As we reach our 100th Homework Diner, here in March of 2018, just two years since we first put feet on the ground in local middle schools in this capacity, one reaction we continue to get is, “I didn’t know these were open to all families living in each school district. I thought they were only for the students and families in the schools they're held in.” In fact, during the past year, students from more than 40 schools in Buncombe County - elementary through high school - have attended the Homework Diners held in the four Asheville City and Buncombe County middle schools they operate within (Erwin, Enka, Asheville and just added this spring, Owen Middle).
About Middle School Success
While every student faces challenges, those who live in poverty must navigate significantly more obstacles in order to make it to graduation. Every student that doesn’t graduate from high school faces a life filled with greater obstacles - impacting their long-term health and income and often determining whether or not they live in poverty the rest of their life. In Asheville and Buncombe County, 20% of low income students do not graduate from high school, and last year, more than 500 children in our public schools were homeless. When we provide middle school students ongoing encouragement and support during this critical time, we can stop them from falling through the cracks. But in many cases it isn’t enough to focus just on the student. Family and neighborhood issues like health, safety and employment directly impact academic achievement in youth as well. We use four key strategies in working toward our goals of ensuring every young person has access to equal opportunities and resources that enable them to reach their highest potential. Learn more about those strategies on our Middle School Success program overview page.