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We are currently accepting pre-applications for funding on a rolling basis.


Our Strategic Priorities

Single white dogwood flower with green leaves poking out form behind,

We believe education begins at birth and lasts throughout life. Education can be a key to unleash the potential of opportunity for everyone, especially for those who communities have been marginalized. Therefore, education should be equitable, excellent in its delivery and accessible to all regardless of place, gender or ethnicity.

Further, we believe that every child in WNC should:

  • have access to early education which supports their development towards brilliance
  • have every opportunity to enter kindergarten prepared to learn to the best of their ability
  • be nurtured by a well-prepared caregiver who feels supported in supporting their early learner 
  • be able to attend a school which supports their ability to be an engaged learner
  • have access to learning which leads to their ability to earn a wage to support themselves and their families.

We are committed to investing across all sectors of education: early childhood, K-12 and post-secondary. With the significant impact of COVID-19 on the education sector, our focus and initial investments have been aimed at helping schools at all levels – from early learning to higher education – face the incredible new challenges they are experiencing. Our funding to date has supported WiFi hotspots, learning pods, cleaning supplies for safe opening, COVID-19 testing and programs to support remote learners. 

We are currently working on developing specific goals and strategies for education and would love to learn from those doing the work in this region. We invite you to share your ideas and projects with us by filling out a pre-application for funding.


Grants approved in 2020

 $1.5 million

Goals & Strategies

Will be developed and shared in 2021

Apply for Funding 

Partner Spotlight

“Members of the Dogwood Health Trust team took time to meet with leaders in higher ed in order to understand what our unique challenges were and how they could partner with us to support a safe reopening during a pandemic. I really appreciate their willingness to listen and then act on our suggestions in order to support education and workforce training opportunities throughout the region.”

- Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, President, Blue Ridge Community College
“Our fall semester included a hybrid of online and in-person learning. We used funding from Dogwood Health Trust to purchase disinfectant wipes for students and faculty to use in classrooms, as well as thermometers and pulse oximeters for students who are required to quarantine while recovering from COVID-19 or waiting for test results. We truly appreciated the flexibility to be able to use the funds in the way that was most productive and helpful for our students and campus community.”

- Dr. Kelli R. Brown, Chancellor, Western Carolina University


Crossnore School & Children’s Home

Because North Carolina has approximately 10,000 kids in foster care at any given time, organizations like Crossnore School & Children’s Home fill a critical need when it comes to the health and welfare of children and their families. A 100+ year child welfare organization, working with children and families that are at risk of entering the foster care system, in the system and those aging out of the foster care system.

The WRESA staff standing in front a rock outside all wearing shades of blue.



The Western Regional Education Service Alliance proudly serves the school districts of 18 counties in Western North Carolina. They are a collaborative that exists to increase school systems’ effectiveness. They share instructional strategies and best practices and also pool resources to provide high-level professional development for educators in Western North Carolina.

Students of different backgrounds with "LEARN" written on top.