carolina Teen USA in November of 2013. In 2014, Carli gained the title of Miss Teen Charleston International and placed second-runner-up in the Miss Teen South Carolina International pageant. At that pageant, Carli was also awarded the Miss Congeniality award. Carli began her quest with the Miss America Organization in 2016. Carli won Miss Summerville in January of 2018 and went on to compete at Miss South Carolina for the Miss America Organization.
Carli holds a degree in Media Arts Production and is currently working to obtain another degree in Communication Studies.
Currently, Carli is an Assistant Public Information Officer for Berkeley County Government. She is also a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.
Carli’s favorite part of pageantry is the crowning moment and serving her community.
(Thank you to Ms. Stephanie Platt, JZMS Spanish teacher, for providing this information about Carli who was one of her former students when she taught at James Island Charter High School.)
Women in Aviation
Four students visited Joint Base Charleston on Tuesday, March 19th to learn about careers in aviation as part of Women in Aviation Career Day. The event, which is designed for middle and high school females, brings education, awareness, and focus to students on Air Force opportunities in aviation. This field trip was organized by Ms. Lotts, JZMS guidance counselor, and chaperoned by Mr. Crankfield, parent advocate.
Parents Graduate from Spanish Parenting Partners Class
Congratulations to the parents who graduated from Zucker Middle's Spanish Parenting Partners class on March 5th. The class, which met weekly beginning January 22nd, was offered to parents completely in Spanish. Each semester our school offers parents leadership workshops in English or Spanish to help them build the bridge between home and school. For more information about Zucker's Parenting Partners Program, contact Dwayne Crankfield, Zucker's Parent Advocate, at (843) 767-8383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Columbia, SC Artist Shares Her Children of the Holocaust Portraits with Zucker 7th Graders
Ms. Mote's 7th grade Social Studies classes had a very special guest speaker on Friday, March 15th. Her name is Mary Burkett and she gave the students a glimpse of her exhibit entitled Beloved: Children of the Holocaust. This exhibit is made up of twenty-seven portraits of Jewish children who lost their lives during the Holocaust. As Mrs. Burkett revealed each portrait to the students, she also revealed the child's touching story of life and death. Mrs. Burkett only started drawing these portraits a little over two years ago and has had no formal training as an artist. She does each portrait by hand using only a pencil, a cotton ball, and a cotton swab. Mrs. Burkett is both deeply talented and touching. The 7th graders also received a sneak peek of her upcoming exhibit Beloved: Legacy of Slavery, which will be displayed at this year's Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Pictured above is the 7th grade Honors class who skipped their recess to hear even more from her!
Stingrays Players Visit
Three players from the Stingrays Hockey Team visited Zucker on Wednesday, February 27th. The players included defenceman Tim Davison (#6) and forwards Grant Besse (#9) and Christian Horn (#26). They were accompanied by Cassidy Brown, Stingrays Community Relations and Game Manager. The group met with Principal Jacob Perlmutter and then toured the school, visiting several classrooms. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and have their picture taken with the players. The visit by the players was part of the South Carolina Stingrays' community outreach efforts. The Stingrays organization also sponsors a Hat Trick for Reading program which gives students in grades K-8 an opportunity to earn a free ticket to a Stingrays game.
Former JZMS Student Honored for Selfless Service
Brandon Trollinger, a former Jerry Zucker Middle School student and graduate of Stall High School, is the December recipient of the Yaschik Service Above Self Award. Brandon was nominated for the award for his mentoring program which reaches out to young males, specifically those who do no have a father figure or positive male role model in their lives, and helping them live up to their fullest potential and grow up to become honorable men. Brandon is at Zucker several days each week mentoring male students. He works with them on such things as how to be a leader and a team player, how to dress properly, etiquette, study skills, and so much more. Brandon started his mentoring program because he himself was raised in a home where he did not have a father figure present. He has seen first hand the
sometimes devastating outcomes that can result when young men have to grow up without positive male role models in their lives. He wanted to do something to help the male youth in his community have a chance at a better life. Pictured here with Brandon is his mother and JZMS Principal Jacob Perlmutter. For more information about the Yaschik Service Above Self Award, click here.
