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Partner Profile

Western Regional Education Service Alliance

Western Regional Education Service Alliance (WRESA) proudly serves the school districts of 18 counties in Western North Carolina. As a collaborative 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.

WRESA initially partnered with Dogwood Health Trust in March 2020, to provide free WiFi hotspots to families in need. Madison County School District was able to supply 80 families with hotspots. Recipients encompassed citizens across a diverse range of life stages, including a middle school “A” honor roll student who is one of five children, grandparents raising a middle schooler, and a single mom struggling to make ends meet.

Madison Middle School Principal Monica Ponder says, “These are families who cannot afford the internet for their homes. Our families and students are appreciative of this service.”

Henderson County received 87 hotspots. Dr. John Bryant, Superintendent Henderson County Schools, underscores the impact the hotspots made.“Bridging the connectivity gap with immediate resources and sustaining those resources are paramount to ensuring that every child in our school community has access to the most robust and engaging learning environment possible. Dogwood Health Trust’s immediate investment and response to these needs has enabled HCPS to better serve our students and our school communities.”

“We are grateful for the generosity of Dogwood Health Trust to provide hotspots to school systems,” says Director Jan Webster, WRESA. “The collaboration between WRESA and Dogwood has allowed the school systems to identify needs to assist students in remote learning environments.”

Throughout 2020, WRESA continued to partner with Dogwood to support schools in Western North Carolina. Schools received masks and other COVID-19-related items, such as temperature scanners. 

WRESA also provides resources in professional development in the COVID-19-era of teaching, equipping educators as they face a new normal of educating students online. A partnership with Dogwood enabled WRESA to provide professional development opportunities free to districts, including sessions on social-emotional support resources, strategies to support student learning in online and blended environments, google suite training, and engaging students who are fighting apathy.

“Dogwood has been such a good fit. We were able to coordinate with the schools and Dogwood to get the schools the resources they needed,” says Webster.

“The collaboration between WRESA and Dogwood has allowed the school systems to identify needs to assist students in remote learning environments.”

– Jan Webster

Area Served:
18 counties in Western North Carolina

Dogwood Partner in: 

  • Education

Dogwood 2020 Funding:

  • $539,879.59