I need your help. It’s easier to ask because it’s not for me. It’s for some kids in a community that walk out their door and deal with the things we shelter our kids from every day. There is a project that will help them have tools to build a future and change the landscape of where they live. An Early Childhood Education Center in this community will help offset the achievement gap present in the education system. We are so close to making this happen!! When $25 would help us move toward unlocking more grant $$ for this project. If you are willing and able to do more, it gets us closer faster, but I promise, this is truly an instance where every penny helps!
Do you know how everyone says “Be The Change”? Here is a way that every single dollar you contribute will actually support GENERATIONS OF CHANGE in a community.
How? By starting an Early Childhood Education Center in a community that is under-resourced. The kids in this community do not have access to resources that many of us take for granted. The average income hovers around $22,000 with many families working in the booming tourism industry in the downtown Charleston so many of us know and love just 4 miles away. This project offers the opportunity for the kids in this neighborhood to be launched into their future!
The restoration of this historic school that sits in the heart of this community will also offer a space for non-profits that provide access to tools for neighbors to manage finances and build skills for success AND a performing arts center / 28 artist studios as well. Did you know that by the introducing the arts in an under-resourced community it has been shown to increase resilience, decrease crime and improve social stressors for residents? It is why art is built into place making sites across the country.
Please ask me if you have any questions. I would love to share more details. But trust me, every single penny will make a HUGE difference because it will also help unlock opportunities for more access to grant money to make this project a reality. (Click link for more info on the project and details about the competition!)
From Metanoia about the Project:
For our community, we at Metanoia CDC in North Charleston, South Carolina envision a diverse community of people that have access to quality educational opportunities, a thriving arts sector that celebrates the culture of the people it serves and access to opportunity that empower residents to create better outcomes both for themselves and their families.
This vision has inspired our most ambitious project to date, which will change the trajectory of this community for generations to come.
Nestled among old live oak trees and tucked against the eastern boundary of what was once one of the largest naval yards in the United States, the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood located in North Charleston, South Carolina has a past full of heritage, and loss. Since the closing of the Charleston Naval Yard in 1996, jobs have been hard to come by and the area has seen a steady decline until recent years. Poverty rates hover near 50% while unemployment is a staggering 22%. The average household income is $22,000 and the area consistently experiences the highest rates of violent crime in the region.
We at Metanoia, a local nonprofit community development corporation, have been working alongside the residents of this community to revitalize the neighborhood in a way which prevents growth and gentrification from displacing its majority African American (79%) population. This community, our community, is located in a distressed set of neighborhoods in an otherwise economically vibrant region. Residents are facing significant pressure from gentrification. We have a limited window of opportunity to secure assets in our community so that the residents who are here now can enjoy the progress of added investment. Metanoia calls this “gentrification with justice” and it is the primary goal of our equitable development efforts.
Our most ambitious project to date is the redevelopment of the 58,000 square foot (s/f) abandoned elementary school which lies empty in the heart of our community. The former Chicora Elementary School will be redeveloped into a hub of economic activity offering new job opportunities and access to services not presently available to residents. From beginning to end, this project has been designed to be a self-sustaining community asset rather than a grant-based annual support project. The building will contain the city’s only A-rated Early Childhood Development Center, artist studios, performance art space/community meeting facility and nonprofit office space. The funds raised in this challenge will go toward Metanoia’s Old Chicora Project and to supporting community development efforts in the underserved southern neighborhoods of North Charleston. #thisiswhatcommunitylookslike
“Studies show that the arts are an effective tool in building resilient, vibrant and healthy community and are linked to reducing the ‘Achievement Gap.’ By creating a center for visual and performing arts within Chicora-Cherokee, we will further sustain the arts in our region and realize an awakening of a healthy community” Rev. Bill Stanfield, Metanoia CEO
Your support is crucial to us and we’re thankful for the opportunity to increase your support through USA Today’s A Community Thrives Challenge.
To learn more about Metanoia Community Development Corporation and our many programs and accomplishments, please visit www.pushingforward.org.