Meeting Students' Needs After State Education Budget Cuts


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As North Carolina school systems struggle with a third year of severe education budget cuts, administrators say parents' help and support are needed more than ever to minimize the impact on children. Superintendents across the state have cut millions from their budgets, which means students could face everything from longer bus rides to less help at school.

Speculation about education budget cuts across North Carolina was rampant this year, with worst-case scenarios calling for hundreds of teacher layoffs. When the N.C. legislature passed its budget in June, however, many school leaders breathed a sigh of relief that the cuts were less than anticipated. The state's largest school systems have been able to preserve many teacher and teacher assistant jobs, cutting elsewhere instead.

"Nobody is happy with a 6-percent cut in funding [in Wake County public schools], but there were a lot of rumors of 10 percent, and I would just say, 'Steady in the foxhole, let's wait,'" says Wake County Public School System Superintendent Tony Tata.

The effects of the budget cuts will be felt differently across the state. In Wake County, for example, the school system is losing more than 40 central office positions to ensure that the teacher-to-student ratio remains the same. In Charlotte, many elementary schools will start earlier or later to save money on transportation, and several middle schools' sports have been cut. In Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, foreign language classes in elementary schools will be cut, and high school and middle-school class sizes will increase.

Teachers saved as enrollment increases

While school systems focused on saving teachers' jobs, growing school systems will likely have to make room for hundreds or thousands of new students this fall. In Wake County, more teachers will be hired in 2011-2012 to preserve class size as enrollment goes up, Tata says. The school system is also adding programs to make all of its schools as desirable as possible and reorganizing its central office.

"We have a $1.2 billion budget, and my priorities within that budget are to protect teachers and classrooms first," Tata says. That commitment "will minimize the impact of the budget on parents and students, which is the overarching goal."

The cuts include layoffs in Wake County's central office and the elimination of 70 janitorial positions. The system is also removing one clerical position from each school and cutting teacher assistants' and assistant principals' pay.

Chapel-Hill Carrboro City Schools faced state budget cuts totaling $6.2 million but spared teacher positions, reducing funding for supplies, mentor pay and textbooks.

School officials in Guilford County originally anticipated $35.6 million in cuts, but after reviewing the state budget, the school board expects to cut $14.3 million. While the school system did not cut any full-time teaching jobs or require teacher salary reductions or furloughs, leaders are anticipating the loss of 64 positions, including 15 custodian jobs.

"We have tried to reduce our impact to the classroom," says Sharon Ozment, chief financial officer for Guilford County Schools.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools restored hundreds of teacher positions originally removed for the 2011-2012 school year after the state cut $30 million less than anticipated and Mecklen-burg County awarded the schools an additional $26 million. That means teacher assistants and support positions, such as media specialists and school counselors, will be protected.

"We're incredibly thankful to the county for the additional support they gave us," says Eric Davis, CMS school board chairman. "That, combined with the state's cuts not being as bad as they originally forecasted, is helping us preserve about 1,000 positions."

CMS leaders also say there is now enough money to hire more teachers, which could reduce high-school class sizes.

Cuts felt elsewhere

School systems still had to find a way to remove millions from their budgets. In Charlotte, the school board chopped about $50 million. That means another year of no funding for middle school sports, although the system recently found enough money from other sources to restore eight of the 13 sports. Schools have closed or been consolidated, and 45 minutes have been added to the elementary school day to streamline school bus usage. Like Wake County, CMS has also reduced its maintenance staff.

"The grass will get longer, fewer people will be cleaning the schools and the schools will be warmer in the hotter months and colder in the winter months because our thermostats will be adjusted to save money," Davis says.

Guilford County has maintained cuts to its central office and supplies budget, although school leaders say this may be the last year they can absorb such cuts without making significant changes.

If 2012-2013 brings similar cuts, education leaders across the state say widespread teacher layoffs likely are unavoidable.

"The system is under so much strain, and for the students who need the additional support the most, it's going to be so difficult for our staff to provide that support so that they can continue to show academic progress at the rate (we'd like)," Davis says.

Less funding for Pre-K

Education for the youngest - and often neediest - students has been the topic of intense discussion this year, and these programs will also see cuts and changes. More at Four, a highly regarded pre-kindergarten program that focuses on helping underserved children get ready for school, has been cut by 11.5 percent and was moved from the N.C. Department of Education to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child Development July 1. Now, the program is known as the N.C. Pre-Kindergarten Program.

School leaders say budget cuts coupled with a legislative requirement that the program charge qualifying families a co-pay could cripple More at Four, which now serves about 40,000 children in North Carolina. While some worry that NCPKP will become subsidized child care rather than an educational program, others are more optimistic.

