Mural completed at Poplin Elementary

INDIAN TRAIL – Poplin Elementary School is home to a new mural after months of work.

Larry Ferguson, a painting instructor at Central Piedmont Community College’s Levine campus, and friends spent about 300 hours during the spring and summer months working on the 18-feet-by-11-feet mural depicting children painting their own mural about their community.

Poplin Elementary received a grant from the Union County Community Arts Council during the 2012-13 school year to be used for creating a mural in the front hallway. Ferguson recruited about a dozen second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students to paint flowers, a rock and several other areas on the mural.

“This mural is truly a point of pride for our Poplin community … What a wonderful experience for our students to see how an artist accomplishes a work of this scale. It is a masterpiece,” Poplin Elementary art teacher Shannon Helms said in a news release.

FFA hosts Coca-Cola fundraiser

WEDDINGTON – The Future Farmers of America Alumni of Weddington High School is hosting a Coca-Cola fundraiser through Sept. 30.

The group is selling 24-count cases of 20-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola products. The price per case is $22 – about 91 cents per bottle, according to a news release. Brands available include: Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Mellow Yellow and Dr. Pepper.

Other available products include 24-count cases of 16.9-ounce bottles of Dasani, which cost $13 per case, and 12-count cases of 10-ounce bottles of Tum-E Yumies (red and blue), which are selling at $11 per case.

Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit various FFA endeavors.

“This fundraiser will increase our abilities to provide scholarships, college visits, chapter trips, enhanced activities and much more so that we may better serve our students and community,” the group said in a news release.

Pickup for items is scheduled for Oct. 14 to 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Weddington High School. Cash and checks made payable to “WHS FFA” are accepted, as well as online payments. Find more information and place orders at under “support us” and “Coke sale.”

Union Academy receives financial reporting awards

MONROE – Union Academy was recently awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, or GFOA.

The school received the award for its comprehensive annual financial report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. The award is the “highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting,” according to a news release.

Union Academy is the only charter school in North Carolina to apply for and receive the award, according to the release. This is the third year the school has received the Certificate of Achievement.

UCPS recognized for donating 2,000 pints of blood

Union County Public Schools principals were recently recognized by the American Red Cross for donating a total of 2,053 pints of blood during the 2012-13 school year – an increase from the 1,876 pints given by UCPS during the 2011-12 school year.

Twelve elementary schools, three middle schools and eight high schools hosted blood drives. Prospect Elementary collected more blood than any other elementary school, with 70 units collected. Cuthbertson Middle came out ahead in the middle school category, with 30 units collected, and Porter Ridge High took top honors among all UCPS schools by collecting 279 units.

Porter Ridge hosts blood drives twice a year, which are spearheaded by members of the school’s Interact Club and involve about 50 student volunteers, according to a news release.

The 2,053 units of blood collected among Union County schools could potentially save the lives of 6,159 people, the release said.

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