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

Funding Priorities
At-a-Glance

Want to know more? Find out more about Education funding opportunities.

Take a minute to read a message from Ereka R. Williams, Vice President – Education, to find out what we are focusing on in 2024.

wnc after 3pm

Multi-year funding provided to 47 organizations that offer high-quality, evidence-based out-of-school-time programming and supports, with a focus on Black students, English language learners, students with learning disabilities and students experiencing elevated levels of poverty.

what we’re learning about education

Care and Learning (CandL) Data on Early Care and Education

Comprehensive Studies of WNC’s Early Care & Education Landscape

A Landscape Analysis of K12 Education Outcomes in Western North Carolina

Summer Learning Recovery in Western North Carolina: Voices From the Field

how to apply

Want to discuss your ideas? Engage with us to start the process.

meet the
education team

Ereka R. Williams

Vice President – Education
[email protected]

Victoria Brownlee

Officer – Education
[email protected]

Tricia Wilson

Associate- Education
[email protected]

Dr. Ereka R. Williams joins Education Matters to discuss the value of out-of-school time programming in providing students continued learning and enrichment opportunities. In 2023, Dogwood and other WNC partners were recognized as Afterschool Champions for their contributions to out-of-school time programming as part of Lights On Afterschool, an annual nationwide campaign celebrating after school programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities.

partner outcomes

partner stories

Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina works to make a difference by one-on-one mentoring. Volunteers meet with the children and teens they are paired with for several hours, two to three times per month.

partner stories

Boys And Girls Club Of Henderson County

In the summer of 2020, the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County served nearly 250 members. Members benefited from several programs including the summer academic support program, Brain Gain. The Boys and Girls Club prides itself in mentoring its members to do well for themselves academically and their neighbors in the community.

partner stories

Boys And Girls Club Of Transylvania

Today’s Transylvania Boys & Girls Club is a hub of activity with kids coming from nine area schools. The Club serves kids from kindergarten through 12th grade. They offer a host of activities to engage the kids and to promote life-long learning, from academic success programs and character development to nutrition classes and physical activity.

partner stories

El Centro (LAC) Of Henderson County

El Centro of Henderson County, also known as the Latino Advocacy Coalition (LAC), is a Latinx-operated community center that alleviates challenges and creates a more inclusive community for Latinx residents by providing free and low-cost services, amplifying grassroots leaders, and bringing people together to access community resources. Established in 2001, El Centro (LAC) meets the needs of the Latinx community through three departments: Advocacy, Education and Mental Health.

partner stories

Glitter Sisters

As Principal of Asheville’s School of Inquiry and Life Sciences (SILSA), Nicole Cush recognized an opportunity to help young women of color strengthen their social-emotional skills and increase positive social and academic outcomes. The Glitter Sisters program serves as a critical support system for girls age 15-18 who have historically been marginalized in educational settings.

partner stories

Smart Start Regional Cohort

A Regional Cohort of Smart Start Local Partnerships is helping young children, their families, and early childhood educators increase resiliency and reduce trauma throughout Western North Carolina. Each community within the Cohort starts at its own level of readiness, but all are working in a regional and collaborative way.

education goals & objectives

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