Belk Bowl grant benefits local school

Quail Hollow Middle School will have some extra cash this year to purchase much needed technology for its students, teachers and classrooms.

Students and staff at the south Charlotte school, which pulls students from Pineville, as well, were surprised on Dec. 10 when they were announced winners of the second annual “Rocking the Belk Bowl” contest, receiving $25,000 to spend on technology. Beverly Woods Elementary School in south Charlotte and Hough High School in north Mecklenburg County also were named top winners.

Elon Park Elementary in south Charlotte, along with Cornelius, Hornets Nest and Rivergate elementary schools and Piedmont Middle School were all named runners-up in the contest, each receiving $15,000 technology grants.

“To be honest, we always do the rock contests, but we didn’t think we would win this year because we won the contest last year,” Kelsey Cash, the school’s art teacher, said. “They were so excited when they announced we won.”

The contest began in October and challenged Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools to create and display educational and Belk-themed designs on school rocks or bulletin boards. In return, the schools had a chance to win a technology grant for their campuses and an allotment of tickets to the Belk Bowl game at Bank of America stadium on Dec. 28 if they came in the top three.

“The contest is a great way for the schools to demonstrate their passion for technology and sports and for Belk to support education in this community as part of our Belk Bowl activities,” Jon Pollack, Belk, Inc. executive vice president of sales promotion, marketing and eCommerce, said in a news release.

It was about 16 advanced-art students in Cash’s special Encore class who came up with the rock designs at Quail Hollow. Their designs featured a 3D football player in front of a Belk store on one rock and a collage of images on the second rock.

The group used paper mache for parts of this year’s design, including a 3D arm and hand and helmet that extended out of the rock that featured a shopping football player.

“The students wanted to do something different. They basically designed the whole thing. I help ask the questions and they pick the idea and figure out how we will do it,” Cash said of the group of seventh- and eighth-graders.

Cash and her class also were named winners of last year’s “Rocking the Belk Bowl” contest, so the student’s weren’t expecting two wins in a row for such a large grant, Cash said.

“We do it because it’s fun and the kids are passionate about something. They feel good because they did something good for their school,” Cash said, adding the school is still deciding how to spend the technology money, though Cash would eventually like to get her hands on copies of Adobe Photoshop to one day have a graphic design curriculum or course offering.

To get a look at all of the winning rocks and bulletin boards, visit,, CMS social media sites or Belk’s social platforms.


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