Education

Online school during Covid: a student/mentor learns to balance

By Samantha Martinez

February 4, 2021

Life in this pandemic has not been easy for any of us. Some people have lost their jobs, lost family members, lost their homes and have struggled greatly. Many other people are just stuck at home watching the world change. Meanwhile, one hardship I have faced during this pandemic has been dealing with online school. […]

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Frontline Fellowships help youth learn and give back during pandemic

By Jock Lauterer

November 6, 2020

By Khadijah McFadden Teen Editor-in-Chief Covid-19 has changed many people’s lives, some for the better and others for worse. One of those changes include their work predicaments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 19 million people lost their jobs or stopped working for a period of time due to Covid. The BLS found […]

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East Durham Children’s Initiative and Partners for Youth Opportunity merge to become Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI)

By Jock Lauterer

July 28, 2020

By David Reese, DCI President   July 1 marked a monumental day in the history of the Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI). Not only have we officially changed our name to reflect our county-wide work with families and our support of the development of the Durham County Early Childhood Action Plan (ECAP), but we have also signed […]

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NCCU Awarded $1M in Funding for New COVID-19 Project

By Jock Lauterer

By Ayana Hernandez North Carolina Central University is one of six institutions awarded funds from a $6 million grant from the N.C. Policy Collaboratory at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for COVID-19 research and care. The announcement was made June 11 by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors’ Historically Minority […]

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Wall Street Juniors: raising the next generation of entrepreneurs

By Landon Bost

April 2, 2020

Durham is revered for Black Wall Street as a place where African Americans found economic prosperity in the early twentieth century. Now, a group that honors that legacy inspires the next generation of Durham entrepreneurs Wall Street Juniors Inc., a nonprofit founded by a Hillside High School alumna in 2018, teaches financial literacy to Durham […]

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While closed, Durham libraries offer resources, sense of normalcy

By Korie Dean

Although the doors are temporarily closed at all Durham County Library locations due to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, Durham County residents can still take advantage of many online resources the library has to offer. The library closed March 15 after Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 117, which prohibits mass gatherings of more than […]

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Durham music program virtually connects kids amid coronavirus

By Matthew Audilet

Despite school closures and government-issued stay-at-home orders, the Durham Kidznotes program is working to make sure their students and teachers can continue learning and teaching music in a virtual setting. “It’s been a really interesting and honestly kind of invigorating time for Kidznotes,” Nick Malinowski, the executive director of Kidznotes, said. The program, which partners […]

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Durham organization helps abuse survivors heal through art

By Victoria Johnson

February 27, 2020

Durham native Monica Daye was sexually assaulted in a church when she was 11. “My whole life completely changed,” she said. “I went from an A/B student — outgoing, dancing — to being a student that was failing with D’s and F’s, rebelling, cursing teachers out and getting in trouble.” When she was 19, Daye […]

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Doing good together: Durham Tech food pantry fosters community

By Korie Dean

Erin Riney always knew that some of her students at Durham Technical Community College struggled with food insecurity. But eight years ago, when the college’s Student Government Association hosted a giveaway with 50 free food bags and ran out in less than 10 minutes, she knew it was a more pressing issue than she had […]

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Hallelujah! Swing School empowers students by honoring the past

By Landon Bost

February 13, 2020

Hillside High School’s “Hallelujah! Swing School” returns for the second consecutive year for Valentine’s weekend in honor of John Henry Gattis’ “Mr. G’s Swing School.” The production honors the past and inspires the next generation of leaders from Durham. The play is produced and directed by the esteemed Hillside drama teacher Wendell Tabb, who has […]

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Durham dreamers and readers celebrate MLK Day with donated books

By Sasha Schroeder

January 30, 2020

With over 1.2 million books donated since its founding, Book Harvest continues its dream of promoting reading and learning Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream — and so does Book Harvest, a Durham nonprofit that hosted its ninth annual Dream Big Book Drive and Community Celebration last week. “The Book Harvest dream is a […]

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Durham Kidznotes tunes up for benefit concert at DPAC

By Molly Weisner and Landon Bost

While most Durham public schools remained quiet last Saturday morning, Fayetteville Street Elementary School’s parking lot was full.   Out of cars ambled K-12 students from Durham and Raleigh, some shouldering black instrument cases nearly half their height.  As the sunlight warmed the January nip in the classrooms, young musicians in the Kidznotes program warmed up for a full afternoon of practice.   […]