Bolting to Success!
Zucker hosted "BOLTing to Success! SPARKing Interest in Our Futures!," a school-wide Career Symposium, on December 21st. The symposium, which was organized by Zucker's guidance counselors Ms. Page-Dawson and Ms. Lotts, was held in various classrooms throughout the school. More than two dozen members of the local business community from a variety of different career fields gave presentations about their particular career field. At the end of the symposium, students completed an assignment reflecting on what they had learned.
Muffins for Mom
JZMS held its fourth annual Muffins for Mom event on Tuesday, December 18th. ABC News Channel 4 anchor Tessa Spencer and Major Joyce Smith from the North Charleston Police Department were the guest speakers. The event also included performances by the Zucker and Stall Bands, the Alpha Angels Step Team, Zucker might porter Mr. Buckner (saxophone), and Zucker grader Romell Ulmer and his mother (vocal duet). Representatives from MUSC gave a helicopter presentation on the back field, and the North Charleston Fire Department showed off one of their fire engines. Thank you to Food Lion, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Dunkin Donuts, and parent volunteers Ms. Tony and Ms. Nelson for donating breakfast. Muffins for Mom was organized by Mr. Dwayne Crankfield, Zucker's Parent Advocate.
Zuckerbook Featured in New CCSD Video
"Students at Jerry Zucker Middle School are learning about the world of publishing while at the same time taking advantage of a way to express themselves. Welcome to Erik Hilden's creative writing class where students produce an actual paperback book: the Zuckerbook." Thus begins the three-minute video filmed by CCSD's Office of Strategy and Communication. To view the video click on this link. For more information about The Zuckerbook Project or to purchase a copy of Zuckerbook, contact Erik Hilden at email@example.com.
Veterans Day Celebration
Zucker honored veterans and members of the military with a special program on Friday, November 9th. The celebration, which was organized by guidance counselor Ms. Lotts with assistance from Zucker's Junior Student to Student team, included performances by the Zucker Band and Zucker staff member Mr. McCullough as well as guest speakers from Joint Base Charleston. Click here to see the program.
Day of Caring 2018
Volunteers from Advanced Technology International (ATI), formerly South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), participated in Trident United Way's Day of Caring at Jerry Zucker Middle School on Friday, November 16th. Throughout the day, the ATI volunteers were involved in a variety of projects which were coordinated by Mr. Dwayne Crankfield, Zucker's Parent Advocate, and included an engineering activity involving boat races with Mr. Fast's pre-engineering classes, working with the self-contained classes, playing games with all the students during recess, painting a large mural of the U.S. map outside near the recess fields, and various campus beautification projects.
This is the fifth year running that ATI has partnered with Zucker for Trident United Way's Day of Caring. ATI's visit was coordinated by Mr. Dwayne Crankfield, Zucker's Parent Advocate. According to Mr. Jacob Perlmutter, Principal of Jerry Zucker Middle School, "ATI is one of our longest standing business partners. We love this partnership and love the volunteers who always come at a busy time of year and give us an energy boost with their enthusiasm. Our partnership with ATI has had a lasting impact: you can see the volunteers' handiwork everywhere you look in the building, from the "Enter to Learn" / "Exit to Serve " murals in the entrance way, the giant Zucker mural on wall behind the cafeteria stage, and the "Be the Spark" mural over the front stairway to the landscaping projects outdoors. We are so grateful for ATI and look forward to continuing our partnership with them for many years to come." Check out the Video and Photo Album ATI shared with us.
Celebrating Random Acts of Kindness
Students who were recognized for a random act of kindness during the first quarter were invited to a celebration in the library on November 2nd where they were treated to ice cream and popcorn. The Random Acts of Kindness program at Zucker is sponsored by guidance counselor Ms. Lotts. For more information on the Random Acts of Kindness initiative, visit the Random Acts of Kindness website.
