=ROSES to the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club and the other folks who collaborated to open the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club Teacher Supply Store.The store opened its doors earlier this month for classroom teachers of kindergarten, first and second grade, plus primary teachers of self-contained autistic children. Each teacher received a $100 voucher to spend at the store on supplies and materials for the classroom, including math instructional materials. Teachers often spend money out of their own pockets -- sometimes hundreds of dollars -- on supplies to supplement the classroom materials the school system pays for. There's something wrong with that picture, but until a systemic solution comes along, the new supply store will help defray those extra expenses for individual teachers.The store was the result of lots of folks coming together: the Rotary Club, led by president Bill Whisenant, who volunteered and allocated funds for the project; Staples and A Sea of Learning, which provided discounts for the purchase of the materials; Bryan Properties and Rosemary Waldorf, who donated temporary space for the store; and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation board members who volunteered and surveyed teachers about their needs. Other businesses pitched in as well.Plans are to expand the store to teachers of additional grade levels in August.
ROSES to the organizers and participants of what has to be a one-of-a-kind benefit event that raises money for the N.C. Children's Hospital.The fourth annual Krispy Kreme Challenge will take place Saturday in Raleigh. Participants run two miles from the N.C. State bell tower to the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store on Peace Street and then run back again. The catch: while they're at Krispy Kreme, before they set out on the two-mile run back to the bell tower, they stop and eat a dozen doughnuts. They're supposed to complete the whole affair in less than 60 minutes.Last year the event drew nearly 1,400 participants -- of whom about 600 completed the challenge -- and raised more than $10,000 for the Children's Hospital.Among those most responsible for the success of the challenge are Herman Dubose, owner of the Peace Street Krispy Kreme store; Jim Micheels, owner of Raleigh Running Outfitters; and the Bay Six USA apparel company.They're all in Raleigh, and the event began as a dare by some NCSU students, but it benefits the Children's Hospital, which is here in Chapel Hill and treats children from all over the state. There is no better cause.By the way, it's not too late for runners over here in the Triangle's western outpost to get in on the fun. You can register as a full challenger, which means you commit to eating a dozen doughnuts, or a casual runner, which means you eat as many, or as few, as you wish. Check out www.krispykremechallenge.com.
ROSES to Philip Gura, a professor at UNC whose book "American Transcendalism: A History" has been named a nonfiction finalist for a 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award. You remember the Transcendentalists -- Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson . . . well, you probably remember those two, anyway.Gura's lively narrative history brings the Transcendentalists -- Thoreau and Emerson, yes, but also a host of lesser-known figures -- back to life. The Washington Post's Michael Dirda wrote that the book is "chockablock with anecdote and information. Gura underscores how much we remain the descendants of these still too-little known thinkers and crusaders."Congratulations, professor Gura. We're pulling for you.