A significant component of the LA Program is a small team project focusing on service, teamwork, and collaboration. These projects provide participants the opportunity to make a difference in the community. They also serve as a training ground for solving complex issues by providing opportunities for experimentation and practice, as well as exposure to different perspectives from team members. Themes and topics vary from year to year, with project partnerships solicited from an array of community organizations.
Below are details on the eight community organizations we are partnered with for the 37th class of Leadership Asheville:
ABCCM Steadfast House
Steadfast House is seeking support in researching other child enrichment programs in similar transitional living facilities. With that research, we also seek support in developing and training a Steadfast House Child Enrichment Advisory Board, with members from the community, ranging from volunteers, educators, stakeholders, and social workers. This board will guide us in the next year in developing a beneficial program. This project will provide a stable foundation for Steadfast House to positively impact children who enter our program.
Green Built Alliance
Green Built Alliance is looking to create an eco-office that will provide space for our daily operations, a community meeting space, a living model of green building and sustainability. We are in the process of purchasing an old house that needs lots of remodeling work and improvements before it can serve as our office and community resource space. This space will help preserve an old house, allow us to build equity for our organization, and provide a much needed gathering and meeting space for other non-profits and community groups free of charge. The LA team can assist us in developing a fundraising plan for the renovation building project. The plan would include messaging, methods, core audience, potential events we should do, timing, etc.
Haywood Street Congregation
In October we will launch our newest initiative, a significant public art project that will challenge viewers to embrace the beauty within the outcast, to see neighbors living in poverty with fresh eyes, and perhaps can help stir a new passion for justice. The Haywood Street Fresco will portray the scripture known as The Beatitudes, which begins “Blessed are the poor….” Asheville artist Christopher Holt, who learned the fresco technique through his work assisting WNC artist Ben Long, will create the fresco. This project will not only further our mission and ministry, it can provide a new source of operating revenue to support the core programs. At 28.5 ft. by 11ft., it will cover the entire central wall of our sanctuary. The LA team can help us by developing a comprehensive press kit and implementation plan for the Fresco. This will be used to deliver key messages about the project to relevant audiences across the state, including but not limited to: media outlets, tourism organizations, hotels & concierge services, schools, universities, chambers of commerce, museums, nursing homes, art affiliates, art collectors & enthusiasts, residents.
Literacy Council of Buncombe County
While we have a dynamic, modern, and thorough website, the Literacy Council’s print outreach materials are over ten years old and only include information on two of our four programs. We would like the LA team to help us create an accurate brochure to help recruit tutors and inspire donors, as well as printed materials that can help our partners refer people to the Literacy Council for services This project wills include best-practice research, photography, copy development, and graphic design. There is quite a bit of room for creativity in this project’s implementation.
Marvelous Math Club
Marvelous Math Club (MMC) is a weekly, free math club currently based in the Pisgah View housing community that strives to build community leadership among elementary school students while celebrating math. Students (Math Leaders) and volunteers (Math Champions) collaboratively play and learn together. Our goal is to build math confidence through positive experiences and associations with math.
Going into its third year, Marvelous Math Club has a need to conduct an assessment of its impact on individual Math Champions and Math Leaders. The LA team will help us create and conduct a “leadership assessment” in order to determine the individual and collective impacts of the club. This data will then be analyzed to determine Marvelous Math Club’s strengths and areas of improvement, to be used in grant applications to show measurable impacts on the target community, as well as the wider local network.
The LA Marvelous Math Club team will be made up of LA 37 class members, LA alumni, and A-B Tech staff member volunteers. This is a true collarborative effort and we thank you for your assistance!
OpenDoors of Asheville
Working together, the LA project team and OpenDoors staff will choose from one of two potential project topics. One project proposal focuses on board orientation and development with a goal of orienting the board to OpenDoors of Asheville (ODA); creating board best practices for both orientation and development and training items around poverty, education, race, equity, etc. and expanding scope of grant prospecting; best practices and tools for ongoing grant management. The second potential project involves developing plans for recruiting OpenDoors volunteers, known as TeamLeaders or TeamMembers, from partner schools as well as creating structure for training new recruits in OpenDoors activities as well as topics such as poverty and racial equity and identifying opportunities to improve volunteer recognition & retention.
Read to Succeed
Read To Succeed Asheville (R2S) was created in 2009 through the collaboration of community activists and the Asheville Housing Authority. Inspired by the conviction that the achievement gap in Asheville City Schools would have long-term negative consequences for the economic and social fabric of our community, this partnership conceived a program aimed at increasing the number of elementary school children who are reading proficiently by the end of third grade. We would like an LA project team to assist us by researching scholarly papers written and the research done in the last five year that focus on teaching students to read, i.e. best practices, what works, what doesn’t, etc. Also, we would like to review recent research as it relates to adult learners, i.e. best practices, what works, what doesn’t etc. Lastly, we are especially interested in learing about new research addressing literacy achievement gaps.
Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs
LA 37 project team members will help us structure a retreat format that could be used annually to evaluate our progress on our strategic plan, program evaluations and the growth of the Boys and Girls Clubs organization. The hope is that this format could be universal for the Advisory Council and the Staff to use to grow in the community. In addition, we will be able to identify what skillsets we need to add to our Council and develop best practices in order to grow the Council.