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Back-to-School Bash scheduled July 30

By DAWN HANKINS - dhankins@t-g.com
Posted 7/12/22

With summer break soon coming to a close, two Cascade Middle School students have planned a back-to-school party for all local K-5 students at Harris Middle gym on July 30 (time TBA.) Organizers and …

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Back-to-School Bash scheduled July 30

With summer break soon coming to a close, two Cascade Middle School students have planned a back-to-school party for all local K-5 students at Harris Middle gym on July 30 (time TBA.) Organizers and hosts are Cascade Middle schoolers Charlie Pirtle and Noah Fletcher.
So how can a 13-year-old and a 9-year-old pull off an event of such potential magnitude? Well, they say through proper planning and “lots of prayer.”
Recently, at a planning session at the school system Central Office, the two middle schoolers, to some folks’ surprise, already had a script in hand for July 30. Charlie shares thoughts on how to present ideas for such an event to stakeholders.
“The key is confidence, being humble and making sure you’re clear,” he says. Oh, and he adds that it doesn’t hurt to learn some “big words” ahead of time.
Organizing an event of this magnitude has taken up these junior high kids’ whole summer. This will be Charlie’s second year at Cascade Middle and Noah’s first, yet they’re reaching out to the Cascade community already.
Charlie and his family have been involved in such outreach in Murfreesboro since he was about 7. He says one Christmas that year,  he thought about how he wanted to do a ministry to help others.
Despite the pandemic and fundraising struggles, he and his family have continued to try to fulfill his calling. Those thoughts he had as a first grader now continue into his teen years.
Last year, Charlie and Noah met through mutual school system connections. The two soon recognized that they share a common spirit, and had the gifts needed to potentially help others.
Lots of work
The community is still fairly new to Charlie, as the family just moved here from Murfreesboro last year. His mom, Tammy, now works for Bedford County School System and his dad operates his own company.
Noah’s family is from Bedford County; his dad, Chad Fletcher, works as supervisor of federal projects for Bedford County School System. Noah is also the son of Jacquelyn Duncan.
Charlie and Noah’s parents make it really clear how their kids are the ones doing all the work for the back-to-school event. They’ve made the phone calls, emails and personal visits.
They’ve even secured financial support from some local businesses and companies. Yes, their parents must drive them around, as of course neither is old enough to get a license. Charlie is busy working some freelance photography jobs in order to eventually get a car.
After all, in the bigger scheme of things, Charlie and Noah are still teens with many of the same goals and ambitions of their peers. But perhaps these two serve as even greater role models, given their maturity at such a young age?
Fun on the 30th
The June 30 back-to-school event will include bounce houses and games. The teens have also planned to serve hot dogs, ice cream and cotton candy. They received a $1,000 donation already from a local church for the purchase of hot dogs.
“We’ve asked every school . . . at least bring three games and run those,” says Charlie.
The students note that local fire, emergency and rescue, and law enforcement officers will be on hand at Harris Middle. Charlie and Noah are proud of that commitment and say they look forward to some fun competition between those groups.
The two boys say they’re thinking, perhaps, a tug-of-war . . . .
Noah’s Dad says such outpouring of community support has been a blessing. The local educator believes only something positive can come from the community pulling together for such a great cause. We’re all Bedford Countians,” he advised.
And, this proud parent says as a result of community involvement, many people in need should greatly benefit. He adds, “I’m really proud of Noah. I’m really proud of Charlie and the work that they’re doing. But I’m really more grateful that they’re doing something that’s beyond themselves that will really help and affect other kids in a really positive way.”
Weeks before the event, Noah and Charlie continue to think of ideas for the bash. During the planning process, Noah developed an idea for a special drawing.
“There will be a bucket . . . write your name down and put it in. Every 30 minutes, someone will draw a name and you will get a book. Hopefully, we’re going to get the board to call out the names.”
Charlie and Noah say they’re looking forward to the “fun tired” which they know will be coming at the end of the bash. “They’re going to school Monday, after this,” Mom Tammy says with smile.
See the T-G’s summer “Bedford Life” magazine, which hits the stands on Saturday, July 30, for a special reflection into the lives and outreach ministry of Charlie Pirtle and Noah Fletcher.