"The Division of Child Development has said they expect all of the quality components to remain in place," says Jean Goodman, executive director at the Guilford County Partnership for Children, an agency that administers early childhood development funding. "Absolutely, we'll have a high-quality pre-K program. We don't know all of the details (yet), but parents should go ahead and register their children if they qualify."

At press time, administrators were still figuring out how to allocate pre-kindergarten money, whether the number of slots would be reduced and how much the program would be subsidized.

"We're starting out in the hole, and we've been cut, and we don't know how many slots we'll have or where they will be," Goodman says.

Charlotte's Bright Beginnings program, a public-school preschool for at-risk children, will close its preschool centers because of budget cuts, Davis says. The program will not lose seats, but all Bright Beginnings classrooms will move into elementary schools.

"We're doing the best we can to try to put those classes into schools close to where they live, but depending on how that shakes out, some students might have to go to a school that's not as close to them as a center," Davis says.

Governor's School summer program in limbo

The N.C. Governor's School, a decades-old summer program for high-achieving high school students, also is in limbo.

The program has been cut from the state budget - some legislators say it had to go to protect teachers and classrooms - but the program could continue in 2012 if private donors come up with about $1 million.

The N.C. Governor's School was founded in 1963 and offers academic enrichment programs covering everything from dance to science. The program had been free until 2010, when students were required to pay a $500 tuition fee because of previous budget cuts.

The six-week program, which costs about $2,100 per student, is held on the campuses of Salem College in Winston-Salem and Meredith College in Raleigh.

The Governor's School Alumni Association and The Governor's School Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the program, are raising money to keep the program going, even if it has to be scaled down. The foundation set a goal to raise $100,000 by Aug. 1.

The state Board of Education could discuss the future of the Governor's School this month. For more information about how to help, visit www.ncgsfoundation.org or www.facebook.com/ncgsfoundation.

What parents can do

Parent participation is more important than ever as schools try to offer the same level of education with fewer resources. Here are some things you can do to help.

*     Go virtual. World language and advanced placement classes in high schools have been some of the first to go, and many students have turned to online classes to fill the void. N.C. Virtual School, which opened in 2007 and serves about 46,000 students annually, has had steady growth, between 35 and 50 percent, in the last few years, says David Edwards, chief communications and professional learning officer for N.C. Virtual Public School. Especially popular are language classes such as Latin, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

"The parents have been very pleased with our instruction and our model," Edwards says. "The biggest feedback we get is their student has the opportunity to take an additional course that was not offered locally."

The virtual school, based in Raleigh, will expand its advanced placement-level course sections and debut more classes that focus on science, math, technology and engineering in the fall.

However, virtual classes may not escape budget cuts. The state requires public schools to pay for its students to take the classes, which cost around $300 per student. Some smaller school systems have said they can't pay the bill.

*     Help out at home. Teachers may be stretched thin with larger classes or less help from teacher assistants. Parents can help by making sure their child is doing his or her homework and keeping up with classroom assignments.

*     Take on little tasks. Teachers spend precious time on administrative work, such as changing out bulletin boards or hanging student artwork in the hallway. Regularly ask teachers if you can help them with these tasks, and you'll free up more time for them to spend in the classroom.

*     Keep teachers supplied. When teachers run short on classroom supplies, they may be too shy to ask parents to pitch in, says Mary McCray, outgoing president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators and a retired elementary school teacher. Ask teachers what they need, and ask them to periodically email their supply lists to parents. Don't forget non-classroom teachers such as media specialists and P.E. teachers. They may need supplies as well.

*     Organize a work day. Most school systems are cutting back on custodial and maintenance services, and parents can help with everything from landscaping to trash pickup. A group of parents dedicating a Saturday morning to school grounds work can make a big difference.

*     Volunteer - and take a friend. Schools have many volunteer opportunities, and school principals or PTA leaders can help match your skills with volunteer jobs. Some schools already have specific needs, such as elementary schools in Union County that are losing media assistants, says Union County Public Schools Superintendent Ed Davis. Consider volunteering in high-needs schools, where help is needed most. If you know retirees, religious education teachers or other community members who might have free time to volunteer, ask them, McCray says. Schools often operate regular volunteer shifts, such as weekly tutoring.

*     Help find other funding. Many schools have formed committees to write small, targeted grants for money from corporations and foundations that can help with projects such as a school garden or playground equipment. Also check out www.donorschoose.org, where visitors can fund local teacher projects.

*     Participate in school fundraisers. Some community members are taking the lead in raising money for specific programs, such as saving middle school sports in Charlotte.

Stay calm, stay informed

Keeping up with the news on educational budget cuts can foster understanding of the situation rather than anger and frustration.

"Be aware of the challenges that the teacher faces," Davis says. "Just a little bit of grace and support would go a long way toward helping our teachers serve more students."  n

Marty Minchin is a freelance writer based in Charlotte.

