LA Class Project Archive

LA 33 Class Projects

Children First/Communities in Schools (CIS)

●  Children First/CIS is a non-profit serving Buncombe County that provides resources to schoolchildren and their families, ranging from school supplies to parenting skill training. The organization recognizes poverty as one of the biggest challenges facing children and their families, and so the LA 33 members  who worked with CF/CIS sought to educate local businesses about the issue of poverty in the WNC community.

●  The LA 33 team who worked with Children First found that “there is a lack of understanding in our business community of the levels of poverty in our area and the tools available to businesses to help address/fight poverty among their workforces.”

●  The YMCA of WNC is an organization that provides youth after school activities, arts and culture education, social outreach, and many other programs. Our team participated in Darkness to Light training, which increases awareness and understanding of child sexual abuse issues, and partnered with the YMCA to use this program for outreach on the issue.
●  LA 33 secured a proclamation from the City of Asheville to recognize child sexual abuse, and as a result, the City named April as Child Secual Abuse Awareness Month. The team also created an extensive registry of community resources the YMCA will put to use for outreach initiatives.

●  Mountain True seeks to promote a more sustainable future by encouraging “sensible land use, restoring public forests, protecting water quality, and promoting clean energy.” The organization proposed a plan to our team to make a profitable venture from their invasive plant removal work. LA 33 class members aimed to complete a feasibility study to determine if the business venture was viable.
●  Our team determined that a more beneficial alternative for Mountain True is to balance environmental education outreach alongside invasive plant removal work. There are high overhead costs and a competitive market for invasive plant removal, and educational initiatives still align with the organization’s goals. The team provided resources for possible partnerships for environmental education, including local garden supply shops, schools, and trade shows.

Read 2 Succeed
●  Read 2 Succeed matches reading coaches with students from low-literacy households. They work together to reach the goal of all children reading at grade level by the time they reach the third grade. R2S described a need for help recruiting coaches and fundraising to our team.
● While working with R2S, LA class members established an Advisory Council with 8 seats, recruited leaders for committees for volunteer services, grants, and fundraising, initiated a partnership with the City of Asheville to provide literacy volunteers to 3-5 year olds, and created a planning process for committees to document and schedule projects.

●  Helpmate is a non-profit organization providing direct service for individuals who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. The services provided include a 24-hour hotline, weekly domestic violence education classes, support, groups, counselings, shelter, court advocacy, and community education and training. The organization operates a 26-bed shelter for individuals facing homelessness as a result of domestic violence or dangerous situations. Our class was approached by Helpmate with a need for increasing volunteer retention, and our team developed goals related to tracking volunteer length of service, surveying current and former volunteers, and organizing a volunteer appreciation event.
●  Participants from LA 33 saw a need for professionals to lend specialized management expertise to nonprofits without training in these areas. An issue within community service groups is work overload and underfunding, and is another reason for local leaders to become more involved.

The Council on Aging of Buncombe County
●  The Council on Aging of Buncombe County provides personal needs assessments with the elderly and provides them with the resources they need to live comfortably. Our team members were asked to establish the distinction of and and coordination between two similar events: Successful Aging Fair and the Healthy Aging Lifestyle Fair.
●  Team members from LA 33 noted the impact of the organization throughout WNC, but that there are significant challenges hindering its success. Much is contingent on legislation, for example, and a recent issue facing the COA is budgetary restrictions to its federal funding. This in turn creates more work for the COA, and team members strategized fundraising opportunities to raise money from private donors.

Western North Carolina AIDS Project
●  The Western North Carolina AIDS Project provides community resources to AIDS patients and their families, including care support, health management, and prevention programming. The group from LA 33 that worked with WNCAP designed a career counseling program for AIDS patients and their families.
●  The team partnered with many local organizations, including OnTrack WNC, NC Works Career Center Asheville, and Vocational Rehabilitation, to better integrate community outreach into their program. Their initiative was successful to educate their demographic about career building and professional and vocational development.