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Organization seeks to help young people, unite east Fayetteville community

Fayetteville Observer   

By Steve DeVane Staff writer       Jul 19, 2016

 HPE graduate

Staff photo by Andrew Craft

Rico Mitchell (right) and Lawrence Monroe (left) have started a program aimed at helping youth in east Fayetteville.  They hope as part of their effort to raise money to build a recreation center near the Mabel C. Smith Park on Deep Creek Road.

A former paratrooper and a Fayetteville State University Health and Physical Education graduate have started an organization aimed at helping youth in east Fayetteville. Lawrence Monroe (left) and Rico Mitchell (right), who have been friends since they attended Cape Fear High School together, formed Creek 4 Kids, an outreach group for the Deep Creek Road community and the surrounding area. They hope to raise money for a recreation center and start a mentoring program. Monroe, who works at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, served in the Army for six years, including time in Fort Bragg's 18th Airborne Corps and two deployments to Iraq. Mitchell graduated from FSU in 2014 and is the physical education teacher at Ben Martin Elementary School and the junior varsity basketball coach at Cape Fear.

"What the military taught me and what college taught him, we want to teach to everybody else," Monroe said.

The organization uses sports and other ways to build character in young people. The effort started in 2013 with a back-to-school basketball tournament, which has become an annual event.

"We wanted to guide our kids in the right direction," Mitchell said.

This year's tournament is scheduled for Sept. 3 at Cape Fear High School and will include a basketball skills camp. Mitchell and Monroe also plan to hold other activities, such as camps that focus on physical fitness, in an effort to get other people involved and unite the community.

"We always felt this side of town is disconnected," Monroe said. "We're really trying to promote unity.

"One goal is to raise money to build a recreation center at Mable C. Smith Park, which is on Shadbush Lane, just off Deep Creek Road.

A recreation center at the park is not under consideration by the Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation Department, according to Nathan Walls, a city spokesman. It is not in the department's master plan, but the 10-year-old plan is about to be updated, he said.

"If this comes up as a recommendation, then we will consider it," Walls said in an email.

The closest recreation center to the park is the J.S. Spivey Recreation Center, which is on the other side of the Cape Fear River.

Mitchell and Monroe said they would like to use a center at Mable C. Smith Park to teach young people basic computer skills. They also want young people to know how to look for a job and create a resume. The youth need to understand taxes and know about mortgages and equity, Mitchell said.

"The most important thing is education," Monroe said. "Not just book smarts, but common sense."

The men are hoping teachers, nurses, doctors, soldiers and others in the Deep Creek Road area will get involved with their organization.

"We need all hands on deck," Monroe said.

"Let's get a one mind, one movement going," Mitchell added.

They also want parents to play an active role.

"We can't do anything for the kids without the parents," Monroe said.

They hope the effort spreads to other areas east of the river.

"We have a growing population," Mitchell said.  

Summer Teacher (Institutes and Conferences) 2016

Matthew Wynne, a seventh grade social studies teacher at R. Max Abbott US Holocaust MuseumMiddle School, completed his BS in History-Teaching (09') and MEd in Special Education (11') from Fayetteville State University (FSU). Currently he is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership at FSU and was accepted into three national teacher institute conferences.   These three national teacher institute conferences consisted of the following:  Korean War Digital History Project Conference, United States Holocaust Memorial Teacher Fellowship Program Institute, and George Washington Residential Teacher Institute.




Mr. Wynne's presentation proposal on Teaching the Korean War through Korean WarOral History and Technology was accepted by the Korean War Legacy Foundation. He received an all-expense paid trip to attend the Korean War Digital History Conference in Orlando, FL to present his oral historical research project and received additional training in June of 2016. While he was in attendance he had the opportunity to meet with the grandson of Harry S. Truman, Clifton Truman Daniel, who spoke at the conference of his grandfather's presidency during the war.   Mr. Wynne is now a teacher representative-liaison for the Korean War Legacy Foundation. 


Also, Mr. Wynne was selected as a participant of the US Holocaust Museum Teacher Fellowship Program Institute in Washington, DC. He was one of 16 individuals accepted into the program out of a pool of over 120 applicants across the nation in 2015. Mr. Wynne received specialized training in facilitating holocaust education and was commissioned to conduct a lesson study with a team of teachers from various states. This July of 2016, his team successfully completed and presented their lesson study to the museum staff, exhibitors, and holocaust education faculty. While attending this conference he was given the opportunity to meet with the granddaughter of Jesse Owens, Marlene Dortch. She shared about her grandfather's experience in Germany during the Olympics of 1936 and the importance of human rights.  Mr. Wynne is now officially a US Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellow 2015-2016 and one of the ambassadors for holocaust education in the southeastern region. 


