Here’s the press release from the Asheville City Schools Foundation:
Asheville, N.C. (July 23, 2013) – Asheville City Schools Foundation (ACSF) promotes educational success for all Asheville City Schools students by engaging and mobilizing students, teachers, parents, and the entire community in building strong public schools. Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation recently awarded a two-year grant to ACSF to provide support for the organization’s mission and its work.
“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes that each child deserves a high-quality education that prepares him or her to be successful in life. Asheville City Schools Foundation is working to accomplish this goal by incorporating parents and the community’s voices in decisions that have a positive impact on children’s futures; creating a strong partnership with the district; and collaborating with schools and teachers to develop an array of academic offerings that will result in graduating more well-rounded students. We are proud to partner with ACSF to achieve this shared vision.”
The next few years will be pivotal for public education and the ACSF. The ACSF is effectively improving public education in our region by advocating for excellence in education in our public schools, and providing essential resources to make it possible. “The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has been a key partner in supporting teachers and children in our public schools. Their support has made Fellowships possible for 70 of our best teachers, and improved learning for thousands of students,” said Kate Pett, Executive Director of the ACSF. “Given the current legislative environment, it is imperative that we continue to inform and engage the community in supporting great public schools that are accessible to all children in Asheville.”
Funds from this grant will support the capacity of the ACSF to work locally and with other partners across the state, to identify challenges facing our public schools and present innovative solutions. This work includes participation in statewide coalitions to voice the needs of children and teachers. Locally, the ACSF will support Asheville City Schools by seeking new resources to fill gaps created by budget cuts. These funds will support teacher-directed professional development so that each child has a highly-qualified teacher who can prepare children for success in a changing world.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but we are confident that the great educational legacy that North Carolina has maintained in the past, will not be lost. To ensure that we can build on the good work initiated, and meet the challenges ahead, we are grateful for the continued investment of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in our work as we build a broader base of community support.”
Asheville City Schools Foundation is one of 81 grants that the Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation approved during its spring 2013 grant awards on May 10. Trustees voted to award grants totaling $11.3 million to organizations in 26 North Carolina counties.
ABOUT THE ASHEVILLE CITY SCHOOLS FOUNDATION
Founded in 1988, the Asheville City Schools Foundation (ACSF) is dedicated to the educational success of all Asheville City Schools students. The ACSF mobilizes the community to support public education through advocacy, capacity-building and direct service to children. ACSF invests in student achievement through an extensive tutoring program, administering college scholarships for 1st-generation attendees, and providing emergency assistance to families in crisis. We enhance classroom experiences with a Fellowship program to inspire teacher research aimed at increasing student achievement, small grants for innovative classroom projects, and by training and placing local artists in classrooms. ACSF created and leads the In Real Life after-school program for middle school students, engaging dozens of community organizations in learning activities with over 250 youth. ACSF connects PTOs across the city schools, coordinates 11 VISTA volunteers to help students excel, and conducts listening projects to bring low-income parents into conversation with other public education stakeholders.
ABOUT THE Z. SMITH REYNOLDS FOUNDATION
The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) invests in statewide, multi-county and community-based organizations that are dedicated to building an inclusive, sustainable and vibrant state. The groups that the foundation supports work to build healthy, robust communities at the local level and engage in education, civic dialogue and advocacy around issues of importance to communities and to North Carolina. ZSR currently focuses on the areas of community economic development, environment, public education, social justice and equity and strengthening democracy. The foundation is a 75-year-old private foundation based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.zsr.org.