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‘We want to be a resource’: SEEDS aims to serve Durham community

By Gianna Tahan

As South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) rings in the new year, Interim Executive Director Abby Goodman hopes to make their urban gardening programs more meaningful to all members of the Northeast Central Durham community. Founded in 1994, SEEDS is a two-acre urban garden and kitchen space located at 706 Gilbert St. The organization […]

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Durham’s StudentU builds a legacy of success stories

By Brittany Cowan

December 12, 2019

By Brittany Cowan Education is a complex, often controversial topic for discussion, as the viewpoints of teachers, legislators, and community leaders can sometimes result in bitter conflict. In Durham County, the non-profit organization StudentU has been on a mission since 2005 to shift the conversation towards educational equity and serving student populations that may otherwise […]

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Spreading hope — Her Way

By Khadijah McFadden

October 4, 2019

“Free for everyone.” That’s how the President and Executive Director of Hope Her Way, Jillian Cross, describes her organization to me about young mothers looking to finish their unfinished college experiences. The organization is an eight-week pre-college program helping low-income, single parents get the higher education they need such as when they have had to […]

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The end to a journey just beginning

By Cindy Chen

May 15, 2019

  This is my story of how writing became an escape, rather than a chore, through journaling — and then journalism. Coming to America with English as my second language I always thought it was the hardest subject to master. Being the quiet shy kid in class, I felt inferior with my English language skills […]

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PYO honors outstanding student performance

By Spencer Carney and Keeley Gay

March 27, 2019

Partners for Youth Opportunity changed three students’ lives for the better on March 14 when they awarded scholarships worth $1,000 each to help pay for their college education. The scholarships were originally meant for high school students going into college, but now can be awarded to students already in college. The recipients chosen for the […]

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Durham’s Communities in Schools helps students in class and at home

By Natasha Townsend

Carmen Settles remembers the first time she learned that going to college after high school wasn’t for everyone. She could venture out on her own path and be successful. Although she graduated from North Carolina Central University with a marketing degree, Settles owes her success to Communities in Schools (CIS), a nonprofit that focuses on […]

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Durham students, teachers focus on equity with help from DPS grants

By Celia McRae

    Erin Batten-Hicks finally found the community she had been missing when she transferred to Hillside High School and joined the school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). “I never really had an opportunity to find more queer people and find that community while I was at my other school,” she said. “When I came […]

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DIG program empowers youth through urban farming

By Hannah McClellan

February 28, 2019

On a cold and rainy February afternoon, 17-year-olds Samantha Vazquee and Demonte Bolden are not hiding inside – they’re hard at work repotting dozens of plants after a day at school. Vazquee and Bolden are two youth members of the DIG program, a youth-driven, urban farming and leadership development program started by South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable […]

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Holton Career & Resource Center provides free barber education to high schoolers

By Elisabeth Beauchamp

February 27, 2019

V’Aondre Mack, 16, always loved being in a barbershop. Now, the Holton Career and Resource Center is giving him the opportunity to work in one someday. “I’ve always been in a barbershop since I was young,” the Southern High School (SSES)  junior said. “Me, my dad and my little brother went to the barbershop every […]

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Hillside’s new English teacher helps keep school paper alive

By Johnny Sobczak

When Jenne Mondry was interviewed for a position teaching English at Hillside High School last summer, it was proposed to her that she teach journalism and take over the school’s newspaper. For Mondry, it was daunting. “I let them know that I had not done that before, but I had done the yearbook at a […]

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Range of DPS programs encourages families to ‘say yes’ to public schools

By Celia McRae

Informational booths from different Durham Public Schools departments lined the walls of the Hillside High School lobby last Saturday. Parents and students could ask questions about program offerings at these booths, as part of a fair called “Say Yes to DPS.” “We really wanted to be able to showcase them and to be able to put a […]

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John Gattis’ hit musical ‘Swing School’ returns to Hillside High

By Will Shropshire

After 47 years, “Swing School,” a community favorite production for many decades, returned to the stage at Hillside High School. The Hillside High School Drama Department – under the direction of Wendell Tabb –  put on four performances of its new adaptation, called “Hallelujah! Swing School,”  from Feb. 15-17. The production has long been a Hillside […]

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Girl Talk: Providing girls with a mother figure

By Arianna Swain

February 17, 2019

  Rictrice McKiver flipped through her notes as she talked about Girl Talk, her newly created program for teen girls, created to bring teen girls together to give them a chance to discuss subjects they may not feel comfortable doing at home and to provide the girls with a sister or mother figure that may be […]

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Students raise scholarship money with tributes to Queen and Aretha Franklin at DPAC

By Natasha Townsend and Celia McRae

February 13, 2019

The words, “You can do it” reverberated through Tiffany Agerston’s head. She never forgot those words of encouragement, spoken by her chorus teachers when she was younger in an effort to get Agerston to share her singing talent at the annual “An Evening of Entertainment” (EOE) put on by the Durham Public Schools. Agerston eventually […]

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“Meet the Heroes” event inspires children of all ages

By Cheyenne Beasley and Courtney Staton

Children skipped up the steps in excitement on their way to the second annual “Meet the Heroes” event at New Creation United Methodist Church in Durham. The event celebrated six prominent figures from black history through interactive activities. For Albert Shuler, the pastor of New Creation United Methodist Church, the focus on children was particularly […]

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Students develop skills for the salon and beyond

By Elisabeth Beauchamp

The Holton Career & Resource Center’s cosmetology program is not just a place for students to practice doing hair and using tools; it’s a place to refine skills that will shape their futures.  The classes not only teach conceptual material about the art of cosmetology, but they also give pupils hands-on experience with mannequins and […]

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Durham nonprofit redefines “teen mom”

By Hannah Towey

Angel Hope’s first day of class at Hillside High School, a significant event in any teenager’s life, was supposed to be Aug. 27, 2015. But the day would soon prove to be even more important as she gave birth to her daughter, Gabrielle, at the age of 15. Four first days of school and three […]

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Mount Vernon Baptist Church honors Black History Month with free events

By Spencer Carney and Veronica Correa

This Black History Month, Mount Vernon Baptist Church on Roxboro Street in Durham will acknowledge the past with films, books and faith. The Durham church will have free film screenings every Wednesday in February at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday morning discussions at 9:30 a.m. It hosted a conversation on the autobiography “Proud Shoes: The Story […]

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Durham Tech instructor inspires students to pursue lives of purpose and joy

By Samantha Perry

The first day of classes normally begins with introductions. Students share their names, hometowns and favorite movies or books. But when Audrey Muhammad begins her first class each semester, she shares something interesting about herself before asking her students to do the same. “I have a magazine, and I love to write,” Muhammad tells them. […]

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­A high school senior’s advice: Beware the senioritis trap

By Cindy Chen

­   As winter break ends and a new semester begins, high school students usually tend to buckle down to end the academic year strong. However, for many seniors, it’s another story. After college applications are all in and the college acceptances begin to roll in, many seniors often feel that is okay to take […]

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Dream Big Book Drive aims to improve literacy on MLK Day

By Natasha Townsend and Arianna Swain

January 30, 2019

Marneshia Gonzales’ “Nancy Drew” books were being boxed up at the Book Harvest Dream Big Book Drive. They were her childhood favorites, and she wanted to share them. The 12-year-old, who is in sixth grade, was giving books away with her mother, Deidre Gonzales, at the eighth-annual book drive on Jan. 21, Martin Luther King […]

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Durham nonprofits make educational programs accessible for immigrants

By Veronica Correa

When Durham mother of two Ana Sanchez started taking her son Leo to the Durham County Library, it was a struggle to get the kindergartner to enjoy reading. Today the fourth-grader can read at grade level with the help of weekly tutoring. “It really helps the kids open their minds,” Sanchez said in Spanish. The […]

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Nonprofit YouthBuild graduates celebrate second book publishing

By John Bauman

Donna Bennett rose, bravely, to share her story. Her truth. “Good afternoon, my name is Donna Bennett. I will be reading a piece I wrote,” she said. “Number one in your life’s blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your own self-worth and your own somebodiness. Having a deep belief in yourself […]

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Bull City Music School spreading notes of love

By Khadijah McFadden

January 27, 2019

  Bull City Music, a new music school that opened this past fall (3329 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.) was founded by Durham resident Jeanetta Hopkins, who says the school is dedicated to helping young aspiring local musicians. The music school offers students a way to express their thoughts and feelings using instruments. BCMS teaches lessons in […]

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Kidznotes’ free Winter Concerts this weekend

By Cindy Chen

December 14, 2018

  Kidznotes, the Durham-based non-profit music program devoted to giving kids a passion for music, is back with their annual Winter Concerts. This year’s first free concert will be held Fri., Dec. 14, 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Fayetteville Elementary School located at 2905 Fayetteville St. The second concert will be presented in the same […]

