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CHALLENGED DURHAM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL REACHES OUT TO PARENTS TO SUCCEED

Behind the brown brick facade of Lakewood Elementary on Saturday morning, rocket ships took flight, circuit boards were assembled, and strawberries were smashed and analyzed by parents, students and staff. The activities were all part of the school’s “Rocket to Adventure” event, designed to reach out to local families and showcase the school to potential parents as the school district gears up for its annual magnet fair and lottery. “We are trying to say, ‘Hey guys, we are here,’‚ÄČ” said Charlotte Cummings Crone, the event’s organizer and parent to two Lakewood Elementary School students. “There is more here behind the numbers.” The school is recognized as a priority school by the state, meaning that 50 to 60 percent of students are at grade level or below. For the 2011-12 school year, 46.3 percent of students were at or above grade level for reading and 67.9 percent of students were at or above grade level for math. Lakewood Elementary is also a Title I school, with more than 90 percent of students on free or reduce lunch. To change the numbers both teachers and parents must be invested in the school, Crone said.

“Of course you want your baby to go to the best school,” she said. “But if you are an involved parent, the reality is your kids are going to succeed no matter where they are.”

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