SparkNC brings a new way of learning to Scotland High School

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org While his peers spend their mornings in math or English class, Trevon Wall connects wires to circuit boards for the robotic car he’s building and coding from scratch. Wall, a senior at Scotland High School, is one of the first in the state to experience SparkNC, a new curriculum aimed at teaching high-tech skills.  “I like to be hands-on,” Wall said. …Read more Continue reading SparkNC brings a new way of learning to Scotland High School

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Low pay, lack of resources lead to burnout in southeastern NC schools, teachers say

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  It’s an epic vocal trio of Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Tensions are rising within George Washington’s presidential cabinet. Jefferson can’t take it anymore. “If there’s a fire you’re trying to douse,” Jefferson raps in the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” “you can’t put it out from inside the house.” Those lyrics hit Kaylan Ganus like a brick. It was …Read more Continue reading Low pay, lack of resources lead to burnout in southeastern NC schools, teachers say

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Here’s how high schools in NC’s Border Belt performed in latest rankings

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org  Scotland Early College High School in Laurinburg is the 70th best public high school in North Carolina, according to new rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The school far out-ranked other public high schools in the Border Belt region of Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties. PSRC Early College at Robeson Community College ranked 168th. All others fell below the …Read more Continue reading Here’s how high schools in NC’s Border Belt performed in latest rankings

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Tyris Jones taps into the art of storytelling

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Tyris Jones, 55, has always dreamed of his name being in lights on Broadway and knows one day he is going to win an Oscar.  In his community, Jones is best known as a storyteller and enjoys sharing his craft with others. The Border Belt Independent spoke with Jones about storytelling and how he brings awareness to this uncommon art form. …Read more Continue reading Tyris Jones taps into the art of storytelling

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Private school vouchers in southeast NC see sharp increase as funding more than doubles

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  Private schools are on the rise in North Carolina, and the Border Belt region is no exception. A successful Republican-led push to expand the state’s private school voucher program last year has created massive growth in the number of students receiving vouchers and the amount of state funding in the program. Private school vouchers, also known as Opportunity Scholarships, provide families …Read more Continue reading Private school vouchers in southeast NC see sharp increase as funding more than doubles

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‘Feel more pain’: southeastern NC is at the heart of a 30-year public education fight

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  For 28 days, Angus Thompson has been undergoing intensive radiation therapy at UNC Health Southeastern in Lumberton. The treatments have left him tired and he now walks with two canes for support. But the fire hasn’t left the 72-year-old retired public defender. Neither has the fervor in his booming voice. He’s a presence that demands attention and a listening ear when he …Read more Continue reading ‘Feel more pain’: southeastern NC is at the heart of a 30-year public education fight

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Border Belt People: Ashley Lomboy brings Western science, Indigenous culture together

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Ashley Lomboy of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe took an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) from a young age. This fascination led her to become a Global Information Security Manager at Corning Optical Fiber and Cable, and later, founder of the Waccamaw Siouan STEM Studio. The Border Belt Independent spoke with Lomboy about her many accomplishments and how she …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People: Ashley Lomboy brings Western science, Indigenous culture together

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Robeson County schools join lawsuit against social media giants

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org The Robeson County school district has joined a lawsuit against social media giants, claiming the companies are intentionally addictive and negatively impact students’ mental health. Public Schools of Robeson County is one of 12 districts in North Carolina and 200 across the country to join the lawsuit against Meta, Google, ByteDance, and Snap Inc., which owns Snapchat. Other N.C. districts include …Read more Continue reading Robeson County schools join lawsuit against social media giants

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Border Belt People Q&A with Greg Bacot: ‘So many opportunities in the world’

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Greg Bacot, a 1985 graduate of UNC Pembroke, established the Lacy and Alice Bacot Higher Education Scholarship at the university to honor his parents in 2018. On Oct. 20, Bacot, 62, announced a $1.2 million planned gift that would enhance the scholarship. The Border Belt Independent spoke with Bacot about his time spent at UNCP and his reasoning behind establishing the …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People Q&A with Greg Bacot: ‘So many opportunities in the world’