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   "WWII Vet Helps Erwin Middle Students with Math Homework to Show Them The Sky's the Limit"

     WLOS, February 2018


"Our Person of the Week, Ken Maultsby, is a World War II veteran now serving his community by reaching out to the next generation. "They can do anything they set their mind and hearts to. They are gifted," said Maultsby, who goes by Mr. Ken. Maultsby is a volunteer at the weekly Homework Diner at Erwin Middle, which gives students and their families a hot meal and a little extra help. It's a program sponsored by the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. United Way contracts Green Opportunities kitchen staff to provide the food. It doesn't take a math whiz to know life is like a box of variables, because you never know what you're going to get.

Mr. Ken is part of the Greatest Generation that's often a forgotten resource. He believes the equation that defines who kids become is built on discipline. "Hopefully I'm a factor in helping them make good decisions," said Mr. Ken, who's the unexpected "X factor." Read on to WLOS for the full story.







"United Way Program Broadens Owen Middle School's Scope this Fall" 

Black Mountain News, May 2017


"United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is planning to make Owen Middle the fourth middle school in the area to have a community resource coordinator who will connect families of students at risk of failing to services that help the students work toward high school graduation. United Way’s Middle School Success Initiative is already in place at Asheville, Erwin and Enka middle schools. United Way hopes to replicate it at all seven middle schools in Buncombe County.

The “community school” strategy, a national model upon which the initiative is based, addresses more than a student’s performance. It also supports the health and financial well-being of a student’s family. Doing so helps local families and elevates the community in which they live, so the thinking goes, making the whole region stronger." Continue reading at Black Mountain News for the full story.






"Feed Your Brain: Homework Diner Program Offers Families Dinner, Academic Support"

 Mountain Xpress, May 2017


"Rolled out as a pilot project at Enka Middle School in the fall, the program is about to finish out the school year with tutoring sessions and free, hot dinners being hosted weekly in the cafeterias at Enka, Erwin and Asheville middle schools. Plans are also in the works to extend the effort to Owen Middle School next school year. Although middle schools are employed as the host sites, Homework Diner sessions are open to students and families from all grade levels in the Asheville and Buncombe County school districts.

But the program is a collaboration that goes beyond the United Way and school district leadership. The Green Opportunities catering team, which is staffed with graduates from the organization’s Kitchen Ready culinary training program, comes in each week to prepare healthy, high-quality meals for attendees. And for the tutoring component, teachers from schools within each host district are paid to be there to offer students one-on-one help with tricky homework assignments and subjects that have stumped them in the classroom." Continue reading the full story at Mountain Xpress.





"Gov. Cooper Visits Enka Middle for National Volunteers Week"

   WLOS, April 2017


"Gov. Roy Cooper visited students and parents at Enka Middle School on Tuesday. The visit was part of his efforts to bring attention to National Volunteer Week.

The middle school offers free tutoring and dinner weekly through a partnership with the United Way, Green Opportunities, the county, the school district and Asheville-Buncombe Middle Grades Network. The program is called Homework Diner. Seventh-grader Eli Dougherty has been attending the program with his parents since early in the school year. They were one of several families who got to sit down with the governor Tuesday evening. Dougherty's mother Traci Wallace appreciates the extra help."

"I don't have to spend time trying to make the meal and help with homework," said Wallace. "And some of the homework questions I don't understand, they can help him." Continue reading on WLOS.