6th Graders Taking Spanish into the Community
Twenty-four students in Ms. Platt's 6th grade Spanish class are taking Spanish into the community this semester. Twice each month, Ms. Platt and her students, along with Ms. Cary who initiated the Walk to Read program several years ago, will be walking to Lambs Elementary to share their love of reading and the Spanish language with Ms. Wiker's 1st grade class. The students in both classes will take turns reading to each other in Spanish and English.
Donuts with Dad
JZMS held its fourth annual Donuts with Dad event on Tuesday, October 9th. This event is hosted every year to promote fathers, male role models, mentors, and family members who have a positive impact on their students' lives. Special guest speakers for this year's Donuts with Dad event included North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, Chief Burgess from the North Charleston Police Department, and Chief Bunalow from the North Charleston Fire Department. The morning's agenda also included a performance by the JZMS Band and members of the Stall High School Band under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Yeager, a police car and fire truck tour, and a helicopter demonstration by the Charleston County Sheriff's Department Helicopter Unit. Than you to Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme Donuts, and Food Lion for donating food for the event. Donuts with Dad was organized by Jerry Zucker Middle School's Parent Advocate, Mr. Dwayne Crankfield.
8th Graders Participate in Boeing Dreamliners Program
A group of 8th grade students accompanied by 8th grade science teacher Ms. Nix and JZMS parent advocate Mr. Crankfield visited Boeing on Wednesday, September 19th to participate in the DreamLearners program. During their visit, the students learned about careers in the aerospace industry and were given an overview of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The students also worked together in teams to design, create, and fly paper airplanes. For more information about Boeing's DreamLearner program, visit their website.
Cards for the Courageous Campaign
Students in Mr. Fast's, Ms. Michaels', and Ms. Gerideau-Grant's exploratory classes created original cards for first-responders, military members, and veterans in honor of the September 11th Day of Service. Read the full story here.
JZMS Named a Capturing Kids' Hearts National Showcase School (March 2018)
JZMS has been named a 2017-2018 Capturing Kids' Hearts National Showcase School!
Ms. Kelsie Acres from the Flippen Group made the announcement: "We are so excited that Zucker Middle School has been selected as one of our Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase SchoolsTM for the 2017-2018 school year! You and your team have created an outstanding environment for students and staff to learn and grow together. During our team’s visit to your school, the positive energy and welcoming tone was evident from the moment they arrived. Their reports have been impressive with all they saw and heard during their visit."
NFL Star Boosts JZMS Athletics (December 2017)
JZMS is proud to be the recipient of a donation from the J.J. Watts Foundation. Click here to read the full story.
JZMS Named Unifed Champion School (May 2017)
Zucker was recently selected as one of nine Special Olympics South Carolina Unified Champion Schools for the 2016-17 school year. Unified Champion Schools offer inclusive sports, student leadership and advocacy, and school-wide support of students with disabilities. Each Unified Champion Schools received a cash award and gift cards for sports equipment to develop athletes of all abilities. Ms. Kyra Masuga, exceptional children educator, is Zucker's Special Olympics South Carolina teacher-sponsor.
JZMS Band Receives Superior Rating (April 2017)
The JZMS Band under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Yeager recently attended the South Carolina Concert Band Performance Assessment where they earned a Superior rating.
According to Dr. Yeager, "Middle and high school bands from across the state participate in this event each year, which occurs at several sites. The students prepare three pieces to play for three judges, and the judges provide comments and assign ratings. After performing the prepared pieces, bands play a piece of music that neither the students, nor the director, has ever seen. Two more judges rate that performance. At the end, all the scores are compiled, and bands are given ratings of Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor. The Zucker band earned a Superior rating (the highest category) for the prepared pieces, and missed qualifying for an overall Superior rating by one point."
JZMS Volunteer Receives Pay it Forward Award (January 2017)
Congratulations to Ms. Sherri Vanderhorst who was nominated by Ms. Knox and Ms. Price for the Channel 4 News & Church's Chicken "Pay It Forward" award for community members who make a positive impact on our world through their volunteer efforts. Ms. Vanderhorst is our always-helpful and always-cheerful volunteer JZMS receptionist. Thank you to Ms. Vanderhorst for making our school and community a better place, and thank you to Ms. Knox and Ms. Price for taking the time to nominate her! To see the segment that aired on News Channel 4 click here.
