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Erwin Senior Raises $1,000+ for Kids
Erwin Senior Raises $1,000+ for Kids
Posted on 02/26/2021
Clyde A. Erwin High School (CAEHS) senior Pace McConkey started a donation drive that has collected more than $1,000 worth of goods for local children. The Early Childhood Education II Honors student will provide play-based learning materials, toys, and clothing for kids of all ages.(NOTE: Photo on the left is from 2019.)

By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Clyde A. Erwin High School (CAEHS) senior Pace McConkey started a donation drive that has collected more than $1,000 worth of goods for local children.

The Early Childhood Education II Honors student will provide play-based learning materials, toys, and clothing for kids of all ages.

“I just want the children to feel loved and appreciated,” he said. “I wanted to do something to reach as many families and kids as I possibly could.”

In October, as COVID was taking a heavy financial toll on families, Pace thought about starting a toy drive for Christmas. It didn’t materialize in time, but the idea remained. With the help of Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and Preschool Director Caitlin Johnson, Pace set up an online donation drive, which hit its $600 goal in only four days. At the same time, Pace reached out to family and friends for help, quickly adding more than $400 to the total.

“It’s been a pretty amazing experience,” Pace said. “It’s eye-opening to see that people care about other people. You just need to reach out and give them a way to do it. It’s been nice to see the humanity of people, especially during these times.”

Like other BCS high schools, CAEHS hosts a Five Star Preschool to provide the best foundations for young children and real-world experiences for students interested in early childhood education. As an Early Childhood Education II Honors student, Pace works with 3- to -5-year-olds to promote healthy development in all areas of learning and growth. On Friday, he used Zoom to show the children letters made from items he found inside and outside his home.

“It’s gratifying to feel like you’re shaping young minds,” Pace said. “It’s been really impactful for me to see the children getting something from me being in the room, even virtually.”

Ms. Johnson said she’s loved having Pace in her classes, both in-person and remote.

“From day one, he walked into the preschool classroom and started building relationships with the kids,” she said. “He’s open, responsive to guidance, and just so kind. It’s been awesome to watch.”

Pace plans to attend a four-year university this fall, most likely majoring in a science-related field.

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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