In July 2016, the Ben Franklin Society was approached by the recently formed Franklin County Educational Foundation to become an “Adopt-a-School” Business Partner (Sponsor) of the Early College High School (ECHS).
ECHS was formally approved as the Signature Project of the Society by its Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting held on December 28, 2016.
ECHS is the only 5-year Franklin County Public School where students receive both a High School and VGCC (Vance Granville Community College) Associates Degree upon graduating. ECHS presently has 200+ Students. ECHS is located adjacent to the VGCC Campus located on NC HWY 56 just south of Louisburg, NC. Enrollment is limited by available classroom space. There is no tuition cost to attend. ECHS in 2017 is the first, and presently the only, NC “A”-rated School in Franklin County.
Our direct involvement began in August 2016.
On August 3rd, we catered a Faculty & Staff Breakfast at ECHS.
On August 18th, Principal Erica Shoulders-Royster attended our Quarterly Society Board of Directors Meeting at Cabin Headquarters – Lynch Creek Farm.
On October 25th, we catered a Franklin County Educational Foundation (FCEF) luncheon at ECHS for FCEF Board of Directors and ECHS Faculty & Staff.
On October 28th, we made an initial delivery of 24 boxes of donated Library Books that were secured from the Perry Memorial Library in Henderson, NC.
On February 10th, 2017, BFS Volunteers held a “Work Day” at the ECHS Library room.
In February, the Society facilitated The Franklin Times Newspaper coverage of the “Success Story” about ECHS “Super Seniors”, Peter and Paul Caroline, who received full-paid scholarships to both Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania.
On February 20th, Bob Radcliffe spoke at the ECHS Senior Seminar on Engineering & Computer Science.
On February 28th, Kerry Carter spoke at the Senior Seminar on Design & Architecture.
On March 1st, Bob Radcliffe met with School Superintendent, Dr. Pascal Mubenga seeking approval to initiate a BFS private industry, fund-raising campaign to provide each ECHS student with a Chromebook Computer. He approved our plan to initially approach Novozymes. To kick-off the campaign, the Ben Franklin Society donated $8000 for the purchase of One Computer Cart and 30 Chromebook Computers (later revised to No Carts and 40 Chromebook Computers).
On March 6th, Bob Radcliffe submitted a Grant Proposal to to the Novozymes Community Relations Committee for $23,400 to purchase 3 Computer Carts and 90 Chromebook Computers.
It was during the process of writing this Novozymes Grant Proposal that the NC State Sales Tax matter was discovered by Bob Radcliffe, that subsequently led to another BFS Initiative to “Eliminate the Sales Tax on All Public School Purchases”. Use this link to DOWNLOAD BOB’s SALES TAX REPORT
On May 5th, we catered a luncheon at ECHS for “Teacher Appreciation Week”.
On May 25th, Bob Radcliffe attended the ECHS Commencement Ceremony held at the Louisburg High School Auditorium during which special recognition was given the Ben Franklin Society for their help throughout the year.
On July 5th, was notified that Novozymes would be unable to fund our outstanding Grant Request.
On July 18th, Bob met with County Manager, Angela Harris about the NC State Sales Tax matter and our ECHS Computer Fundraising Initiative. Angela volunteered to do what she could to help.
On July 26th, BFS received a donation from Tony Barr (Art Beveridge) for $7260 for 1 Cart and 30 Chromebook Computers.
On August 10th, we received notification from Angela Harris that the Franklin County School System (not Novozymes) would fund the requirements of our updated Grant Proposal for 2 Carts and 60 Chromebook Computers.
We announced in our September 2017 BreadWorks Newsletter that the Society had been successful in its effort to provide a Chromebook Computer for each student at ECHS. The Society donated $16,000 and provided 1 Computer Cart and 70 Chromebook Computers.
In our October 2017 BreadWorks Newsletter, we announced the following new objectives for ECHS in 2017-2018:
1) Begin efforts to enlist the support of County Leaders to plan and construct a New Building for ECHS
2) Establish a new ECHS Teacher-Society Volunteer Program that links 1-2 members with each of the seven Teachers to identify, fund-raise and implement “unfulfilled” educational opportunities
3) Begin work to project a clearer image and better understanding of ECHS in Franklin County by helping to create a new School Promotional Brochure
In our November 2017 BreadWorks Newsletter, we announced a Thanksgiving ECHS Fundraiser and provided more detail about our Teacher Partnership and its initial Classroom-by-Classroom needs.
On November 13th, we attended the ECHS-Novozymes “Detergent Challenge” Biotech Contest held from 2:00-5:00pm at Novozymes. Six ECHS Teams of six 10th grade students made presentations of their findings. Three teams were awarded cash prizes. An impressive day by ECHS students.
On November 20th, we held our Teacher Partnership Volunteer Kick-off Meeting at the Cabin where Teacher pairings were decided, Partnership objectives were clarified, and next Steps to get started were outlined.
On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 23rd, a BreadWorks fund-raising event was held at the Cabin for the benefit of upcoming ECHS Classroom Needs being discovered by our new Teacher-Partnership initiative. Over $600 was raised!
On December 2nd we were notified that we had WON $1000 CASH for the $50 Raffle Ticket we purchased from the Franklin County Educational Foundation (FCEF) for their “Christmas Wish” Fund-Raiser. The proceeds will be used to fund our ECHS Teacher Partnership Initiative!
On December 11th, we held the second meeting of our ECHS Teacher Partnership Volunteers who shared their findings after most had met with their assigned Teachers. Decisions were made about some immediate Donations BFS would expedite this month.
On December 18th, Bob Radcliffe met with new Superintendent of FC Schools, Dr. Rhonda Schuhler and FC Schools Facilities Manager, Dr. Larry Webb about future ECHS Building Requirements and other Teacher Support Needs we have discovered.