Best-Cities-to Raise-a-Family-in North-Carolina

The real estate and moving experts at homesnacks.net have released their final list for the end of the year 2018 and supporting your “family friendly” move to the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community is their ranking of the city of Rocky Mount among the Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina.

Collecting the most current data from proven and true sources, it is explained at the official Homesnacks website that in their final poll of the Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina they “limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For North Carolina, that meant a total of 60 cities.”

Going further in the explanation of the process in which they determine the Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina, it notes, “We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of North Carolina, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

Thus, in utilizing that system to determine the final listing of Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina, the higher the “Family” score they arrive at, the higher the rankings. Rocky Mount was one of the most improved on the final list of 60 municipalities this year, seeing the most improvement on the list of nearly any of those listed. This put the city in the upper half of the cities listed for the very first time in the storied history of this poll.

In the overall ranking of the city of Rocky Mount, in addition to making the climb up the Best Cities to Raise a Family in  North Carolina listing, other very strong areas in which the site was complimentary of the city included affordability (cost of living), diversity, amenities, and commute/location.

To see more on Rocky Mount’s inclusion in the listing of the Top 60 Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina or the entire list in detail, visit homesnacks.net.

Best-Cities-to-Retire-in-NC

With the countless options in outdoor living and active lifestyle in Rocky Mount, the reasons to choose the premier NC golf and retirement community,Belmont Lake Preserve are plentiful, however, for those looking to continue or revisit your education, North Carolina Wesleyan College offers up maybe the top reason to Retire in North Carolina.

Located directly next door to Belmont Lake Preserve, and ranked fourth statewide for return on investment for their graduates, North Carolina Wesleyan College (NCWC) specializes in those returning students choosing to Retire in North Carolina and others their adult years through their highly accredited ASPIRE programs. (Adult Student Programs: Innovative, Respected, and Engaging).

According to the NCWC website these programs aimed at returning students who Retire in North Carolina or otherwise, “are nonresidential baccalaureate degree programs designed to meet the educational needs of adult learners.” The explanation at ncwc.edu continued to say,  “ASPIRE under the Office of Adult & Professional Studies allows mature women and men to tailor their degree work to meet personal, career, and life goals. Learners work at their own pace with the option of maintaining full-time or part-time course loads.”  They piece went further to detail that “Because mature adults like those set to Retire in North Carolina are highly motivated and capable of self-directed learning, ASPIRE learners can take advantage of 5-week, 8-week, hybrid, and online classes, as well as opportunities for earning credit through alternative options such as CLEP and DSST testing.”

So, if academically “re-inventing” yourself as you Retire in North Carolina in hopes of pursuing a new business venture or if you just would like to learn about new subjects and take some courses at NCWC, your next move in your education is literally minutes away from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve. The school offers degree programs in Business Administration, Psychology, Religious Studies, Criminal Justice, Education, Accounting, and Computer Information Systems, and individual on site courses on Management, Organizational Development, and Human Resource Management through its Corporate Advantage Program (CAP).

On top of the conveinience of both location and choices to continue your education at NC Wesleyan as you Retire in North Carolina, the actual time involved in completing the courses also weighs heavily in your favor, as courses can be completed in just eight weeks, night classes from 6-10 p.m., and college credit can be earned and applied to a degree through the CAP courses if desired.

To see a detailed description of ASPIRE and all the adult education options at NCWC, visit the adult studies page on their website at www.ncwc.edu.

Rocky-Mount-Family-Programs-Belmont Lake Preserve

Always a great spot, that’s only a short drive from your home at Belmont Lake Preserve, to find countless educational and enjoyable activities alike for members of the whole family, the ongoing schedule and upcoming Spring 2019 slate of Rocky Mount Family Programs at the downtown Imperial Centre is sure to offer up a way for you and your kids alike to expand your horizons and add some culture to your life as you can learn and experiment with many different mediums depending on your course of choice.

There is registration needed for some of the courses, classes, and workshops offered as part of the Imperial Centre’s Rocky Mount Family Programs,  and this can be done online at imperialcentre.org. The upcoming Spring 2019 schedule for Rocky Mount Family Programs will be released very soon, and current offerings for the entire family posted at the Imperial Centre website are as follows:

-Make Art Saturdays (Every Other Saturday 11 am-1 pm)
January 12 and 26, February 9 and 23, March 9 and 23, April 6 and 20, May 4 and 18

(Registration is not required) Experiment with different types of art as part of this program. Travel around the Imperial Centre, observe sculpture, paintings, drawings, photographs, architecture, and many more artist-made objects, and then make your own.

-Family Sundays (Every Other Sunday 2-4 pm)
January 20, February 3 and 17, March 3, 17, and 31, April 14 and 28, May 12 and 26

(Registration is not required) At the Imperial Centre, Sundays are for Family! Bring your family to the art gallery for an afternoon full of family-friendly activities. Drop into the gallery for art making, interactive play, gallery sketching, or go on your own exhibition tour.

