In a whirl-wind of activity, students at the local charter school created art, music, swung hammers, got dirty, experimented and stretched their minds, senses and creativity to its limits over an entire semester of “Academics & The Arts.” The school’s “Academics & The Arts” program has expanded over the past six years from a week-long event to an entire spring semester-long celebration of the arts that features talent from the area’s best artists and hands-on demonstrations for the students. The annual event is supported in part by The Jackie Ward Foundation to promote Academics and the Arts at the school and promote interaction with and opportunities for the community. “This year was one of the biggest endeavors in terms of local and outside talent brought in to our area,” said school’s director, Mary Jo Dyre. “We thank the Cherokee County Arts Council for making many of these visiting artists possible. The semester’s events culminated with the school’s hosting of the Cherokee Scout’s annual county-wide writing contest for middle school-age writers. Learning Center! Charter School elementary-age students were not left out of the awards, however, and had their own celebration of excellence awards for Kindergarten through fifth graders.