Fitting in five more days

When the N.C. legislature passed its budget in June, it threw in a surprise: a requirement for schools to add five instructional days to the calendar without lengthening the school year.

School systems have been advised to convert five teacher workdays into instructional days, but Wake County Public Schools, Guilford County Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have asked for a waiver on the additional five school days until 2012-2013. Instead, the schools are asking that the requirement be filled by teachers attending training and development programs on teacher workdays.

"(The five additional days) is sort of a last-minute deal that's very disruptive," says Anthony Tata, Wake County Public School System superintendent. School calendars are usually set at least a year in advance, and adding five days now to Wake County's 50 four-track, year-round schools would be particularly difficult.

For More Information

For updated information about local education budgets, visit the following websites:

*     Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

www.chccs.k12.nc.us, select "2011-2012 Budget" from right menu

*     Chatham County Schools

www.chatham.k12.nc.us, search for "2011-2012 budget"

*     Durham Public Schools

www.dpsnc.net/about-dps/budget

*     Johnston County Schools

http://johnston.k12.nc.us, select "District" and "School Board"; budget links on the left menu

*     Orange County Schools

www.orange.k12.nc.us/support_services_pages/finance_11-12_budget.html

*     Wake County Public Schools

www.wcpss.net/news

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Calendar

September 2019

For almost 200 years, farmers brought their wheat and corn to what is now Yates Mill to have their grains ground into flour and meal. Today, you can stop by the Yates Mill visitor center to see a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: Free

Where:
River Park
114 E. Margaret Ln.
Hillsborouh, NC  27278
View map »


Website »

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Visual artists from near and far will showcase their work, and 75 performing arts groups provide continuous music, dance and entertainment throughout the festival including extended Saturday...

Cost: $5 suggested donation; free for children under 12

Where:
Durham Arts Council
120 Morris Street
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Durham Arts Council
Telephone: 919-560-2719
Contact Name: Susan Tierney
Website »

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Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
Fayetteville St. City Plaza
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Tour fee: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60 & over), $3/Child (ages 7-16),...

Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
494 Knightdale Station Run
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Cost: Free

Where:
Cary Towne Centre
1105 Walnut St
Cary, NC  27511
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Sponsor: Kids EveryWEAR Consignment Sale
Contact Name: Gail Walker
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Cost: Free

Where:
David R. Kahn Community Campus
12804 Norwood Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27613
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Enjoy all things pepper, kids crafts, live music, artisans, local farmers and much more.

Cost: $5 – $25

Where:
Downtown Pittsboro
Pittsboro, NC


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PepperFest is a celebration of sustainable agriculture, farmers, and the creativity of the Piedmont’s top chefs, brewers and artisans. This outdoor event is held in NC’s...

Cost: $5-$30

Where:
Downtown Pittsboro
205 Lorax Lane #5
Pittsboro, NC  27312
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Sponsor: Abundance NC
Telephone: 919-444-9300
Contact Name: Tami Schwerin
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The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Show More...
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The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Grab your magnifying glass and help solve the many mysteries along the Old Beech Nature Trail. Who left the pile of acorns by the rotten log? Whose scat is that? Use your senses and detective...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Let’s celebrate the arrival of fall! Make a craft inspired by the leaves’ changing colors. We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all ages (adult accompaniment...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

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Rags to Riches Theatre for Young Audiences presents the classic tale for all ages. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Website »

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Let’s celebrate the arrival of fall! Make a craft inspired by the leaves’ changing colors. We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all ages (adult accompaniment required...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

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Learn about the annual, long-distance movement of the migratory birds in our park. We will learn the difference between summer migrants, winter migrants, and permanent residents and then go on a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
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The library invites you to celebrate and enjoy poetry with a series of events for all ages hosted by Hillsborough’s Poet Laureate, Dee Stribling! On the last Wednesdays of the month throughout...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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In honor of Chicanx and Latinx Heritage Month, we’ll enjoy poetry written in English and in Spanish written by Chicanx and Latinx poets.  Following questions and discussion, those attending will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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Apple Day features fresh North Carolina apples, an apple dessert and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture St.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Website »

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Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. See website for hours.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
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Website »

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 “Shinrin-yoku” is a Japanese healing technique which means "taking in the forest atmosphere." Developed in the 1980s, it has become a cornerstone of preventive health...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

This family-friendly urban bluegrass festival features a dance tent, workshops and exhibit hall with instruments and gear in the Raleigh Convention Center, food vendors, a youth stage, juried...

Cost: Free-$60

Where:
, NC

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Enjoy down time in nature, or take part in guided art making, herbalism, outdoor yoga, storytelling, or basic women’s camping skills. Dinner and breakfast included, but take camping...

Cost: $50/member, $55/nonmember.