G.Washington Teacher InstituteLastly, Mr. Wynne was selected to participate and receive training at the George Washington Residential Teacher's Institute in Mount Vernon, VA in August of 2016. The institute focused on George Washington's entrepreneurial values and teaching about his life through the lens of STEM education. Mr. Wynne had the opportunity to study at Fred W. Smith Presidential Library of George Washington, receive professional development on Mount Vernon's digital resources and interact with lead scholars. Also, at this institute he had the opportunity to tour George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate which consisted of the following:  colonial mansion, lush gardens, domesticated heritage farm animals, commemorative monuments and cemeteries.



Department of Middle Grades, Secondary and Specialized Subject Alumni Awarded      

NCCTM Secondary School Mathematics Teacher for 2014

Congratulations to Mrs. Tiffany Huggins-White and Mrs. Phyllis Cannon for being selected as a North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) Outstanding Secondary School Mathematics Teacher for 2014!  To be singled out from among their professional peers for such an honor is quite noteworthy and deserving of statewide recognition. 

Tiffany Huggin White Mrs. Tiffany Huggins-White is a May 2011, FSU M.Ed. Middle Grades Math graduate who teaches 8th grade Math at Sandy Grove Middle School in the Hoke County School System.
Phyllis Cannon Mrs. Phyllis Cannon is a December 2012, FSU M.Ed. Middle Grades Math graduate who teaches 7th Grade Math at Luther Nick Jeralds Middle School in the Cumberland County School System.



Mrs. Huggins-White and Mrs. Cannon will be recognized at the NCCTM 2014 Annual Conference which will be held at Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, North Carolina at an NCCTM Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 31, 2014. 



FSU MSSS Students and Alumni Serve as STEM Fellows

for the Chevron STEM ZONE Exhibit at the

Men's and Women's US Open in Pinehurst, NC


Chevron picChevron picture


Fayetteville State University students and alumni from the Department of Middle Grades, Secondary and Specialized Subjects along with one Johnson C. Smith University and two North Carolina A & T University students, served as STEM Fellows for the Chevron STEM ZONE Exhibit at the Men's and Women's US Open Championships in Pinehurst, NC from June 9 - 22, 2014.

The STEM ZONE is a unique hands-on and interactive warehouse-style environment built to inspire K-12 students to inquire about the science of sporting events.  The design is intended to feel like a cross between a room in Hogwarts and a den in the Matrix.

The STEM ZONE features learning stations, where the public and students of all ages can learn about the science within sports. These included broadcast technology, agronomy, Bernoulli's Principle, reaction time and thermal imaging, as well as several other engaging and educational stations.

The following students served as STEM Fellows:

Eric Kibler (Team Leader, FSU '14) Paretta Hall-Johnson (FSU)
Rico Mitchell (FSU '14) Lorne Whitehead, Jr. (FSU)
Paul Murray (FSU) Nicole Pratt (FSU)
Emily Richards (FSU '14) Gabrielle Alexander-Lee (FSU '13)
Davit Gooseby (FSU '14) Dawn Stock (FSU '14)
Darius Marsh (FSU '11) Ashley Wlezen (FSU '14)
Jacob Richards (FSU) Tyhron Leak (NC A & T)
Jocquez McFayden (Johnson C. Smith) Miayah Guinn (NC A & T)


Spring 2015 Strong Scholarship Recipient

Cartinia BivensCongratulations to Ms. Cartinia Bivens for being selected as a Spring 2015 Strong Foundation Scholarship recipient. The Strong Foundation Scholarship supports undergraduate teacher education candidates who have exhibited outstanding success and enthusiasm in field experience prior to the final year of the program or graduate teacher education candidates whose life experiences prior to enrollment reveal the same traits.

Ms. Cartinia Bivens is enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching degree program for Middle Grades Mathematics and is scheduled to complete her degree requirements in May 2015.  She is currently student teaching 8th grade mathematics at Lewis Chapel MIddle School in Cumberland County.


2014 - 2015 Ruby Smith Wilkerson Scholarship Recipient

Tanea Murphy

Congratulations to Ms. Tanea Murphy for being selected as a 2014 - 2015 Ruby Smith Wilkerson Scholarship Recipient. The Ruby Smith Wilkerson Scholarship was established by the family of Ruby Smith Wilkerson to support undergraduate teacher education candidates.

Ms. Tanea Murphy is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education degree program with concentrations in Mathematics and Special Education and is scheduled to complete her degree requirements in May 2015. She is currently student teaching at Luther Nick Jeralds Middle School in Cumberland County. 


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