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Empowered Minds Academy: A two-year-old non-traditional school

By Cheyenne Beasley

November 21, 2018

Empowered Minds Academy sits in a friendly looking red and white corner building at 1217 Holloway St. Entering the small intimate academy, you are greeted by posters, kid friendly signs, and Valine Zeigler, founder and head of school. Zeigler is a warm woman who is passionate about her school and the children who attend. In […]

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Author facilitates workshop on ‘The Color of Public Education’

By Christina Gordon

November 15, 2018

Enthusiastic and dedicated Durham residents crowded into Epworth United Methodist Church on Oct. 15 to listen to and workshop with Richard Rothstein, author of “The Color of Law: A forgotten history of how our government segregated America.” Epworth hosted the event which gathered members of the N.C. Council of Churches, public school advocates, parents, teachers […]

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NCCU’s Dr. Blay celebrates ‘black girl magic’

By Jennifer Maxwell

November 14, 2018

Dr. Yaba Blay had promised the room full of eagerly awaiting professional black women an evening of “black girl magic,” and she did not disappoint. In continuance with its mission to increase the position of black people in the community and break down barriers to economic participation in ethnic markets, the Durham Business and Professional […]

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Rehearsals underway at Hillside for “The Color Purple”

By Cheyenne Beasley

October 10, 2018

Hillside High School’s award-winning drama department is in rehearsal for ” The Color Purple,” a musical version of the classic novel,  produced and directed by veteran drama teacher Wendell Tabb, November 9-11, at Hillside High School theatre auditorium, 3727 Fayetteville St. There are almost 100 students working to create the production, including actors, dancers, offstage […]

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ConnectED 2018 Conference introduces Durham teens to professionalism

By Qaadir McFadden and Khadijah McFadden

October 9, 2018

  Normally when people hear of professional or business conferences, they immediately think of an adult event. However, the Emily K Center, Durham Youth Commission, Made in Durham and Partners for Youth and Opportunity, all youth-serving non-profit organizations in Durham, decided to switch up the old format by hosting a youth conference earlier this fall […]

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Smiles arrive with school supplies; Burton Elementary’s first day back

By Cheyenne Beasley

September 10, 2018

  N.C. Central University’s Men’s Achievement Center and National Council of Negro Women teamed up with Burton Elementary School to hand out school supplies to kids on their first day of school on Monday, Aug. 27. This event was planned as a way to connect with the community and increase engagement because schools make up […]

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Rebound for Youth Alternatives gives suspended students another chance

By Kenzie Cook

May 8, 2018

  Maesa Al-Amin, 17, is a senior at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability. She is a competitive dancer on the school’s dance team with dreams of owning her own dance company and dancing in music videos. She has performed at the Durham Performing Arts Center for “An Evening of Entertainment” and at Hillside High […]

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PYO students spend a day in the life of UNC-Chapel Hill students

By Maddie Marshall

April 11, 2018

It was late morning, and the sun was peeking from behind the clouds as the students and leaders of Partners for Youth Opportunity arrived at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But the slightly overcast day did not stop them from a having an adventure. The PYO students and staff members were visiting […]

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StepUp Durham empowers local job seekers

By Kenzie Cook

April 5, 2018

  In 2013 StepUp Ministry, a Raleigh-based non-profit, sent an exploratory committee to Durham to discover if the city needed or wanted the program launched here, said Tim Wollin, 37, the program director for StepUp Durham. After two years and an invitation from the Durham community, StepUp Durham was born. Emily Dao-Forrester, 27, an employment […]

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East Durham Children’s Initiative ofrece diversos programas gratis para los niño

By Liz Chen

April 2, 2018

Un sábado típico para Angel, quien tiene 10 años, consiste de un desayuno saludable y balanceado, jugando soccer con sus amigos y aprendiendo algo nuevo en los programas sabatinos de East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) STEAM.  Los sábados STEAM se enfocan en avanzar la educación en ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería, arte y matemática para los estudiantes […]

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Lowe’s Grove teaches Durham how to take action on clean water

By Tessa Platek

March 29, 2018

The middle school boy arrived from baseball practice to just in time to join the Lowe’s Grove pep band in opening the Creek Week event with their own rendition of “Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz. This song, along with a cheery performance by the pep band of “People Make the World Go Round,” provided a […]

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