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Today’s Email Announcements

1) Kiwanis of Banner Elk to Host Fourth of July Duck Races

The Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk is pleased to announce the seventh annual Duck Races, which will take place in the creek at the Banner Elk Town Park after the Fourth of July Parade. There will be many fine prizes awarded in each of the two races, with first prize in each race being $500. Tickets are one for $5 or five for $20 and can be purchased from Kiwanis members who will be canvassing the community. You can also call Kiwanis Treasurer John Heinlein at 828-260-2814 to purchase tickets.

The Banner Elk Kiwanis Club was started in 1968 and has annually provided approximately $40,000-$50,000 to schools, organizations and nonprofit agencies including Feeding Avery Families, Volunteer Avery County and RAM, Smart Start, 4-H Club and Little League.

Big Duck Games, back as title sponsor of this year’s July 4th Duck Race, makes family-friendly mobile games. Flow Free, an addicting puzzle game, is the company’s most popular app with over 100 million downloads. It is available for Apple, Android, Amazon and Windows devices. Visit flowfree.com to download.

Big Duck Games was founded in 2012 by husband-wife team of Michael and Sharon Newman. It started as a side project while both were working at Microsoft. With the success of their game Flow Free, both Michael and Sharon now focus on their company full time. The Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk salutes Michael and Sharon for their continued generous support of our July 4th fundraiser!

A special thanks to prize donors, including Lees-McRae College Summer Theatre, Best Western Mountain Lodge at Banner Elk, Gadabouts Catering, Beech Mountain Club (golf), Ashi Therapy, High Gravity Adventures, Zuzda, Bella’s Italian Restaurant, Banner Elk Subway, Apple Hill Farm, Linville Land Harbor (golf), Edge of the World (rafting), Over Yonder and Sorrento’s Bistro. Thanks to Creative Printing and Internet Services for design work and discounted pricing.

2) ASU and Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Offer ‘Lettuce Learn’ to Educators

Appalachian State University and a Boone-based organization are offering a three-day workshop to help educators incorporate gardening into their curriculum. From July 21-23, the Lettuce Learn Project and the Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Department will host elementary teachers and child care professionals, introducing them to the benefits and basics of garden-based sustainability education as well as provide opportunities to design and practice garden-based lesson ideas.

“Gardens can serve as a platform to teach a variety of important academic lessons from math, science, language arts, social studies, nutrition, and art … to more broader goals such as sustainability education, holistic and systems thinking, teamwork, patience, food system complexities, and community citizenship,” said Lettuce Learn Founder and Director Courtney Baines Smith.

The training will feature two tracks with 20 spots available for  those who work with elementary-aged children and 20 spots for early childhood educators.  The early childhood track will feature multiple learning garden tours including the ASU Child Development Center, the Edible Schoolyard, and Lucy Brock Child Development Lab Program as well as a one-day workshop with Growing Minds, a program of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP).  The elementary school track will feature science education professors from ASU’s Reich College of Education, Leslie Bradbury and Rachel Wilson.  Wilson and Bradbury will focus on creating and implementing garden-based units that integrate Common Core ELA and NC Essential Science Standards, introducing participants to classroom-tested garden units and allowing them to practice creating their own integrated garden-based unit for their own classrooms.

“Lettuce Learn believes it is imperative to offer students an opportunity to learn such lessons in an outdoor, experiential setting that is intimate with place, and we are excited to share this strategy with educators who are eager to dig in,” Baines Smith said.

Sponsors of this event include The Children’s Council of Watauga County, the Southern Appalachian Environmental Research & Education Group of Appalachian State University, the Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Department, The Math and Science Education Center of Appalachian State University, Sustain Appalachian, and the Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics.

This event requires pre-registration and is open to informal and formal educators in the elementary and early childhood setting. The cost is $25 for three days. If you’d like to register or learn more about this event, please visit www.LettuceLearn.org/2015pd. If you’d like to learn more or get involved with the Lettuce Learn Project, visit LettuceLearn.org.

3) Public Invited to Join Amateur Radio Club Field Day Events on June 27-28

The Watauga Amateur Radio Club, an affiliate with the American Amateur Radio Relay League, will join hundreds of other stations during Field Day 2015 on June 27-28.

Field Day is a practice exercise that involves trained radio operators setting up temporary communications sites with antennas, emergency power and operating around the clock, as would happen during a local or national emergency, such as an earthquake, hurricane or tornado that disrupts normal communications. Field Day stations will be communicating with other stations around the USA, as well as other countries, over shortwave and VHF radios.

We will be operating from Howards Knob, one of the High Country’s beautiful parks, and would like to invite the public to stop by to visit. Field Day communications will start at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 27 until the park closes at 7:30 p.m. The Field Day period ends at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 28.

New Radio Amateurs or others interested in Amateur Radio will have the opportunity to operate a Get On The Air Station (GOTA) with the help of a licensed station control operator.

If you would like to see the excitement of ham radio or if you have been thinking of getting a ham radio license, this is an opportunity to see how ham radio operators work together and how exciting a hobby ham radio is.  The Watauga Amateur Radio Club will start holding a Technician License Class in the month of July. The tentative exam will be the end of August.

For further information about enrolling in the course, check out the Watauga Amateur Radio Club online and the National Association for Amateur Radio.

4) Stars of Nick Jr. Hit Show “Team Umizoomi” to Appear at Tweetsie June 19-21

They’re mighty! They’re mini! They’re math superheroes! Don’t miss Team Umizoomi at Tweetsie Railroad this June 19-21. All your favorite characters, including Milli, her brother Geo and their friendly robot named Bot, will appear daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., when they’ll be ready and waiting to meet and take photos with fans.

Six-year-old Milli, her brother eight-year-old Geo and their friend Bot are all from Umi City, a colorful place where the streets are paved with origami-inspired patterns. The popular superhero team uses their “Mighty Math Power” to help kids with their arithmetic problems, all while introducing young viewers to the concepts of counting, measurement, shapes and patterns. Young guests at Tweetsie Railroad will surely be thrilled to help Milli and Geo in their quest to solve whatever problem is at hand.

Guests that need a break from the challenging world of mathematics can take in all of the other Wild West family fun and adventure Tweetsie has to offer. Hop aboard a train pulled by Tweetsie’s historic steam-powered locomotive for an unforgettable three-mile Wild West adventure. Explore the streets of Tweetsie Railroad¹s very own Western town. Experience the gold rush while panning for gold at Miner¹s Mountain. Get up close and personal with the critters in the Deer Park Zoo. Or take a spin on one of many amusement rides ­ the possibilities are endless.

Tweetsie Railroad is open seven days a week from May 29 through August 16. The park returns to the weekend schedule from Aug. 17 through Nov. 1, including Labor Day Monday. The 2015 season ends Sunday, Nov. 1. The park’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but will be open until 9 p.m. on July 4 for the Fireworks Extravaganza and June 20 and 27 and July 11, 18 and 25 for Cool Summer Nights. Daily admission to Tweetsie Railroad is $41 for adults and $27 for children ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are admitted free. The Ghost Train Halloween Festival will take place Friday and Saturday nights September 25 through October 31 from 7:30-11:30 p.m., when admission is $34 for adults and children. Tickets and Golden Rail Season Passes are available at Tweetsie.com.

Tweetsie Railroad is located on U.S. Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. For more information about the 2015 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit Tweetsie.comor call 877-TWEETSIE (877-893-3874). Find Tweetsie on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/Tweetsie and Twitter and Instagram, @TweetsieRR.