Screening of Anytown USA student films of Siler City

Date and Time: Thursday, May 25, 2017 

                                7:00pm to 9:00pm

Location: American Tobacco Campus – Power Plant: Full Frame Theater Map

Despite popular misconceptions, the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians live in towns of 5,000 people or less. We are a state of small towns. In fact, NC has the second-most number of small towns in the country. But all is not well. The mass exodus of manufacturing abroad as well as urban flight has devastated small towns. Many are on the verge of disappearing forever.

Anytown USA, created and taught by Randolph Benson, is an annual filmmaking production and editing course in which one small town is featured. Intermediate to advanced continuing education student filmmakers tell stories of their choice within the town. Together the short films form a nuanced, intimate portrait of communities as they struggle to survive. This year’s class focused on the town of Siler City, NC.

Students will screen their films at the Full Frame Theater at a free, public event.

Siler City Film Debut

Free Admission:

Place: The Oasis, Siler City’s Open Air Market

Time: Friday, May 19 at 4:00 PM10:00 PM EDT

Join us starting at 4PM with Laura Jane Vincent and her husband on drums as she sings her songs. 4-6:30 PM
Jeff German performing on acoustic guitar and vocals, with his pedal steel player 6:45-8PM

Smokehouse Bistro, SilkHope Winery, Bear Creek Brews, High Country Kettle Corn, Sweet Southern Ice, and one of the most unique shopping experience. Bounce with US and concessions

At 8:15 PM join us for the 2017 Siler City Documentary Debut, production of Anytown USA. This is a product of the continuing education course at the Center for Documentary Studies taught by veteran instructor and filmmaker Randy Benson. Anytown, USA, has once again spotlighted a small town in North Carolina, Siler City. Seating is first come bring your blanket or folding chair. In case of rain the debut will be at Peppercorn 138 N Chatham Ave.

The Bookmobile

Story Corps are my FAVORITE stories because they are compelling and inspirational. Also, the English of the storytellers is usually clear and easy to understand. This story has some illustrations that enhance it. I’d like to invite you to complete a series of tasks before you start listening to the story.

  1. Watch the video below. TURN OFF the audio and the CLOSED CAPTIONS (CC)
  2. Write and post a brief summary of the story. Who? What?  What happened? Where? When? Why?

3. Watch the video again WITHOUT closed captions. Was your story similar to or different from the storyteller’s? What was different? Can you make any personal connections to this story? What does it remind you of? (make connections at a personal level). Post your personal reflections.

CHALLENGE: transcribe part of the story and then compare it to the transcript in YouTube.

Career Awareness Friday: Successful Teamwork

Students in ESL, HSE, and BELL Academy participated in the The Marshmallow Challenge: build a tower in 18 minutes by using spaghetti, a marshmallow, string, and masking tape.

Students also reflected on the kind of role and behavior they had while completing this task. 



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

CCCC Offers Culinary Youth Summer Camps

SANFORD — Central Carolina Community College’s culinary program is offering youth summer camps in Chatham, Harnett, and Lee counties this summer.

Camps in Chatham County include Culinary Teen Baking (June 26-29), Culinary Teen Cooking (June 19-22), and Kids Cooking Camp (June 12-15).

Camps in Harnett County include Culinary Teen Cooking (June 19-22) and Kids Cooking Camp (June 12-15).

Camps in Lee County include Culinary Teen Baking (July 17-20), Culinary Teen Cooking (June 26-29), and Kids Cooking Camp (June 19-22).

The Culinary Teen Baking and Culinary Teen Cooking classes are for students ages 10-15, while the Kids Cooking Camp is for students in grades K-4. Costs for each of the camps is $100.

To register by telephone or for more information, call the CCCC Economic and Community Development Division (ECD) Student Support Center at 919-718-7500. To register online, visit the website and go to the Youth Summer Camps page.

