4-H club, art show up next for home-schoolers

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — At the city of Rockingham’s outermost limits, nearly 20 children crowd around Amanda Smith.

They’ve been asked to brainstorm possible names for the Richmond County Home Educators 4-H Club. The club needs a name, or a mascot, said Smith, who focused the list of possibilities on animals. After choosing a name, the group will apply for approval from the Richmond County office of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Carmen Hadinger checks in an entry submitted by one of John Hutchinson's home-schooled children Thursday afternoon at Castlewood Park.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Carmen Hadinger checks in an entry submitted by one of John Hutchinson’s home-schooled children Thursday afternoon at Castlewood Park.

The setting to do this is nearly perfect. Instead of a traditional classroom, the kids are at Castlewood Park overlooking the remnants of Ledbetter Lake. Instead of desks, textbooks and yellow pencils, however, the students’ eyes are focused on green trees, bugs in the air and the combination of dirt and sand that comprise the Sandhills region.

Smith tries to encourage the suggestions to come one at a time. That’s not possible and she scribbles furiously to keep up with the demand as favorites are shouted out: tiger, snake, wolf, horse, “lions, tigers and bears, oh my!,” raccoon, whale, shark, coyote, cardinal and blue jay.

Smith and the other parents smile at the idea. Smith tries to talk some of the suggestions off the list. The idea is for students to vote on the mascot at the upcoming art show — set to run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on May 21 at First United Methodist Church in Rockingham. The animal with the most votes will become the group’s mascot.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Chloee Macedo, 3, of Hamlet, enjoys time on the swing at Castlewood Park.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Chloee Macedo, 3, of Hamlet, enjoys time on the swing at Castlewood Park.

“Shark,” Jordan Wood insisted. “That’s the animal I love most of all.”

But Smith manages to talk Jordan into agreeing to take shark off the list.

“We don’t live by the ocean and there’s no sharks in the lake,” Smith said.

Jordan agrees to table sharks from consideration — so long as alligators and snakes remain on the list. Smith acquiesces.

Off the list also are whale and horse, but a passionate protest puts horses back on the ballot.

The blue jay is off, too, but the cardinal stays. It’s good to have a bird on the list, Smith said. Besides, “a cardinal would be nice. We are in North Carolina. That’s our state bird.”

* * * 

There are roughly 50 entries — so far — for the May 21 art show, the first for the Richmond County Home Educators. The event is open to the public. The home-schooled group has about 30 families involved of the 117 children being home-schooled in Richmond County.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Jordan Wood goes horizontal at Castlewood Park.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Jordan Wood goes horizontal at Castlewood Park.

Artists include: Austin Hadinger, Hayden Hadinger, Carson Hadinger, Hudson Hadinger, Abi Hadinger, Ian Hadinger, Isaiah Smith, Samuel Smith, Katya Buckner, Pete Buckner, Jordan Wood, Nathan Wood, Parker Medlin, Ivey Lynn Medlin, Knox Layton, Ben Layton, Faith Norton, William Norton, Colton Briles, Caroline Briles, Robbie Shankle, Cayden Shankle, Vera Warsin, Billy Macedo III, Gwen Macedo, Skyler Macedo, Chloee Macedo John Patrick Hutchinson, Alex Hutchinson and Eve Hutchinson.

Along with many of the students’ entries, some of their siblings also will submit works of art. The show encompasses the spectrum of the home-schooled group, from pre-kindergarten through high school.

Merrielle Buckner explained this first art show is able to get off the ground because Hope Norton. Norton, an award-winning artist, helped the students compile submission papers. The range of art will run the gamut from two-dimensional, three-dimensional, woodworking, painting and more.

Carmen Hadinger said it couldn’t have been started without Norton’s guidance.

“Most of us don’t have that experience,” Hadinger said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Buckner said the home school group uses local resources, such as Richmond Community Theatre’s Young People’s Theatre summer camp, the Richmond County Arts Council and The Hive Recreation Center in East Rockingham as places to pool artistic talents and teach the students at a variety of levels.

“Some people get some software,” Buckner said. “Let’s see what’s out there.”

Buckner said members of the group attended the recent Arts Alive! event, a two-night gala at Cole Auditorium on the campus of Richmond Community College in Hamlet.

* * * 

Billy Macedo and his family are transplants from California. They moved to Richmond County two years ago. While his mother, Jenni Macedo, moved to home school his younger sister, Skyler, at an early age, Billy was left in public school until this year, in the middle of his freshman year.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

It wasn’t for him, and relocating to Richmond County made that fact apparent.

“I decided it’s not for my child,” Jenni Macedo said of the traditional classroom setting.

Macedo said Billy struggled until being home-schooled. Now, she said, he can focus on academics. Billy feels he has adjusted well.

“It’s harder,” he said of the course work, “but it’s good.”

Macedo said it’s more than good.

“He’s a much, much happier child,” she said. “He never really clicked out here.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

 

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Outdoors

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