-Lunch and Learn (Select Fridays to be announced at 12-1 pm)

(Registration suggested by the Wednesday preceding the program date you intend to attend) Bring a lunch and interact with artists! From painters, to photographers and all artists in between, learn about process, discuss projects, and ask questions during an hour-long interactive gallery talk and demonstration.

In addition to these great Rocky Mount Family Programs being offered, there will soon be dates available to schedule for the upcoming Spring for the “Sculpture, Talk, and Draw” classes as well. To keep up on these courses, and all the fantastic stuff being offered at the Imperial Centre, visit their website at imperialcentre.org.

On their official website, the City of Rocky Mount explains in a recent posting that the municipality has long been linked to the inspirational and world- changing words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as one of his speeches immediately prior to the famous “I have a dream” address he gave was right in the city. The pride in the Doctor’s strong words is still as evident as ever locally and can be experienced just minutes from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve at any of the recently announced Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount celebrating his legacy.

Martin-Luther-King-Day-Events-in-Rocky-Mount-Belmont Lake PreserveThe City of Rocky Mount piece went on to explain that “January will be a month where the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and the city of Rocky Mount pause to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through community events.”

Continuing to speak of each of these Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount, the city website went on to tell that,”The theater at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences will be the location for the MLK Oratorical Competition on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 beginning at 9 am. Students in grades sixth through eighth will speak to the theme “Building Bridges,” while speeches for contestants in grades ninth through 12th will speak around the “Unfinished Work of a Dreamer” theme.”

The main event will as always be the annual Unity Breakfast, to take place this year on Monday, January 15 at 7:00 am, and will take place just a few steps away from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community at the Dunn Center on the campus of NC Wesleyan College.

Detailing the annual breakfast, the site said, “Keynote speaker, Rick Glazier, executive director of the N.C. Justice Center, will serve as the keynote speaker for the 31st annual Unity Breakfast that will be held beginning at 7 a.m. on Jan. 21 at the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of N.C. Wesleyan College.”

Going on to explain why Mr. Glazier was the selection for keynote speaker, the posting said, “Glazier’s resume is extensive. He previously represented Cumberland County for seven terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives. He also served as a visiting professor in Criminal Justice at Fayetteville State University for eight years and has taught pre-trial civil law at Campbell University’s School of Law for the past 24 years.”

Following the  Annual Unity Breakfast, volunteers will team together for the annual Day of Service projects. All events are free and open to the public. City of Rocky Mount Human Relations Director addressed the annual “Day of Service” and what it means to him and the community as a whole, stating, ““We are always excited about the start of a new year, providing everyone an opportunity to look beyond our differences and focus on the things that unite us as we strive for an inclusive community,” Human Relations Director Archie Jones said.

For more information on any of these Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount, please contact the city of Rocky Mount’s Human Relations Department at 252-972-1181.

Art Classes in Rocky Mount

Moving from the winter months and into the Spring, the temperature is not the only thing seeing an increase here locally, as there is always an influx of activities being offered in Downtown Rocky Mount. Whether you are a toddler or a senior citizen, if your preference is science, art, or theatre, just a few minutes up the road from your new home at the premier North Carolina golf community, Belmont Lake Preserve, the Imperial Centre for the Arts open up their schedule with numerous options for Art Classes in Rocky Mount for all ages.

This first part in our three part series will look specifically at the Art Classes in Rocky Mount this month at the Imperial Centre, which is located at Gay Street in the heart of downtown. For starters, those ages 12 and up that wish to catch the “acting bug,” this Spring can partake in “Intro to Acting: Auditions and Scene Study.” Described at the official site of the Imperial Centre as “the perfect class for the beginning actor or for experienced actors who want to sharpen their skills. This class will focus on how to prepare cold scenes at auditions as well as how to dissect scenes into beats and make strong choices in the audition, rehearsal, and performance process.”

Whether acting and performance art is your thing, or whether your preference is to express your creativity on canvas, the Imperial Centre has you covered with Art Classes in Rocky Mount for all. “Intro to Painting,” is another class where anyone age 13 and older can learn to “Study the language of painting.” Technique, materials, and elements of art are all topics focused on in this course, as you learn to build a better understanding of different mediums.

For those looking for some fun activities that the whole family can partake in, look no further than the Art Classes in Rocky Mount and the “Paint Together: Family Workshop.” Join the pros at the Imperial Centre and “explore the basics of painting as a family” at this workshop. Working with acrylic paints, family members will work together on a project and leave with a beautiful piece of art to hang at home as a memory of what is certain to be a fantastic day of fun together.

