Today was Career Day at Enka Middle!
Middle School Success
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Last night at Erwin Middle School, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County (UWABC) Middle School Success Team hosted a Multi-Cultural Family night and Open House that drew hundreds of attendees.
Families in the Erwin Community had tables with information, food and souvenirs from Jamaica, Moldova, Mexico (states of Guerrero, Michoacan, Hidalgo), Ukraine, El Salvador, Pohnpei, and the Marshall Islands.
Enka Intermediate School is starting a new program called In-School Clubs.
Often, clubs are only available to students who have the money for club fees and the possibility of regular after-school transportation. Enka Intermediate wanted to make it possible for ALL students to participate in some sort of extracurricular activity.
Clubs meet from 10:15 - 11:15 AM every early release day, which occur about once per month. Clubs are lead by teachers, community volunteers and other school staff and are completely free for every student.
Did you know that at Erwin Middle School alone we represent over 20 countries and more than 23 languages?
The Erwin District has the highest rate of newcomer (young people coming to the U.S. for the first time) students in the county. On the first day of school alone we had two Ukrainian, three Marshallese, one Russian, and three Hispanic students come through our doors for their VERY FIRST day of school in the United States.
John Kelly says that he ran out of excuses this past year when United Way offered a volunteer opportunity that fit in his work schedule:
“I value education and I believe in volunteerism but with the way my work schedule is, I couldn’t attend after-school tutoring programs. With Breakfast Buddies, I’m able to come to Enka Middle School before I head to work and I know it matters.”
Listen to John in his own words
In the fall, we placed our first full-time Resource Coordinator at Enka Middle School. This coordinator soon found an opportunity to serve kids who weren’t able to attend after school programming because of a lack of transportation. Many of these students arrive, by bus, 45 minutes before school starts and for the most part, wait in the cafeteria until classes begin.
United Way believes that great things happen when we LIVE UNITED. We know we can accomplish more together, as a community, than we can alone. This past Friday we celebrated another year of hard work, and accomplishments, by hosting a luncheon for the partners that are leading the way through our Middle School Success Initiative.
While initially a bit intimidated to greet a table full of middle schoolers, I was less than 3 minutes in to ”Hey,…how’s it going…I work for United Way and we…" when I found myself singing the praises of our 2-1-1 Asheville Call Center and asking the students if they had heard of this incredible, free information and referral service.
We'll admit it, we were officially BLOWN AWAY by the numbers of people who came to our annual end of year celebration. Typically we've served upwards of 150 - 200 people at this event. Not this year. Our best estimates - more than 400 people joined in the fun! Check out the photo gallery.