That transitional year before middle school isn't always easy...
Kids have a lot of learning to do before they leave grammar school and at Snow Hill Elementary a special teacher is getting them ready.
Marilyn Highlander addresses her Literacy Class, "The two parts we don't have in a friendly letter that we have in a business letter are the colon and the inside address."
These 5th graders are learning the finer points of a business letter.
Today they're writing to Snow Hill Principal Shane Harwood... It's one of the basic life skills Ms. Highlander says her kids can't live without, "(Like) alphabetical order, knowing how to use the telephone book. It just comes in handy..."
Ms. Highlander says her job is more than simply teaching literacy... it's about getting her kids ready for the next level, "They're very excited about going to middle school, but there's a lot of things that they need to have a good solid foundation to be prepared to do it."
And...at least one Snow Hill Grandmother says Ms. Highlander is the right one to set that foundation...
Betty Oliver reads from her Golden Apple nomincation letter, "She does not quit until the student has the necessary help."
Last year Oliver's great-granddaughter, Taya Wade, was in Highlander's class.
Oliver says the teacher found the way to keep Taya focused and get her ready for 6th grade, "It was special that she would pay that much attention and try to get Taya the help that she needed."
For Ms. Highlander teaching these kids means preparing them to excel.
She's been at it for more than 30 years... And she still feels the thrill of success, "Being able to see them ready to go on to middle school. It's exciting."