Strategy HCO8.4: Work with Children First/Communities in Schools (CIS) to develop a more sustainable funding system, to help the organization maintain and grow its successful programs.
Children First/CIS of Buncombe County is a not-for-profit organization that offers direct services to economically disadvantaged children, youth, and their families. These services include:
- Family Resource Center at Emma that helps over 700 English and Latino families (approximately 520 adults and 532 children) in crisis with a food pantry, clothing closet, emergency financial assistance, parenting classes, and a community garden.
- Learning Centers that provide a safe haven after school for 60 at-risk elementary school-aged youth, who live in two public housing complexes and a Section 8 apartment complex. The children receive homework help, a healthy snack, and enrichment activities. A parental involvement component is also included.
- Latino Outreach that offers a Motheread parent/child literacy program, Love & Logic parenting classes, and numerous resources.
- Project POWER/AmeriCorps program that provides mentoring and enrichment activities to youth living in Buncombe County.
In addition to direct services, Children First/CIS also provides advocacy and community education to raise awareness of, and develop sustainable solutions to, issues affecting children and families and breaking down barriers of poverty. Children First staff should work with other counties in the GroWNC region to establish similar programs in all five counties.