Our School Rocks! (October 2016)
Jerry Zucker Middle School is the first recipient of the Our School Rocks award. Pictured below are JZMS Principal Jacob Perlmutter (right) with Dr. Joseph Williams, Executive Director of Middle Schools for Charleston County School District.
Miss South Carolina Visits JZMS (March 2016)
See the media release.
JZMS Principal Jacob Perlmutter Named Best in Education Finalist (January 2016)
Read the full story on The Best Schools website.
JZMS Students Win Math Bowl (March 2015)
Zucker Middle School participated in the Innovation Zone Learning Community Math Bowl on Saturday, March 14th and won the over-all middle school division of the event. Zucker’s 6th grade team placed 1st in the team event, and Zucker’s 7th grade team placed 1st in both the team and individual events. This was the first time students from Zucker participated in the math bowl which had seven teams participating. The students were coached by Kendra Jenkins-Scott, Kaitlin Mosseri, and Patrick Aiello. According to Kendra Jenkins-Scott, “It was a great experience overall. The kids really enjoyed it and are already talking about next year’s math bowl.”
Zucker Hosts Boeing Event (December 2014)
On Tuesday, December 16th, Boeing anounced a $100,000 donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank and a $5 million donation to MUSC. The announcement, which was made at an event held at Jerry Zucker Middle School, was attended by representatives from Boeing, MUSC and the Lowcountry Food Bank as well as North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. JZMS Principal Jake Perlmutter and 8th graders Tilayah Bennett and Matthew Greene spoke at the event. The event also included a performance by the JZMS Band under the direction of Mr. Mark Romano and a tour of the JZMS garden and citrus orchard by students from Mr. Van Skoik's horticulture class. At the conclusion of the event, all JZMS students and staff were given a bag of fresh produce donated by the Lowcountry Food Bank.
JZMS 8th Graders Take on Stingrays (March 2014)
Students in Ms. Alyssa Grogan’s 8th grade homeroom at Jerry Zucker Middle School, cheered on by their classmates and teachers, played a game of floor hockey against the Stingrays Hockey Team on Tuesday, March 26th . The Stingrays mascot Cool Ray also made an appearance at the game. Ms. Grogan’s homeroom earned the privilege of taking on the Stingrays by reading the most pages during the Stingrays Stick to Reading Challenge, a six-week program in which all 8th graders participated. The game, which lasted about an hour, ended with the 8th graders defeating the Stingrays 10-9.
JZMS Band Award Grant from SC Arts Commission (March 2014)
The Jerry Zucker Middle School (JZMS) Band has been awarded a $750 grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission for the 2013-2014 year. The support will allow the organization to purchase sheet music. According to JZMS Band Director Mr. Mark Romano, “The students need a variety of music to be able to examine the different experiences music can bring. The South Carolina Arts Commission grant will enable me to purchase music that would promote different learning styles and cultures. The music will come from different decades (pop music) and various holidays and standard band literature pieces. Each group of students (beginning, intermediate and advanced) needs an appropriate assortment of music to motivate their learning.” Jerry Zucker Middle School and Principal Mr. Jacob Perlmutter are helping the JZMS Band meet its obligation of matching the Arts Commission grant with local dollars.
