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HIGH POINT AREA NON-PROFITS AWARDED $256,560 IN ARTS AND TOURISM-RELATED PROJECTS

The High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau (HPCVB) has announced the recipients of the 32nd annual Arts & Tourism Grants Program. Twenty-five area non-profits will receive $256,560 from June 2015 to June 2016. The program has awarded over $4.7 million to 643 projects in its history.

The purpose of the Arts & Tourism Grants Program is for specific touristrelated events or activities, such as arts or cultural events. Organizations should use Arts & Tourism Grant funding for promoting, improving, constructing, financing, or acquiring facilities or attractions that enhance the development of tourism in High Point. The program encourages High Point non-profit agencies to contribute to HPCVB’s mission of promoting and encouraging economic development in High Point through travel and tourism. HPCVB allocated grant money to several new projects this year including:

“Celebrate the Old North State” submitted by the Alexander Martin Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, received $10,600 to hold a six day event, May 9 to 15 showcasing High Point’s history and art during Historic Preservation Month.

The Piedmont Triad International Airport submitted three new projects including a collaboration with local sculpturist, Chuck Foster for $1,500; a partnership with Theatre Art Galleries for an art exhibit for $2,900, and $11,667 for their Fly Easy High Point Marketing Campaign.

The City Project submitted two projects for the return of the Ignite Whistle Stop Concert Series in the amount of $9,417 and the Designer Shop N Stay Event for $2,133.

Southwest Renewal Foundation will receive funding for four projects including the WONDER sculpture for $500; the High Point Garden Tour for $1,500; the High Point by Design Trolley and Antiques Tour $6,000; and the second year of the High Point Core City Public Art Project for $2,600.

WINSTON-SALEM/FORSYTH COUN- TY SCHOOLS’ GRADUATION RATE GROWS FOR 8TH STRAIGHT YEAR

Seniors in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools graduated at a higher rate for the eighth consecutive year, with 85.4 percent of the class of 2015 graduating in four years, according to results presented to the State Board of Education.

WS/FCS students’ math scores increased slightly, while reading and science scores showed small decreases. About two-thirds of schools met or exceeded their growth goals in the third year that North Carolina used more rigorous standards to measure academic progress.

The results were released under the NC READY accountability program. These include graduation rates, proficiency levels on end-of-grade and end-of-course tests, academic growth and school performance grades.

Over the past seven years, WS/FCS’s graduation rate has increased 14.6 percentage points from 70.8 in 2008. The rate increased from 83.5 in 2013-14 to 85.4 last year. The percentage of students graduating in five years also increased from last year, from 83.7 to 85.1. The state’s four-year graduation rate in 2015 was 85.4 percent, and its five-year rate was 86.2.

The graduation rate has increased with the help of a community pledge to raise it to 90 percent by 2018. The Community Education Collaborative, The United Way of Forsyth County, the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Graduate. It Pays, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Communities in Schools and The Forsyth Promise have each supported programs to help students graduate.

“Our community committed seven years ago to raise the graduation rate to 90 percent in 10 years,” Superintendent Beverly Emory said. “With three years to go, our target is in sight. We have to remain focused with the help our students, teachers, families and partners to reach our goal.”

More than 95 percent of students graduated in four years from Early College, Middle College and Atkins and Reagan high schools. Three other schools – East Forsyth, Mount Tabor and West Forsyth – had graduation rates greater than 90 percent.

Other results released today include how students did on the end-of-grade and end-of-course tests that measure proficiency. !

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