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Website »

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Come out to the 5th Annual Wolfpack Games at Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center on Friday, September 27th at 6 PM. Enjoy a fun atmosphere and get an exclusive sneak peek at the 2019-2020 NC State...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center
2611 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27695
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Enjoy free bowl cuts by Arrow, Worm Farms; a Most Annoying Sound Off; and Costume Contest. Wear a best orange or blue tuxes. Gates and food trucks will open and begin at 6pm with the movie starting...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Raleigh Meadows
Campus Shore Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Sponsor: VisitCentennial
Telephone: 704-651-3179
Contact Name: Jude DesNoyer
Website »

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Mums and pumpkins take center stage at this festival featuring live music and food trucks.

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. See website for hours.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Give rugby a try. Take part in tag rugby pick-up games every Saturday morning at Baileywick Road Park, near the Second Shelter.  No experience necessary. All ages. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Baileywick Road Park
9501 Baileywick Rd
Second Shelter Field
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Redhawks Rugby
Contact Name: denise travis
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Welcome fall's arrival with a food truck rodeo, car show, face painting, a craft show and more.  

Cost: Free

Where:
125 U.S. 1-A
Youngsville, NC  27596
View map »


Website »

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Celebrate the Fall Harvest with the Cary Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, September 28 along West Chatham Street in Cary! There will be contests and games, craft booths and food trucks lining...

Cost: Free

Where:
West Chatham Street
Cary, NC  27511


Sponsor: Cary Downtown Farmers Market
Telephone: 919-244-6463
Contact Name: Lindsey Chester
Website »

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Take part in a 1.4-mile walk for inclusiveness. Registration and activities begin at 10 a.m.; walk begins at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy refreshments, games, raffle and a decorating station. All ages and...

Cost: $15/family, $5/individual

Where:
Kids Together Playground
111 Thurston Dr.
Cary, NC  27518
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Website »

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Campbell Law School will host a bike ride from “The Creek to the Capital” the morning of Saturday, September 28 as part of its yearlong anniversary celebration. Riders of all skill...

Cost: $40 fee includes T-shirt/lunch

Where:
Finish line @ Campbell Law School
225 Hillsborough St
Raleigh , NC  27603
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Sponsor: Campbell Law School
Telephone: 919-865-5978
Contact Name: Lisa Snedeker
Website »

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Enjoy a day at the park and listen to stories from professional storytellers in this event presented by Wake County Public Libraries and Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
Website »

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Live Entertainment all day, including a Talent Contest. Win the Raffle. Enjoy at least a dozen international options prepared by parishioners-- Mexican, Irish, Filipino just to name a few. ...

Cost: Free festival admission. Food and raffle incur fees

Where:
J. Ashley Wall Towne Square
J. Ashley Wall Towne Square W. Third St. & W. Cypress St.
Wendell, NC  27591
View map »


Sponsor: St Eugene Catholic Church
Telephone: 919-449-5234
Contact Name: Susan Welsh
Website »

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Enjoy live performances, cultural exhibits, children's activities, dragon boat racing and more. Taste a wide collection of ethnic foods and delicacies created by local chefs.

Cost: $5 advance tickets; $8 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger

Where:
Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are provided,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Travel to Germany without leaving the Triangle at this German-inspired festival featuring live music and food, as well as the ever-popular wiener dog races.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lafayette Village
8450 Honeycutt Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Website »

More information

This family-friendly urban bluegrass festival features a dance tent, workshops and exhibit hall with instruments and gear in the Raleigh Convention Center, food vendors, a youth stage, juried...

Cost: Free-$60

Where:
, NC

More information

Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 & 3:00 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's...

Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

In 1979, the NC Legislature designated the Eastern Box Turtle as our state reptile. Learn how you can help conserve this valuable state symbol. Meet Lake Crabtree's adopted turtle, Shel...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Take the family for live music, crafts and food. See website for hours.

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Town Hall
301 W. Main St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Website »

More information

Mums and pumpkins take center stage at this festival featuring food trucks and great music. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


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East Cloud Kungfu hosts a Parent's Night Out event, featuring a safe environment for kids as they about the wide world of kungfu.   Check it out!...

Cost: $25 first child, $20 each additional child

Where:
East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
5655-A Western Blvd
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Sponsor: East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
Telephone: 252-646-7053
Contact Name: Imari Colon
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Railroad Days' 44th consecutive year features the Railroad Days pageant at 7 p.m., where a queen in five age divisions will be crowned. The festival continues Oct. 4-5 in downtown Selma.

Cost: $12/person for pageant admission

Where:
Selma Elementary School
311 W. Richardson St.
Selma, NC  27576
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Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. See website for hours.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2018-19 Education Guide offers 678 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools, academic resources and an Exceptional Child special section.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. In our 2019-20 issue, explore 1,028 resources for family fun.