Junior Student-to-Student Program (March 2014)
Imagine moving to new town. Imagine walking into a new school in your new town for the first time. You do not know anyone. You do not know your way around the school. Everything at your new school seems very different from your old school. How will you ever figure things out and find a place to fit in? That’s where Junior Student to Student comes in. Junior Student to Student, which is modeled after the high school program Student to Student, is based on the premise that moving to a new school or city does not have to be difficult – just different. Students who are selected to be part of the Junior Student to Student (JS2S) program, along with two adult sponsors, undergo a two-day training with facilitators from the Military Child Education Coalition. Following the training, the core JS2S team is ready to recruit and train more student members and to help new students adjust to their school. Like Student to Student, JS2S was founded as a program to assist students in military families who on average will have transitioned eight or nine times during their middle school years. All new students, though – not just those in military families – benefit from JS2S. The Junior Student 2 Student program at Jerry Zucker Middle School is sponsored by guidance Counselor Mr. James Brooks with assistance from librarian Ms. Miranda Cary. The core JS2S team includes 6th graders Kenny Coronel, Tristan Fryer, Jasmine Hornsby and Dakota Wald, and 7th graders Alexzandria Mickle and Hayden Wald.
Aviation Mural (February 2014)
Ernest Henderson. Charles Bolden, Jr. Caroline Etheridge Hembel. Horace Ellis “Sally” Crouch. What do these people have in common? They are all famous aviators from South Carolina, and they are all depicted on a mural at Jerry Zucker Middle School which shows aviation scenes from South Carolina’s history. Jerry Zucker Middle School was fortunate to be selected by the South Carolina Aviation Association (SCAA) for their community service project which connects students with aviation through art. The mural was created during the SCAA’s annual conference which was held in Charleston from February 12-14, 2014. Local artist Lynda English was at Zucker Middle School for two days sketching the mural. On Wednesday, February 12, volunteers from the SCAA painted the mural.
Telling Our Stories (february 2014)
On Thursday, February 6th Telling Our Stories, a program designed to create meaningful relationships between 6th grade teachers and parents, had its first session. The program, which is funded through a grant from Boeing and is based on the Tellin' Stories Project of Teaching for Change in Washington, D.C., is facilitated by Ms. Katherine Benning, a reading specialist at Zucker Middle. At the first session, teachers, parents and 6th grade students shared their stories through quilting. The next session of Telling Our Stories will be held on Thursday, March 6th. That session will focus on study skills at home. Topics for future sessions of the program include leadership, high school and college readiness, and skills for addressing bullying.
Building Hoops and Dreams (September 2013)
Volunteers from Trident United Way and Cummins Turbo Technologies installed an outdoor basketball hoop and made repairs to the tennis court on Jerry Zucker Middle School’s campus on Friday, September 13 as part of Trident United Way’s 2013 Day of Caring. Cummins Turbo Technologies donated the materials used. Mr. Will Thompson, Communities in Schools Specialist at Jerry Zucker Middle School, coordinated the event. Up until now, students have been able to play basketball only in the gymnasium at Zucker. The outdoor hoop is a great addition which will enhance the health and wellness of students and staff alike. Trident United Way’s Day of Caring is an annual event that provides volunteers an opportunity to give back to the community.
Laura Bush Foundation Grant (June 2013)
Jerry Zucker Middle School is one of four schools in South Carolina that was awarded a $5000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. On June 5th, the Foundation announced that 212 school libraries throughout the United States were awarded a total of $1,060,000 in grants. Since 2002, the Laura Bush Foundation has awarded more than $10.5 million to schools throughout the United States and its territories. The mission of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s libraries is “to support the education of our nation’s children by providing funds to update, extend and diversify the book and print collections of America’s school libraries.” According to Jerry Zucker Middle School Jacob Perlmutter, “One of our primary goals is to encourage and foster a love of reading in our students, and the Laura Bush Foundation grant will help us provide our students with more high interest titles that they want to read. Receiving this grant is a real accomplishment for our school and a fitting way to end the school year.”
Motivational Speaker Charlie Plaskon Visits Zucker (April 2013)
On Wednesday, April 11th motivational speaker and tri-athlete Charlie Plaskon, who happens to be legally blind, shared his inspirational story with students at Jerry Zucker Middle School. Mr. Plaskon was born with a degenerative macular disease which robbed him of his sight at an early age. Despite being legally blind all his life, Mr. Plaskon earned two Master’s degrees and worked for 32 years as a middle school teacher. After retiring in 1999 he started running and competing in marathons and triathlons. Mr. Plaskon told students that it was his determination to succeed and his focus on his ability as opposed to his disability that has enabled him to live a full life and achieve more than many people who can see have achieved. He encouraged students to hold on to their dreams and told them that if they believe in themselves, there is no limit to what they can accomplish.
