In 2014-2015, the Junior League of Asheville partnered with Children First/CIS Success Equation Initiative to provide educational learning events and donations to benefit the children at Children First/CIS Learning Centers and the Emma Family Resource Center. These Learning Centers included centers in the Pisgahview, Deaverview, and Woodridge communities.
The mission of Children First/CIS Success Equation Initiative is to inspire and sustain a local movement to reduce the incidence of poverty and its impact on children in Buncombe County through education, collaboration, and public policy. Their vision is a community where all children can thrive.
No child chooses to be born into poverty. All children deserve to be well cared for, healthy, safe, and educated so they have opportunities for success in the future. Unfortunately, children in poverty usually experience poorer health, safety, and education, as well as greater levels of toxic stress, than children from families with more money. In Buncombe County, right now 1 in 4 children in our county is living in poverty.
Children from low-income families are more likely to come to school behind, have undiagnosed learning disabilities, score lower on academic achievement tests, and drop out of school. They have less access to adequate health care and are 6 times as likely to live in homes without enough food, in high-crime neighborhoods. Children from low-income families are also more likely to experience parental joblessness, substance abuse, homelessness, and/or absence of a parent – leading to toxic stress levels that brain research shows hardwires young children’s brains and slows cognitive and emotional development.
The 2013 Success Equation Action Plan included emphasis in the three key focus areas identified from interviews and at the summit. Those areas are: Early Childhood Development, Child and Family Support and Family Economic Stability.
The Junior League of Asheville partnered with Children First/CIS Success Equation Initiative in the following ways:
- School Supply Donation Drive for the children at Pisgahview, Deaverview, and Woodridge Learning Centers. (September 2014)
- Provided handmade cards and over 250 gifts for 40 children for the 2014 Children First/CIS Holiday Giving Program. (December 2014)
- Held a Valentine’s Day Party with games, crafts, and cookie decorating stations for the children at Pisgahview Learning Center. Valentine’s gift bags were provided for all of the children at Pisgahview, Deaverview, and Woodridge Learning Centers. (February 2015)
- Held a Dr. Suess themed reading party for the children at Deaverview Learning Center. New books were donated individually to each child at the Pisgahview, Deaverview, and Woodridge Learning Centers. (April 2015)
- Partnered and sponsored the 18th annual Child Watch Tour with Children First CIS. (May 2015)
- Formed a team “The Vivacious Volunteers” and participated in the “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?” fundraising event benefiting Children First. (May 2015)