In 2021, UWCC selected four nonprofit programs to receive funding from our first ever Issue-Based Grant. A total of $87,500 is supporting programs making an impact on homelessness and COVID-19 learning loss among K-12 students.
Three agencies were awarded the special funding: Communities In Schools, The Boys & Girls Club of Central Carolina and Chatham County NC Homeless Shelters – Love Chatham. Here’s a snapshot on the progress of the programs.
Communities in Schools - 40 High School Students Served
A portion of the United Way funding allowed the formation of an after school coding club within the High School Success Coach program. Five students met twice a week and CIS solicited donations of laptops and projectors. The coding group has ended for 2021, but will resume in 2022 allowing for 10 students to join the second round.
“The students didn’t want to leave when their parents came to pick them up,” Wes Lail said, one of the High School Success coaches at Jordan Matthews.
A former teacher himself, Lail says the High School Success Coach program allows CIS to fill gaps and provide resources to students that teachers don’t have the resources or capacity to do.
Bella, who is struggling in math, met with a math tutor earlier in her session, and went over history vocabulary with Lail afterward. She said COVID-19 has greatly affected her focus.
“When school was online I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “And in school they move too fast. I was the only one in math class asking so many questions.”
Bella says because of CIS tutoring programs she feels caught up in class, and the tutors make her feel more confident.
“Communities in Schools is awesome,” she said.
Chatham NC Homeless Shelters
Chatham County NC Homeless Shelters was awarded funding to increase the resources available to Chatham’s homeless population through its Love Chatham program, including the hiring of Program Director Dakota Philbrick.
As of December 4, Love Chatham has moved five families out of hotels into permanent housing, sheltered 1,030 individuals (445 families) in local hotels, and served 1,306 individuals (415 families) with food from their food pantry. Within the next month they will have two rooms at Freedom Family Church in Siler City available for families in need, as well as a portable shower for those staying at the church, and the homeless in Chatham County.
Philbrick says housing in hotels or at the church is a temporary solution, with a shelter being their ultimate goal, while also working to fill the gaps, brick by brick.
“Love Chatham is more about wanting to break the cycle and meet other needs that our clients have and identify the barriers that our clients experience as a result of what they’re going through,” said Philbrick. “We have to meet other needs for them, not just the shelter.”
Boys & Girls Club of Central Carolina - Serving 90 Children Daily
The Boys & Girls Club was awarded Issue-Based Grant funding to support education across the county. Funds were awarded for their Bridge the Gap Program at the Wren Family Center in Siler City and to support the opening of their Pittsboro Club this fall. The Bridge the Gap program at the Wren Family Center in Siler City mitigates learning loss due to COVID-19 with hands-on, project-based programs, with 60-65 children each day.
United Way’s investment in the Pittsboro Club is supporting the Power Hour Program for the club’s first year. Power Hour helps students ages 6-18 achieve academic success by providing homework support, tutoring and technology engaged activities. The Pittsboro Club is currently serving 30-35 children each day.
Progress Updates from the Boys & Girls Club Tutoring Efforts
English/Language Arts Grade Improvements:
- 86% of members who had a D or F on their 2021 spring report cards have improved by one or more letter grade.
Math Grade Improvements:
- 60% of members who had a D or F on their 2021 spring report cards have improved by one or more letter grade.