Rutherford Weekly

August 04, 2022

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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Cora Goforth said she was told that as a three year old she was prone to pick up trash wherever she was. Whether walking with her parents, Curtis and Jennifer Goforth, in a park, along a street or around the house, if there was a piece of trash Cora grabbed it up. Trash was out of place in the environment. The now 15-year-old East Rutherford High School junior has taken her passion for a cleaner environment much further. She recently completed building an outdoor classroom at Forrest Hunt Elementary School to teach children about taking care of the environment. Cora, a member of the Girl Scout in Troop 1853 at Salem United Methodist Church Girl Scout Troop, created the outdoor classroom as her Gold Award project. The 96-hour project earned her the Gold Award — Girl Scouts highest award. It will be formally presented next May. "I believe it is important for young students to get involved in environmental education," Cora said while sitting in the outdoor classroom recently. She hopes the outdoor classroom and the age appropriate curriculum offered there to students K-5 will help encourage young children to love the environment and help conserve the outdoors around them. "It is an issue that affects all of us," Cora said. "Protecting nature is really important." A Girl Scout since the days of being a Daisy, Cora and her family have moved several times over the years. Her dad, Curtis Goforth is a Methodist minister. He has pastored the First United Methodist Church in Forest City just over a year. Her mom Jennifer Goforth is an Exceptional Children's teacher at Cliffside Elementary School — the second elementary school to receive the rewards of Cora's project. Her younger sister, Lylah, is a Silver Award winner in Girl Scouts and is an eighth grader at East Middle School. When Cora decided she wanted to build an outdoor classroom, she contacted all the elementary school principals in Rutherford County asking if the respective schools would be interested in having an outdoor classroom on the campus. Forrest Hunt's former principal Tammie Ashe was the fi rst to respond, thus the location was chosen. After Dr. Ashe left Forrest Hunt to take an administrative position with the Rutherford County Schools, new principal Scott Hopper has been the project coordinator at Forrest Hunt. "They were both helpful," Cora said of Ashe and Hopper. "He has been so excited and really positive," Cora said. He has been instrumental in seeing the project through. The classroom is located several hundred yards from the actual school buildings and people can get to the classroom by walking to the woods behind the school and following a trail built by Boy Scout Drew Henderson many years ago. The trail was refurbished and cleared by Cora and volunteers. It now leads children and teachers to the outdoor classroom about 50 feet from the edge of the woods. The amphitheater style classroom seats from 30 to 40 children, depending on the age level of children. There's a white board in the center of the open air classroom and a fence surrounds the perimeter of the class space. The fi ne was in place but Cora repainted the fence. She bought the lumber and measured and cut the wood for the benches. She stained the benches with stain donated by the Habitat Restore. "One thing I wish I had done earlier was to buy the supplies," Cora said. When she decided to do the project she priced lumber and other materials last September. When she returned in March to buy the materials, "the price was doubled. I wish I had bought them earlier." In the process of building the classroom Cora surveyed the teachers asking if they would utilize the space and the responses were positive. Forrest Hunt lead teacher Laura Thompson, who taught summer school in June, said she took some of her classes to the outdoor classroom. "They loved it," Thompson said. While the classroom is at Forrest Hunt, Cliffside Elementary is also the recipient of Cora's project. At Cliffside, Cora took the project a little further and conducted an outreach project going to the school for a scavenger hunt and a glance at environmental issues with students there. Scavenger hunts were also conducted for students at Forrest Hunt. Continued on page 3. ISSUE NO. 31 • August 4, 2022 ISSUE NO. 31 • August 4, 2022 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 Our 30 th Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers WE ARE NOW OFFERING WE ARE NOW OFFERING QUALITY SERVICE AT AFFORDABLE PRICES QUALITY SERVICE AT AFFORDABLE PRICES Michael Harton, Doug Harton Jr., Owner 187 North Powell Street, Forest City 828-245-0923 ADAS Calibration In House On Vehicles ADAS Calibration In House On Vehicles Equipped With Front-View Cameras Equipped With Front-View Cameras 345 South Broadway, Forest City 828-245-8067 M O O RE ' S AUTO S ALES ©Community First Media Community First Media Call or come by today! NO CREDIT, POOR CREDIT LET US DECIDE! LET US DECIDE! An outdoor school classroom, Gold Award An outdoor school classroom, Gold Award project; a passion of a young environmentalist project; a passion of a young environmentalist Article by Jean Gordon; photos by Jean Gordon & contributed IN GOD WE TRUST! IN GOD WE TRUST! Staining the benches. Volunteers assisting Cora. Sawing wood for classroom benches. Cora Goforth.

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