Yet another genre of art will be focused on at another of the Art Classes in Rocky Mount offered at the Centre, as you and family members  can come out and “use their hands” as part of “Intro to Clay: Functional Wares.” A variety of items will be created at this truly, “hands-on” two session workshop and it is open to anyone age 14 and up.

The Art Classes in Rocky Mount offered up at the Imperial Centre are just a few of the fantastic things that everyone in the house hold can enjoy. For further information, ioncluding special lower rates on these courses for Rocky Mount residents, visit the Imperial Centre website here.

Cummins Planetarium

Cummins PlanetariumLocated just minutes from the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, at 270 Gay Street in Rocky Mount, Cummins Planetarium offers an array of fun-filled, educational special events that children of all ages and adults likewise have been enjoying since they first opened their doors in the Spring of 2006.

Upon its opening, Cummins Planetarium, which is housed inside the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences building, became the very first planetarium in North Carolina to feature a full-dome video projection system. In addition to this, the incredible 30-foot dome at Cummins Planetarium sets tilted slightly forward to allow for a maximum viewing audience of up to 50 people per show.Cummins Planetarium

Giving visitors both young and old a consistent and divers variety of shows, Cummins Planetarium runs four different shows monthly, with each being having a showing once daily every Tuesday-Saturday. One of the upcoming featured shows at Cummins Planetarium is called “Solar Superstorms,” which takes a dramatic look at the sun and the solar system. “The Amazing Telescope,” is also running at Cummins Planetarium  and will take detail how observatories use telescopes to bring you on an exploration of some of the universe’s great mysteries including the ring’s of Saturn, the spiral structures of the galaxies, and the Galilean moons.Cummins Planetarium

The two other  shows at Cummins Planetarium are more specifically aimed at different age groups, with one that is sure to have the youngsters smiling from ear to ear and a second that will get the parents in the family tapping their toes and maybe even reminiscing of some great music from the past.

A can’t miss showing for the young ones this month at Cummins Planetarium is , “One World, One Sky,” is advertised as “a magical musical journey into space for families with kids ages 3-6 years old. Featuring all your children’s favorite characters from the show “Sesame Street,” this is “Big Bird’s Adventure,” and he and many of his pals take you and the kids on a fun-filled journey to the moon and back. For the older generation, “Laser Classic Rock” will bring them back to the days of stadium-sized rock and roll from the late 1960’s and 70’s as this show is set to the tunes of some of the greatest classic rockers of all time, including, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, and many more.

For more information on the other upcoming shows and special events at Cummins Planetarium for this month and the remainder of 2016, visit their website at museum.imperialcentre.org.

Down East Viking Football Classic

Down East Viking Football ClassicThe Rocky Mount Sports Complex, located just up the road from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve NC Golf Community, will play host to one of the most anticipated sporting events, and fun-filled community based weekends of the entire year in Rocky Mount, as on Saturday, September 17th the Elizabeth City State University Vikings take on the Morehouse College Maroon Tigers in the 19th Annual Down East Viking Football Classic with a 4:00 p.m. opening kickoff.

While the actual Down East Viking Football Classic game itself is the centerpiece of the weekend, starting on Thursday, September 15, and continuing after the ball game until about 10:00 p.m., the Rocky Mount community comes together for a fun filled weekend of activities. In actuality, Friday morning’s Down East Viking Football Classic Golf Challenge will take place right outside your front door at Belmont Lake Preserve, at 10:00 a.m. at the award winning Belmont Lake Golf Club.

The economical impact of the Down East Viking Football Classic for the Rocky Mount community is very significant, with an estimated 8,000-10,000 visitors expected to descend upon the city for the festivities. Rocky Mount Mayor, David Combs recently spoke with the Rocky Mount Telegram on the all around positive impact the Down East Viking Football Classic has on the community.

“It’s a wonderful event and it brings people to Rocky Mount that might not come here,” Mayor Combs enthusiastically said. “It’s sort of like a homecoming for people that haven’t seen someone they’ve known in a while. You have people coming from out of town not just for the weekend, but some are staying two or three nights.” He continued, “They help our community because they’re staying in our hotels, going out and shopping in our stores and dining in our restaurants. They’re spending money in our community and it’s bringing in a lot of revenue into our community.”

The full schedule of events for the Down East Viking Football Classic weekend festivities that are open to the public with the location of each event is as follows:

Thursday, September 15 

  • 6:30 P.M.

Fantastic Viking Voyage Enrollment Tour Event
Holiday Inn-Rocky Mount
200 Enterprise Drive

Friday, September 16, 2016

  • 10:00 A.M.

Down East Football Classic Golf Challenge
Belmont Lake Golf Club
210 Belmont Club Way

  • 9:00 P.M.

Down East Viking Mixer
Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences
270 Gay Street

Saturday, September 17

  • 7:00 A.M.