Green Heart Project (March 2013)
On Tuesday, March 12th, Mr. Drew Harrison and a team of volunteers from the Green Heart Project joined Mr. Wesley Jordan and his sixth grade students from Jerry Zucker Middle School’s Gifted & Talented program to plant a citrus orchard on the school campus. The orchard is adjacent to a plot of twenty-four fifty-foot fully irrigated rows which the Green Heart Project will turn into a vegetable garden. There is still much work to do on the garden, which will eventually contain all kinds of different vegetables. The orchard is finished and consists of twenty-five citrus trees including five trees each of Meiwa Kumquats, Ambersweet Orange, Chinese Honey Mandarin, Hamlin Orange, and Brown Select Satsuma. Founded in 2009 as a small school garden at Mitchell Elementary in downtown Charleston, the Green Heart Project has grown and expanded into a farm-to-school program with the micro-farm serving as an outdoor classroom where students get hands-on lessons in math, science and entrepreneurship. The program’s collaboration with Zucker Middle is their second project and their first one with a middle school. Drew Harrison, who was recently honored as a Charleston Regional Business Journal’ “Forty Under 40” winner, started out with the Green Heart Project as a volunteer and has been the program’s director for two years now. According to Mr. Harrison, “The Green Heart Project micro-farm at Zucker Middle will be GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certified allowing us to serve all of the citrus and veggies our students grow directly to our school cafeteria. In addition to that, we are looking to team Zucker with a local restaurant partner that is interested in buying fresh, local produce to serve on their menu and will help promote and sustain the program.”
Author Sybil Nelson Visits Zucker (March 2013)
On Friday, March 1st author Sybil Nelson shared her inspirational story with students at Jerry Zucker Middle School. Ms. Nelson writes the popular Priscilla the Great series. She also writes novels for young adults under her pseudonym, Leslie DuBois. In addition to being an award-winning author, Ms. Nelson is a wife, the mother of two young daughters, and a full-time student at MUSC working on a Ph.D. in biostatistics. She also runs her own publishing company here in Charleston, Little Prince Publishing. All this is a far cry from her hometown of Daytona Beach, Florida where she grew up in poverty. Ms. Nelson told Zucker Middle students that it was her weekly trip by bus to the public library that instilled within her a love of reading and the desire to be a writer. She won a scholarship to Washington and Lee University to study journalism, but later changed her focus and graduated with degrees in math and music. She taught math for nine years, all the time aspiring to become a published author and writing whenever she could. Her first book, Priscilla the Great, was published in 2010 to critical acclaim, winning The Strongest Start Novel competition. It was also named a Flamingnet Top Choice Book and was voted Most Hilarious Read of 2010 by Booklopedia. She has even sold the movie rights to the series. Ms. Nelson encouraged students who want to be authors to read everything, to have an imagination, and to write as much as possible. Ms. Nelson told students that she writes at least 1000 words every day.
Author Erin Gruwell Visits Zucker (February 2013)
See media advisory.
Governor Nikki Haley Visits Zucker (January 2013)
See media advisory.
Ride to Read (October 2012)
The 2012-2013 Ride to Read program kicked off on Thursday, September 27th when ten 6th graders accompanied by Mrs. Colleen Yelm (Reading Specialist) and Ms. Miranda Cary (Librarian) rode bicycles to Lambs Elementary School where the 6th graders read to two 1st grade classes. This is the Ride to Read program's third year, starting as a community service project to promote literacy partnerships with three local elementary schools. Next month a group of 7th graders will be visiting Hunley Park Elementary, and in November a group of 8th graders will be cycling to W. B. Goodwin Elementary. The Ride to Read program not only promotes literacy, but also physical fitness and bicycle safety and teaches students about the importance of giving back to their community.