GCS Wins Spirit of North Carolina Awards from United Way of Greensboro

For Immediate Release: Feb. 26, 2020

Contact: Janson Silvers (336) 370-8307
Media Desk (336) 574-5730

GCS Wins Spirit of North Carolina Awards from United Way of Greensboro
GCS is the only school district in the state to win this award

Greensboro, N.C. – Earlier this month, Guilford County Schools and Vandalia Elementary were recognized as recipients of the prestigious “Spirit of North Carolina Awards.” Only three of these awards were given out by the United Way of Greater Greensboro, and GCS claimed two of them.

Guilford County Schools was also honored with the “Best Practice Showcase Award,” which recognized strategies the district has used that led to greater engagement and more success in its fundraising campaign.

“Supporting the United Way is supporting the families of Guilford County Schools, and it’s clear our employees understand that,” said Guilford County Schools Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras. “By investing in the United Way and their partners we’re truly investing in the quality of life for our students and their families. Thank you GCS for your generosity!”

Each year, the United Way of North Carolina recognizes organizations in the state that have been successful in raising funds to support their community and have also dedicated themselves to being part of a long-term solution that builds stronger communities. This year, the awards were selected by a panel of 25 judges representing United Way organizations from all over North Carolina.

Vandalia Elementary, where more than 80 percent of students are on free or reduced lunch and 93 percent of students are children of color, raised money with the lesson of “every little bit can add up to a big difference.” The school took an innovative approach and asked students to bring loose change and put it in an administrator’s bucket. The administrator with the least amount of change would be slimed in front of the whole school.

Principal Stephanie Rakes knew as the leader of the school, students wanted her to be in last place, so she obliged and in front of the whole school and Facebook live she was slimed. This example of raising money is one reason Vandalia was recognized with the Spirit of North Carolina Award.

“We wanted our students to know it doesn’t matter if you have a little or have a lot. Giving something, even something small, can add up and change someone’s life. You can be that difference,” said Rakes.

“Communities are known by the schools they keep,” said Linda Wilson, Guilford County Schools director of community and business partnerships. “The impact our 10,000 employees can have on the greater Greensboro area is immeasurable. By educating our workers about the importance of giving back to our communities, we can do more than ever imagined.”

About Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina and the 47th largest of more than 14,000 in the United States, serves more than 73,000 PK-12 students at 125 schools. With approximately 10,000 employees, GCS works in partnership with parents, businesses, colleges and the community to deliver an education that connects student interests and skills with the careers and economy of our future here and around the world. We provide educational choices to meet individual student needs in a culturally diverse citizenship and new opportunities to help our students Soar to Greatness. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.gcsnc.com<nam05.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gcsnc.com%2F&data=02%7C01%7Csilverj%40gcsnc.com%7C33856809632042b172ee08d7acca9a56%7C9ae2fb1fdea24c4381947624fcbbb30c%7C0%7C0%7C63716785…>.

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