Tailgating Party
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 3:00 P.M.

Down East Viking Football Classic Pre-Game Ceremony
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 4:00 P.M.

19th Annual Down East Viking Football Classic
Morehouse College vs. Elizabeth City State
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 6:30 P.M.

High School Band Showcase
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 8:00 P.M.

Down East Step Show
Dunn Center for the Performing Arts
3400 North Wesleyan Boulevard

For more details on all scheduled events, a full history of the Down East Viking Football Classic, ticket sales, and much more, visit the page dedicated to the weekend on the Elizabeth City State University website at ecsu.edu.

Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle

With the Rocky Mount city council recently discussing possible upgrades to one of the city’s beautiful outdoor spaces that sits only minutes from your new home in Belmont Lake Preserve, the already plentiful options for Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle activities could increase with the proposed changes at Battle Park.

Although the upgrades that would include these Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle options at Battle Park are not likely to occur immediately, the interest from the city officials was genuine. The upgrades that were spoken of at the meeting would see a new “spray ground,” a butterfly garden, a zip line, widened walking paths, and a BMX track.

These proposed items were noted to be in the concept stage still, however, several other short-term efforts that also would offer some new Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle options were also brought up at the August 10 council meeting. An outdoor outfitter, environmental education, and educational hiking trails were the short term Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle ideas tossed around, and Assistant City Manager, Thomas Moton, Jr. explained that many residents have been behind this project because they’d like to see Battle Park made a focal point of Rocky Mount’s tourism industry and economy.

“With ideas for improvements we hope to make this area a destination location,” Moton, Jr. went on to explain. “With possible bike trails and other activities, we hope to attract more travelers and to maximize opportunities for people to enjoy the water.” He added, “Battle Park is also the hub to connect our assets from MLK Park to City Lake, so visitors can use the greenway to enjoy all seven miles of greenway trails that Rocky Mount has to offer.”

Being in such early stages of development, the cost of the Battle Park project that would see the addition of these great Rocky Mount Active Living options was not brought to the table. However, there has been some interest shown by Rocky Mount Mills (which is owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company) in a possible lease or purchase of Panther Island,  which is part of Battle Park. If this were the case, that company would implement improvements by itself and allow the city to focus on the remainder of the park.

Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department Director, Kelvin Yarrell addressed the possibility of the Battle Park upgrades, voicing the following conclusion.  “The true plan would come from working with our citizens, elected officials and the business community, such as Capitol Broadcasting, to look at the entire scope of the project once funding becomes available.”

Rocky Mount Children's event

Ringing in the new season, this Friday, June 17, Braswell Memorial Library will host its Summer Reading Kick-Off Party, marking the start of their a Summer Reading Club with the annual Rocky Mount Children’s Event taking place just minutes from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve.

The Rocky Mount Children’s Event, which is held every June, will start at 10:00 a.m. and run until 1:00 p.m. on the back lawn and pavilion area of the library located at 727 North Grace Street. The “Summer Reading Kick Off Party is aimed at encouraging the children to sign up for the Reading Club, which this Summer is following the theme of “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ!”

This Friday’s Rocky Mount Children’s Event will feature much more than just sign-ups, however, with games, snacks, and fun activities for the kids throughout the day. Several special guests will also be on hand to greet the kids, including, the Chik-Fil-A Cow, Sparky the Firedog, McGruff the Crime Dog, the “Balloon Lady, a stilt walker, and a magician.

The Summer Reading Club at Braswell Memorial Library kicks into full gear immediately following the Kick Off Party on this upcoming Tueday, June 21 and will run throughout the remainder of the month and for the entire month of July as well. For those who sign up for the club, there are prize giveaways for five different age groups ranging from toddlers to adults, where each member and age group has goals set for them to reach, goals earns the prizes once they have reached their different goal throughout the program. A full schedule for the Summer Reading Club can be seen here.

The five different groups for the Summer Reading Club are:

  • Read-to-Me Group– This group consist of toddlers and preschool age children whose parents, older brothers or sisters, or caregiver reads to them. Once they have had 30 books read to them this Summer, they receive a prize book of their choosing.
  • Elementary Reader Group– This is the first age group that reads by themselves. They get to choose their prize book once they have finished 15 books this summer.
  • Young Adult Group– This group gets into reader longer and more advanced books and once they have finished seven of these, they get to select their prize.
  • Adult Group– Adults are encouraged to get in on the reading club as well. By turning in their “Reading Record Sheets” weekly, they earn a small prize and are entered into the grand prizes drawing to be held on the club’s final day, July 30.
  • Genealogy/History Group– Another group for the adults, this one focuses on those readers interested in their family lineage and history. These members will also earn a small prize for turning in “Reading Record Sheets” each week and in doing so will be entered in the grand prizes drawing as well.