Peachland-Polkton wins reading challenge

Peachland-Polkton wins reading challenge

HOLLA! officials say the goal of reaching more students is being made possible with the cooperation of the Anson County school system, the hard work of the school principals, teachers and HOLLA!’s “dedicated” volunteers.

The organization’s leaders are optimistic that this year’s collaboration for the HOLLA! 5k Reading Challenge means the future of literacy in the community is bright. The challenge was held in conjunction with the annual HOLLA! 5K Walk/Run into the freedom of literacy.

Lilesville, Morven and Peachland-Polkton elementary schools accepted the call to compete in the challenge, which sought to motivate students to read while recognizing and rewarding the literary achievements of students in the schools’ Accelerated Reading Programs.

Peachland-Polkton Elementary School is the winner of HOLLA!’s school system-wide reading challenge.

As the school with the highest per capita reading score, it also received four full sets of books from the Little Flower series, donated by author and Anson County native Florita Bell-Griffin.

Principal Travis Stegall accepted the accolade during his school’s Awards Day ceremony.

“I am very proud and excited for next year’s challenge,” he said.

Schools were also challenged to encourage students to attend and/or participate in the HOLLA! 5K. Morven Elementary School had the most students to attend, and as a result, received a free, “fully loaded” HOLLA! party which included a DJ, pizza and snow cones for every student.

Individual student winners of the reading challenge were Kirsten Green, Abigail Wilson and Essence Davis, who were awarded for being the top readers at each of the participating schools. Jessica Laney and Ambria Nivens received honorable mentions.

The data used to determine the winners was based on Accelerated Reading Program results and was provided by Morven Elementary School Principal Deonya Pratt, Ansonville Elementary Principal Michael Vetter and Peachland-Polkton Elementary Principal Travis Stegall.

HOLLA! is a 501 c 3 non-profit Community Development Corporation founded in 2005 to address low achievement in the Anson County Schools. The organization operates from a facility located at 229 East Main Street in Morven, NC. For more information call 704.851.3144.

Staff Report


Breakfast by HOLLA! to be permanent

Breakfast by HOLLA! to be permanent

WADESBORO — HOLLA! is planning to permanently serve breakfast Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m.

HOLLA! has been serving breakfast off and on since 2012.

Leon Gatewood said that serving breakfast has always been within the scope and vision of the HOLLA! Center.

The vision was for the center to be a meeting place for people to read books and periodicals, catch up on the local and community news and discuss community issues.

“We initially started serving breakfast as a means to generate revenue to sustain the operations of the center and we now include it as a part of our youth programs,” Gatewood said. “We seldom send our children on a trip without a hot breakfast.”

HOLLA!’s primary source of funding is The United Way of the Central Carolinas. They also recently received a donation from Lanesboro Creek to help serve breakfast to the youth.

“Attendance for breakfast is generally moderate, but sometimes it is booming,” Gatewood said. “We use Facebook, flyers and oral tradition to get the word out.”

Gatewood said they have seen progress in attendance throughout the weeks.

There is a $5 charge for adults to eat breakfast.

Beginning Monday, HOLLA! will provide free breakfast to youth who attend their programs.

Also, at the beginning of the school year, HOLLA! once more will offer the Bus Stop Breakfast.

The meal is free for children who come in time to order breakfast before the bus arrives to pick them up. The menu includes fresh fruit, coffee, hot grits, eggs, omelets, 100 percent juice and various protein.

“We stress moderation and balance in our meals,” Gatewood said.

HOLLA! “hopes to bring awareness to the importance of eating a healthy, moderate breakfast each morning, and will provide breakfast to as many as we can,” Gatewood said.

By Natalie Davis

Staff Reporter

Kids get a chance to practice football with pros

For an image, video or link to go viral, it must spread rapidly through a population by being shared via email or on social media — like Ellen Degeneres’ tweet from the Oscars or music video “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi.

And while Jonathan Hough’s post didn’t garner billions of views, within two hours, a flyer he posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram had more than 100 kids registered for his event.

“I didn’t expect it to get as full that fast,” he said. “So I talked to Stephone (Anthony) like, ‘Hey man, this is growing like wildfire’ and he was like, ‘OK, just bump it up to 150.’”

And what were parents registering for? A chance to send their kid to a one-day football camp hosted by Stephone Anthony of the Miami Dolphins and friends including Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Dannell Ellerbe of the Philadelphia Eagles, who grew up in neighboring Richmond County.

From 3 to 6 p.m. on July 13, kids aged seven to 14 will learn the fundamentals of football with four stations — wide receivers, quarterbacks, running backs, and defensive linebacker drills — to get a taste of each position. There will also be a warm-up line, meet-and-greet area, a DJ and catering.

“The meet and greet will wrap it up,” said Hough. “Everyone leaves with something signed and a picture taken. Stephone will be around, he isn’t going anywhere.”

Hough and Anthony grew up together in Anson County, played several sports with each other, and graduated from the same high school. He said it’s been a humbling experience working with a lifelong friend.

“There’s very few people who you grow up with that stay the same as they grow in their levels of success,” he said. “And that’s one thing I can say about him. He’s the same person when we were in honors English III junior year of high school.”

Hough and Anthony partnered with Anson County Schools and the HOLLA! center to make the event come together.

“They’ve been helping me any way they can to make this a great event for the youth,” he said. “This event is ultimately about inspiring (others) and giving back to those who inspired you. So it comes full circle.”

Leon Gatewood, founder and CEO of HOLLA!, said he can’t wait for the day to arrive and has been getting text messages from parents about signing their kids up.

“I got a text from someone this morning,” he said. “I just told him he’s through (registering people) … he’s done.”

Due to future construction on the track of the main football field at Anson High, Hough, along with Administrative Assistant Anne Hyatt and Superintendent Michael Freeman of Anson County Schools, made preparations to host the camp on the practice field. Hyatt said there are plans for the main field if the track is completed early.

But Hough said he also sees the nostalgia of having it on the alternative site.

“It’s where it all started,” he said. “If it’s on the practice field, he practiced there before he got on the game field, so it’s really where it started.”

And despite the closed registration, Hough said the event is free and open to the public to watch. He invites spectators to show their support by coming out and taking photos and getting signatures.

By Jasmine Hager

For the Record