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Family Resource Center Moves to Enka Middle
Family Resource Center Moves to Enka Middle
Posted on 10/28/2020
A collage showing people working at the Family Resource Center.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

The Buncombe County Schools Family Resource Center (FRC), which has provided thousands of meals to local families, has moved to Enka Middle School.

The FRC, which was located at the BCS Central Office and then Biltmore Church’s Arden Campus, now occupies two former classrooms at the back of the school. FRC Coordinator Shannon Boyd and Resource Coordinator Kay Smith hosted an open house last week, inviting school personnel and community members to visit the freshly stocked classrooms and assemble supply bags for families.

“We want people to see what the Resource Center is about,” Ms. Boyd said. “It’s all about access, both to supplies and also to services.”

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FRC rapidly expanded from a “crisis closet” at the Central Office to the entire Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy cafeteria. Teacher assistants and other school-based staff volunteered to deliver meals and donated supplies all across the county. Now, with schools open on the BCS Return to Learn plan, school-based social workers are picking up the supplies from the semi-permanent Enka Middle location and making sure they get where they’re needed.

Inside the FRC, donated supplies ranging from canned food to crayons to diapers line tables against the walls of the two classrooms. Inspirational quotes adorn whiteboards, along with recognitions for BCS social workers who work every day to remove barriers to learning.

“They, along with classroom teachers, find where we need to send help, and they make it happen,” Ms. Smith said. “They make a difference. They are the face of hope.”

The BCS Maintenance Department is a big help too, Ms. Boyd added. They cleared out the middle school classrooms to make room for the FRC. When monetary donations come in, Maintenance staff pick up large orders from grocery stores. Jeffrey Shuman, a carpenter in the department, even built custom wooden boxes that converted hand trucks into wagons for easier supply transportation.

“Maintenance has really done a lot to help us,” Ms. Boyd said. “They’re dedicated, and we really appreciate it.”

Ms. Boyd and Ms. Smith have big plans for the future. They’re working on a joint resource center with Asheville City Schools that will combine resources for more complete coverage at a more central location. They want to create an intake center to connect unhoused youth with housing, meals, tutoring and mentoring, laundry, workforce development, and more. They’re planning collaborations with state and local health, legal, and community services organizations to accomplish these goals.

“I leave this place every day wondering ‘how did I get so lucky to be working on something this important?’” Ms. Smith said. “I think that’s why we’re all here, to make a difference.”

The FRC continues to need supply and monetary donations from the public. Please visit the BCS Return to Learn website for more information.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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