For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit the

STEAM Zone Summer Program at the CCCC Siler City Center

In the summer of 2015, a STEAM pilot program was conducted at the Boys and Girls club in Chatham County. After success with the program, it was offered again in the summer of 2016 as an independent program at Wren Memorial Library. The program was later named The STEAM Zone (TSZ) and exists to offer all students, but especially underrepresented groups in STEM, more exposure to STEAM education and disciplines.  TSZ currently offers summer programming and will also begin providing workshops and events throughout the academic school year.  For more information visit the website:

CCCC helps Cary Medina Live the American Dream

From Central Carolina Community College

SANFORD — A sense of pride and accomplishment radiates from family photos showing Cary Medina celebrating his first hours as a United States citizen.

Central Carolina Community College has helped Cary Medina lives the American dream.

Central Carolina Community College has helped Cary Medina lives the American dream.

In image after image, he stands tall in the Raleigh Convention Center, not long after The Honorable Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III administered the oath during a naturalization ceremony last October. In some, Cary shares the moment quietly with his wife, Rosario. In others, he’s also joined by sons, Vicente and Emilio, and Oscar Hernandez, a close friend from Central Carolina Community College who helped him along the way.

But in all of them, Cary is clutching a miniature stars and stripes. Because for citizen Medina, this moment was the culmination of his American dream.

Becoming American

Born and raised in the Ayacucho region of Peru, nestled in the south central Andes mountains, Cary moved to the United States with his family about seven years ago, spending his first year in Los Angeles before crossing the continent to begin a new life in Sanford. The plan, he says, was to learn a brand-new culture and experience a different way of life. Earning citizenship in his new country — becoming fully American — was always a top priority.

On paper, requirements to become a naturalized citizen seem fairly straightforward. There’s a naturalization test administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requiring applicants to demonstrate their ability to speak, read and write in English, as well as questions designed to assess a basic understanding of civics. The process also requires a detailed written application and personal interview.

But that can be a high bar for immigrants from very different cultures, especially when their native language is anything other than English. The question for Cary was how to make that happen, and that’s when he turned to Central Carolina Community College for help.

He began by taking English as a Second Language courses in a cooperative partnership between the college and El Refugio, a Christian outreach working to improve life for immigrants and build bridges connecting new arrivals with established residents. Later, he took classes preparing him to earn his GED, an academic certification broadly recognized as the equivalent of a high school diploma, and connected with Oscar, who was teaching civics and citizenship classes at Jonesboro United Methodist Church as part of the El Refugio partnership.

How much did it help, especially for a husband and father in his early 50s who hadn’t seen a classroom in many years? “A lot,” says Cary. “When I arrived in the United States, I didn’t speak English. Thanks to the college and the free English classes, I had an opportunity to learn English and understand and communicate. I encourage people to take the risk and learn new things. Age shouldn’t stop anyone.”

Looking Back

During an hour-long discussion of his journey, Cary shifts back and forth from Spanish to English, using his native language and Oscar’s translation skills when Cary wanted to be precise, and then shifting to English when he was speaking more off the cuff.

Truth of the matter is that English could have worked for the entire conversation, thanks to all of those English as a Second Language classes. But sharing his journey to citizenship was such an important part of his life — and is so important to many of his neighbors — that Cary wanted to say everything just right.

Thanks to CCCC, Cary says looking back, what could have been a long ordeal wasn’t all that difficult. But Oscar sees it a little differently. He gives Cary much more credit than Cary gives himself.

“Cary Medina is one who excels,” Oscar says. “The fact that he first completed his GED and then continued with the citizenship class shows his commitment. What he’s done serves as a model to all students in the process of becoming a citizen. But he even goes beyond that. Cary takes the time to serve others in any way he can.”

Moving Ahead

Despite receiving citizenship, Cary remains involved in courses, volunteering in an English literacy class to help neighbors achieve their dreams, something Oscar says has been a big help for the other students. And Cary is giving back in other ways, even serving as a board member for the El Refugio outreach.

“I like to encourage all the people I can to prepare and become a citizen,” Cary says. “I encourage everyone to overcome the challenges, participate in our community and enrich this country.”

Against all odds, Cary has managed to forge that life he dreamed about when leaving Peru many years ago. But the story is not over. He and his two sons are now United States citizens, but Cary expects to attend at least one more naturalization ceremony in the not too distant future. His wife, Rosario, is now working toward the same goal and once she takes the oath, the entire family will be living their American dream.