Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team
Reports - May 21, 2015
and Workforce Development Committee
Active Routes to School Initiative – Thanks to a grant from Active Routes to
School, RES students in grades 3 – 6 took advantage of before school time to
Walk & Talk with their friends. The WCU mascot, PAWS, joined these students
on the first day of the six week program. RES averaged 100 – 125 students each
day of the program. As students enjoyed the social times and the incentives,
they also realized the health benefits of walking and are eager to continue the
program next year.
Science Olympiad News
– For the first time in school history, students from RHS competed in the NC
Science Olympiad at the regional level. From this group, two students—Sully
Oliver and Dalton Turner—earned access to the state tournament and won 2nd
place. These tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that
consist of a series of different hands-on, interactive, challenging, and
inquiry-based events that are well balanced between the various disciplines of
biology, earth science, environmental science, chemistry, physics, engineering,
2015-2016 Back to School Drive – The Back to School Supply drive will begin
this summer. Our goal is to provide school supplies for approximately 1,200
students at the beginning of the school year.
Monetary donations can be mailed to the following address:
College Access Grant –
Graham County Schools has received a grant from Davidson University which will
provide a counselor in our high school for two years, beginning in August 2015.
Stecoah Valley Center
is nearing the next phase of work on their playground project. This phase will
involve the completion of outdoor bathroom facilities. The master site for the
campus is also nearing completion and there are many cultural arts activities
planned for this summer.
students recently finished the construction of two bridges at the Carver
Cemetery which is part of the Santeetlah Bike Trail. Carpentry instructor, Rick
Parham, will be working with two high school students this summer to assemble
the outdoor classroom on the RHS campus.
Dolly Parton Imagination Library - DPIL Numbers:
286 currently registered
o 765 served
and Social Committee
Working with WNC Healthy
Impact to apply for a $1000 mini-grant to support Health Education activities in
Graham County and to begin a youth centered health promotion campaign that
encourages higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased physical
activity, decreased consumption of sugary drinks and less screen time.
Partnering with Graham
County Schools to use greenhouses as an educational tool to support diabetes
prevention in pre-schools, RES and RMS. RHS Carpentry students constructed
the greenhouses and are working to place them in permanent locations. Teachers
will use greenhouses and raised beds to grow strawberries, tomatoes, kale, and
popcorn. Teachers at RMS will collaborate to incorporate the garden into
lesson plans. Smart Start will use strawberries to teach nutrition
education at 9 pre-schools in county. Health Department and MountainWise
will provide recipe cards, educational materials and technical support.
MountainWise, ECU, and Youth Empowered Solutions to bring additional resources
to county that support healthy, local foods in small retail stores.
Working on a proposal to
have an Open Access Clinic at the Health Department five days a week.
· Meeting with stakeholders on the options for expansion of medical services in the county.
and Mountain Culture Committee
· Meetings for the Graham County Strategic Tourism Plan will conclude with the presentation at the GREAT May 21 meeting. Final report will be presented to GREAT Board of Directors for approval. Meetings will be scheduled with governmental agencies for review and approval.
Natural Resources and Water Quality Committee
and Infrastructure Committee
The GREAT Broadband Committee is pursuing different options to implement
the ARC Internet Access project funds. There were not any proposals submitted
for increased access to the Beach Creek and Pinhook communities.
Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel — the America’s
Best Communities competition sponsors — today announced that Clay, Graham,
Macon and Swain counties have advanced as a team to the quarterfinals of this
innovative competition. They are among the 50 quarterfinalist communities
that now have six months to complete their revitalization plans and compete for
up to an additional $3 million to bring their ideas to life. “We are extremely
excited that our four-county entry made it to the final 50 in the America’s Best Communities competition” said Frontier’s
Western North Carolina General Manager, Ken Maxwell. “The collaboration and
shared vision in these rural mountain communities have created great synergy to build
an economically stronger region. The partnership between The Southwest Regional
Commission and the Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team (GREAT) was
critical to develop a proposal that will make a difference for years to come in
Clay, Graham, Macon and Swain counties. We are proud to congratulate our friends
and neighbors for being recognized as one of the top 50 quarterfinalists.”