Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team

Committee Reports - September 15, 2016


Education and Workforce Development Committee


·        Chromebooks – RHS high school students were issued Chromebooks at the beginning of the school year. RMS and RES are pursuing funding for a Chromebook grant for students in grades 5-8 and IPad carts for grades K-4.

·        RES Outdoor Classroom – completed during summer 2016 and being enjoyed by students and staff.

·        RHS Student Council – council will be attending the NC Student Council Leadership seminar in Monroe, North Carolina on October 8.

·        Day of Caring – September 9, 2016 was the third annual “Day of Caring” at RHS. Students and faculty spent the day giving back to our community in appreciation for all that they do for our school system. 

·        21st CCLC Program – Graham County Schools’ 21st Century Community Learning Center will begin after school programs on September 19, 2016 for grades 3-12.

·        Big Brothers Big Sisters Program – Dorothy (Dottie) Cable has been hired as the coordinator for Graham County’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

·        RHS Carpentry – Carpentry II students are currently building House #3. The blocks are laid, subfloor complete, and students will begin building walls this week.  The house is located on Pate Cooper Rd. off of Mill Creek Circle.

·        Dolly Parton Imagination Library - DPIL Numbers:

o       217 currently registered

o       515 graduated

o       843 served


Health and Social Committee


·        PlayPrints – the PlayPrints grant we received by Graham County Health Department last year is behind in installing, was supposed to be in the spring, they sent an email, it should be  in the next 2 months

·        Diabetes Prevention Program – the second Diabetes Prevention Program has entered into the post core phase having completed the first part of meeting weekly for 16 weeks and are now meeting monthly. Our most compliant attendee has now lost 42 pounds. No one has signed up for the class that was to start this month but we do have several that are doing the DEEP class for people who are already diabetic. 

·        Community Health Assessment – just completed and submitted the Action Plans that follow up the Community Health Assessment.

·        Faithful Families Program – still working on implementing Faithful Families, an Eat Smart, Move More Faith based program for congregations. Work continues on the Work Site Wellness program in conjunction with Mountain Wise.


Tourism and Mountain Culture Committee

·        Graham County Map Asset Project – Work continues on the Asset Map Project with first round of revisions being submitted. Anticipated completion time is early October. 
·        Emerging Opportunities Grant – funding in the amount of $20,000 has been announced by the Appalachian Region Commission for the Destination Branding Identity project.

·        Tourism and Mountain Culture Committee – the committee met Thursday, Sept. 1 to review objectives and strategies. Updates on the asset map project along with application to ARC for the Wayfinding Signage project was provided. We are in need of new members who can be active with the group and several names were discussed. The committee is dedicated to seeing a visitor’s center in Graham County and will be pursuing ways to make that a reality.


Recreation, Natural Resources and Water Quality Committee

·        Volunteer Work – An additional 27 hours of volunteer labor was used to install a river cane barrier at Robbinsville High School.

·        CCC Trail Project – The Partners of Joyce Kilmer, the GREAT NRRWQ committee and the US Forest Service have partnered to rehabilitate the historic Civilian Conservation Corp camp paved trail and overlook across from the Cheoah District Office. To date, seven volunteers have put in 63 hours of work cleaning and patching the .25 mile paved trail. Rehabilitation of the overlook area will begin next week. The Partners of Joyce Kilmer has contributed $1000 and GREAT has contributed $500 to the effort.

·        Benton MacKaye Trail – Multiple volunteers in conjunction with the Benton MacKaye Trail Association have spent several days clearing and brush cutting sections of the Benton MacKaye Trail in Graham county.

·        Guided Hikes - The Partners of Joyce Kilmer has sponsored and led multiple hikes on various trails in the county.


Revitalization and Infrastructure Committee


·        Internet Access Project – Final easement documents have been received. Deployment of fiber by BalsamWest will commence soon. The Graham County Internet Access project is funded by the Appalachian Region Commission (ARC) for increased internet access to serve the Tapoco/Meadow Branch area of the county.


Leadership and Government Committee

·        Graham County Leadership Training Project - The initial session of the Leadership Project was held on July 27, 2016 at Stecoah Valley Center with twenty-eight participants in attendance.  The project is a collaborative effort with the Graham County Extension Office and Tri-County Community College and the Southwestern Commission to provide leadership training sessions for Graham County residents and students. Session II will be held on October 26, 2016 at 9 am at Stecoah Valley Center. Please register with your name and email address at the GREAT Office at (828) 479-9008 or by Sept. 26, 2016.