Children First/ Communities In Schools project grant to help battle poverty

Press release from Children First NC

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awards $30,000 to
Children First/ Communities In Schools of Buncombe County
Project grant to support community movement to reduce poverty

Asheville, N.C. (July 18, 2013) – Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation recently awarded a project grant to Children First/ Communities In Schools of Buncombe County to support its Success Equation initiative – a local movement to reduce poverty and its impact on children in Buncombe County through education, collaboration, and advocacy, resulting in a community where all children thrive.

Children First/ Communities In Schools advocates for Buncombe County children while providing direct services for economically disadvantaged children, youth, and families.

“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes that bringing diverse voices together to solve community problems is an important component of fostering a healthy democracy,” said Leslie Winner, Executive Director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. “Children First/ Communities In Schools of Buncombe County is working with people – across sectors, race, class and geography – to address one of the most pressing issues of our time, child poverty. We are proud to partner together to achieve this shared vision.”

“Funding from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to support the Success Equation is incredibly timely, and much needed,” said Allison Jordan, Executive Director of Children First/ CIS. “The climate in Raleigh for policies that assist low income children and families is difficult, and we are facing challenges at the same time that the need is great. In Buncombe County, one in four families suffer food hardship and one in two children receive free and reduced lunch due to low family income.”

“Reversing the status quo requires changes in public awareness and understanding; changes in laws, programs and budget priorities; and changes in how communities support all children,” said Greg Borom, Director of Advocacy with Children First/ CIS. “The Success Equation brings the community together to support children so that they can live happy, safe, and productive lives. We are grateful to Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for recognizing and supporting this work.”

Children First/ Communities In Schools of Buncombe County 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.

Children First/ Communities In Schools of Buncombe County is a local non-profit that provides programs to economically disadvantaged children & families. Children First’s mission is to empower children and their families to reach their full potential through advocacy, education, and services. The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. To find out more go to

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

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.