Print In a cozy room filled with windows, books and cheerful posters, two kindergartners practice letter sounds by playing a picture game on a carpet mat. A few doors down, third-graders sit in rapt attention — hands rising rapidly to answer questions — while their teacher talks about the primary colors in famous abstract art.
Another door opens to a science lesson where children happily bang rocks together to make sand as the classroom snake naps in its glass case. Teacher Best Woodrow surrounded by students during lunch. At lunchtime, the children head to a cafeteria offering baked chicken, fresh salads, apple slices, beans and rice. The new public school, loaded with extra resources from donations, is key to the Renaissance West Community Initiative , an ambitious effort to lift families out of poverty and into better lives.
A variety of agencies, including housing, social services and medical, as well as nonprofits and business leaders have footprints planted firmly in the effort. The Renaissance, an attractive, modern brick apartment and townhome complex with units of mixed-income housing, replaced the old buildings. Others, who qualify for public assistance, pay what they can afford. Subsidies come with stipulations: Tenants must work, go to school or be in training for at least 30 hours a week to live there, said Amanda Golmont, development officer for RWCI.
Employees and retirees in volunteered , hours of service. On May 18 at Renaissance West, Duke Energy volunteers will serve as breakfast buddies and work in a variety of projects at the school and the child development center. Another portion of the complex contains apartments and a senior center. Across the street and on the other end of life, the newly opened Howard Levine Child Development Center provides early education to give children a strong foundation for school.
A community center offers job training, GED classes, personal finance counseling, computer literacy courses and other opportunities for adults. About 90 percent of them started the school year academically behind. The carefully chosen staff includes young and veteran teachers committed to working with disadvantaged children. Clay Sanders teaches gym class Sanders, 35, worked in banking and insurance before deciding he had a greater calling — teaching.
He also runs an after-school sports program two days a week. To become a doctor: