Education, youth a priority for foundation

Published 10:19 am Thursday, October 19, 2017

By Jane Simpson

President, Davie

Community Foundation

As the Final Drive for 5n5 picks up speed, commitments have now reached $4,200,000 in Community Funds.

The impact the dollars from the 5n5 Community Impact Challenge will have on the future is important and exciting. What is the Davie Community Foundation Board doing with Community Funds? Learn about grants, at the start of 5n5 and today.

Thanks to payment of prior 5n5 commitments, Davie Community Foundation Community Grants have steadily increased since 2013 when the 5n5 Community Impact Challenge was launched. Dollars granted in 2013 totaled $75,000 for education and youth related projects in Davie County.

Because a child must be able to read to be successful in school and life, the foundation invested early grant dollars in reading camps that kept children from regressing over the summer months. All six elementary schools hosted camps with creative themes that engaged children in learning while having summer fun.  Other school projects such as the STEM Pipeline and opportunities at the Center for the Environment were supported.

A grant was made to start a new program; Davie County GO FAR, which developed positive self-esteem in boys and girls through after school participation in the running program. The Big Buddy Program of BBBS, DARE Leadership Camps and opportunities for summer programming for Davie children at the ABC of NC Development Center were all supported.

In 2017, more than $168,000 has been granted for Davie projects that impact education and youth and new projects generated through the Healthy Davie Initiative.  The foundation has continued to make grants for summer reading, STEM, and special needs camps in all six elementary schools, and continued support of the STEM Pipeline for middle school students. Projects impacting youth were supported this year through Big Brother Big Sister along with a new agency, House of Hope Piedmont.

Because of the additional community dollars available for grants, the foundation board was able to branch out into other areas of concern for Davie County. Discussions about education, health and poverty through the Healthy Davie Initiative led to collaborative projects to improve Davie County in each area.

Through the Education arm of the Healthy Davie Initiative we learned that assisting children before they get to kindergarten can make the greatest difference in their success in school. As a result, grants were added for Kinder Camps in all six elementary schools, and a new family support program through Smart Start received a grant.

Under the Poverty area of the Healthy Davie Initiative, the Davie Community Foundation, County of Davie, and the Mebane Charitable Foundation combined resources to improve school readiness through early intervention with 18 underserved and economically disadvantaged students. The Healthy Davie Preschool Project impacts children ages 4-5, offering access to high quality preschool.   The parents of these 18 children are also be impacted as they gain access to resources and information that empowers them to break the cycle of poverty. Additional grants were made to support the Family Day Center managed by Just Hope and for startup expenses of the CARes Project, a United Way initiative designed to provide low-income, credit challenged working adults in Davie the opportunity to qualify for a low-interest loan while receiving ongoing financial and credit coaching.

In the area of Wellness, grant dollars were used to support the “One Billion Steps in One Hundred Days” Challenge and for the planning of future challenges and projects. In 2018, the group will focus on healthy eating and offer a new challenge to keep residents moving.

In addition to expanding grants into areas highlighted through Healthy Davie, the foundation is exploring a change in academics, school culture and life skills through implementation of “The Leader in Me” program at Pinebrook Elementary School. According to one principal, “The Leader in Me empowers students to be in charge of their daily actions and learning. It has been one of the most profound processes I have experienced as an educator. It has completely transformed our school’s culture, decreased discipline referrals, increased staff, student, and parent involvement, and elevated our academic achievement.”  If The Leader in Me is as successful at Pinebrook as it has been in other schools, the Foundation will explore adding additional schools!

We hope you can see the important areas that have been impacted thanks to the new grant dollars generated through the 5n5 Community Impact Challenge.

As we work to complete the Challenge and take advantage of the $500,000 matching gift mentioned in our last article, we hope you will choose to get involved. Gifts of all sizes to the Community Impact Fund will be added together to secure the $500,000 match and thus complete the 5n5 Community Impact Challenge. We hope you will want to say you had a part in making it happen. Ultimately it will be all Davie County residents who benefit; you and me.

Gifts to meet the 5n5 Community Impact Challenge may be made by check, payable to the Davie Community Foundation and mailed to PO Box 546, Mocksville, NC 27028, or by credit card by visiting the foundation website at Anyone interested in discussing their own named fund or a gift through their will should contact Jane Simpson at 336-753-6903 or