Skip to content

NCSSM Helps George Watts on MLK Day

January 22, 2010

“A Day On, Not a Day Off”

NCSSM students (insert names) picking up sweetgum balls

Hardworking NCSSM students Ivana Mbullah (from Greensboro), Nelessa Lewis (from Henderson), and Phillip Smutherman (from Charlotte)

Martin Luther King, Jr DayMonday, January 18 – was a gorgeous, sunny day, just warm enough for t-shirts if you were working hard!

It was a day off from school, but for the students of the North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM), it was definitely “a day on”!

30 NCSSM students spent the whole afternoon ridding the George Watts playground of sweetgum balls and leaves. They left our playground beautiful and tidy, free of those little things underfoot that can lead to so many trips and falls.

Thank You!!

We extend our deepest thank you to all the participating students.  We are grateful for your service to our school, for being a model for our young children, and for inspiring us to think about ways of connecting our school with the greater Durham community.

NCSSM biology teacher Korah Wiley, facilitator of the students' service proejct

Facilitator and NCSSM biology teacher Korah Wiley

Special thanks go to the facilitators of the students’ service project:  NCSSM biology teacher Korah Wiley and Watts parents Kellianne White and Natasha Nazareth-Phelps, who also works at NCSSM.

Thank you also to George Watts students Quinn, Slade, Chaska and August, who led the bag transport team!  They carted more than 40 30-gallon, 50-pound, environmentally-friendly, compostable yard waste bags to the far corner of the playground where DPS staff can easily load them onto a truck.  (There’s a math problem lurking here!)

Chaska, Quinn, and Slade transporting the filled bags

Watts students Chaska, Quinn, and Slade carting the filled bags, and NCSSM student Morgan Carter (from Bermuda Run, NC)

Finally, thank you to all who generously donated or loaned supplies, tools, and snacks for the volunteers:  Amanda Watson, Gretel Guest, Stacy and Ted Murphy, Jenifer and Kenneth Luker, Jane and Bill Brown, Alice Bumgarner and Matt Todd, and Kellianne White and Ty Roberts.

More about NCSSM Students and Service

On MLK Day, NCSSM students participated in many other service projects all around Durham – not just at George Watts.  In total, the students donated 700 hours of service to these organizations:

Hayti Heritage Center, Urban Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, Duke University, Durham Rescue Mission, Food Bank, Duke Children’s Hospital, A Helping Hand, Ronald McDonald House, Caring House, Eno River State Park, Ellerbe Creek Clean-up, George Watts Elementary School, One Durham Everybody Eats, Kramden Institute, Salvation Army, Durham Police Department.

NCSSM students also do “Science Days” at George Watts.  Science Days is a science mentoring program for elementary school students started by NCSSM students a few years ago. It has spread throughout the nation. See

Another current student-led initiative at NCSSM is an effort to break the world record for food collection by a non-charitable organization:

More about NCSSM

NCSSM, located at 1219 Broad St – just a few blocks from George Watts Montessori, is a public boarding school and online program that serves students from across North Carolina who demonstrate exceptional talent and interest in science, mathematics, and technology. NCSSM is the 17th campus of the University of North Carolina system.

For more information, see


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: