The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) recently awarded $32,000 to Avery County schools from the Learning Links grant program. The grants include $4,000 to support classroom teachers, $3,000 to Marjorie Williams Academy to purchase a SMART board, and $25,000 to W.A.M.Y. Community Action to continue to provide free childcare at three Avery County Schools.
Avery County High School, Avery County Middle School and Cranberry Middle School were awarded classroom grants. Typically, Learning Links offers grants up to $800 per classroom to public school teachers to provide experiential learning projects in Avery, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford and Swain counties. Due to a decrease in requests resulting from the pandemic, 27 requests were funded, a decrease of more than a third. Remaining grant program funds supported several proactive grants for schools and teachers.
W.A.M.Y. Community Action received $25,000 to continue the provision of childcare services, enrichment activities, homework assistance, tutoring, a meal and outdoor exploration to elementary students in Avery County at no cost to the family. Currently, 150 children are enrolled; however, each school has a waiting list and could potentially serve more families when COVID restrictions are relaxed.
“The need to support teachers and students has never been greater,” said CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas. “Teachers, especially, were tasked with a quick transition to remote learning and addressing student needs in an unprecedented learning environment. CFWNC is pleased to provide additional resources that we hope will enhance student and family experiences while relieving some of the burden placed on educators.”
Learning Links grants are made possible by the Ben W. and Dixie Glenn Farthing Charitable Fund, the Cherokee County Schools Endowment Fund and the Fund for Education.
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in eighteen counties in Western North Carolina, including the Qualla Boundary. Last year, the Foundation facilitated $22 million in charitable giving.
For more information, contact The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina at 828-254-4960 or visit www.cfwnc.org.