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Article and Photos courtesy of MEGAN REAVIS of Daily Dispatch
Daily Dispatch/ASHLEY STEVEN AYSCUE School Founder and Principal Eric Sanchez directs after-school traffic for student pickup outside Henderson Collegiate Charter School Thursday afternoon. The school is in the middle of its two-weeks of summer session.

Fourth graders today, “the pride of 2019” always.

At least that’s how Henderson Collegiate Charter School Principal and Founder Eric Sanchez sees the school’s inaugural class. In 2019 the students will graduate from high school and possibly go off to college.

To help students live up to the moniker, Sanchez said he needs financial support for the upcoming school year.

While the school is financially sound, “we have ambitious plans,” Sanchez said. “Because of the extras we want to provide to the students, we have to make sure we go out and raise money.”

Several teachers at the school have enlisted the help of DonorsChoose.org to get assistance with needed projects. The online charity allows teachers from across the country to post classroom project requests. Once a project is posted, people can browse through and donate any amount, beginning at $1, to a project they choose. When a project reaches its funding goal, DonorsChoose.org delivers the materials to the school.

Henderson Collegiate has nine projects listed on the website. Projects are in the early stages with about 10 to 20 percent of funding complete.

These projects include:

• Fantastic Fraction Fun which provides learning aids to students working with fractions and decimals. The project has just under $400 to go.

• Phonics Phun, a project that gives phonics games and materials for related activities to students to help develop their reading skills. The project needs around $370 to reach its goal.

• Climbing the Mountain to College to Change The World, a project that helps improve student literacy with different genres of books. The project is short about $470.

• Time for Kids To Become Globally Aware, which provides “Time Magazine for Kids.” The project needs just over $600 to reach its goal.

• Meticulous Mathematicians Need Calculators, a project that will give 110 calculators to the school. It has about $630 to go.

• Creating Fluent Readers, which provides fluency games and activities to help students become proficient readers. The project needs just under $300.

• Read Baby Read, a project that provides students with 14 sets of leveled nonfiction books. Its short about $630.

• Build a Better Tomorrow, which gives six sets of nonfiction books to the school. This project needs almost $500 to be complete.

• Power in Books, a project that gives more nonfiction books to a classroom library. It is short about $430.

Henderson Collegiate is also accepting donations through its website and Facebook page. The school sends out a newsletter, which asks for donations. Most of the donations have been books so far. Parents and others in the community have also given their time to help out around the school.

Additional donations help pay for programming, transportation and food, Sanchez said.

The school’s program, according to Sanchez, includes field trips, hands-on learning, team building and field studies, which he calls “vital to the curriculum.”

Charter schools in North Carolina receive public funding but do not get funds for busing. Henderson Collegiate wants to bus students to school every day and hopes to meet those costs through raised funds. The school already has one donated bus.

Around 83 percent of the students at Henderson Collegiate are on free and reduced lunch. The school doesn’t have a cafeteria, so meals are catered. Most charter schools ask students to bring their lunches. Sanchez wants to continue to provide lunch.

On Sept. 8, 104 fourth-graders will begin fall classes. They are currently attending a short summer session which ends Sept. 3. Fall classes at the new school will be 7:50 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:50 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. Sanchez is starting the school with only fourth graders and will add a grade every year.

The school will be temporarily located in two modular buildings (8,000 square feet each) across from Green-Bullock Assisted Living on 1000 Health Care Center Road.

Sanchez and his wife, co-founder Carice Cantelupe Sanchez, first had the idea for the school while they were Teach for America instructors about a year and a half ago. Eric Sanchez formerly taught at Eaton-Johnson Middle School. Carice Sanchez taught at Pinkston Street Elementary.

Contact the writer at mreavis@hendersondispatch.com.

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