Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sign-ups available for 'Students Saving Summer Scholarship' blood drive program

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is recruiting students for its sixth annual "Students Saving Summer Scholarship" program.

High school and college students who organize and host a successful blood drive with the organization, between June 1 and Sept. 30, will have the chance to earn scholarship money. The students with the top five-producing blood drives will each receive a $1,000 scholarship toward college.

Students make up 20 percent of CBCC's donors, said Martin Grable, the organization's president and CEO. " 'Students Saving Summer' is an opportunity to keep students engaged and to help us get an 'arm' up on our blood supply in the summer when supplies tend to drop," he said in a release.

Participating students must choose a location, recruit donors and collect a minimum of 25 units of blood. Each student will get paired with a CBCC representative to help with planning the blood drive.

For more information or to register, contact Kim Jones at 704-972-4727 or kljones@cbcc.us.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Meet Ella McElroy, local 8-year-old artist

Meet Ella McElroy

Ella, 8, is from Waxhaw and is a third-grader at Charlotte Latin School. And she loves to paint.

She has been painting at an easel since she was 2, and took her first art class at 3. Her favorite media are pastels and acrylics.

Her latest painting, "Ella's Hawk," was recently chosen as one of the 10 best in her age division in a contest sponsored by celebratingart.com, said family friend Andrea Cooper. It also won first place in an all-school fine art competition at Charlotte Latin.

These weren't Ella's first accolades: One or her paintings was displayed at the Mint Museum when she was six, Cooper said, and it was later in an exhibit, "Celebration of Young Artists," in Italy.

Ella finds inspiration in animals, and she hopes to raise awareness and funds for wildlife conservation by painting endangered animals. She also loves horseback riding and competes as a member of the South Charlotte Equine Circuit.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Farewell from Young Achievers reporter

It's bittersweet to say today (Wednesday) is my last day at the Charlotte Observer.

I'll be getting married in a few weeks and subsequently moving to the Delaware/Philadelphia area. I have so enjoyed meeting and telling the stories of our area's young achievers. They have curious minds, care about others and the planet, and are bursting with brilliant ideas. Our young people have so much to offer and they've given me hope for a brighter future.

You'll see a few more of my stories in the paper for the next few weeks, and you'll see a couple more blog posts as well. If you want to send Young Achievers news to the Observer, contact Helen Schwab at hschwab@charlotteobserver.com.

p.s. In honor of Lindsay's work here at the Observer, here's a video from Nash Grier, the subject of several of stories this year.

Charlotte Junior Girl Scouts earn Bronze Award with bat boxes

Girl Scout Troop 10 recently completed the Bronze Award, the highest honor for the Junior Scouts age level, said troop leader Joanne Shea.

To earn the award, the scouts built bat boxes for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Park and Recreation department. The boxes have been installed by a bridge at Freedom Park and by the Park Road Montessori playground on the Greenway, Shea said.

The four-chamber bat boxes can house as many as 200 bats. The girls chose to make the boxes because bat habitats in Charlotte are shrinking, and they eat mosquitoes and insects that kill plants and crops, they wrote in a report. Also, they wrote, bat droppings make good fertilizer and help pollinate seeds.

(Photos courtesy Joanne Shea)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Inspire the Fire kids do flashmob dance uptown to 'Happy'

The kids in Inspire the Fire are feeling happy.

At the end of March, a large group of Inspire the Fire members -- preteens and teens -- surprised people uptown by breaking into a choreographed dance (for about 4 minutes) to Pharrell Williams' song, "Happy."

Inspire the Fire is a local nonprofit that works with young people and the arts. Here's a video of the event -- looked fun!