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HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 14, 2015 – The Community Writing Center, a partnership of High Point University and Mt. Zion Baptist Church, recently received a $7,000 grant from the High Point Community Foundation. The grant will help the CWC respond to community needs that make it difficult for children to participate, such as hunger or access to transportation.

Opened in 2013 by HPU English professors Charmaine Cadeau and Cara Kozma, the Community Writing Center provides one-on-one reading and writing development and homework help for local elementary students. This year, HPU service learning students and Bonner Leaders who staff the center have contributed more than 820 hours of service.

Funding from the grant will help the center have an even greater impact in the community by taking away some of the barriers that keep children from enrolling. Specifically, it will help Mt. Zion Baptist Church cover the cost of transportation to drop the children off at home and provide a nutritious meal and snack for each child.

“The CWC has been a bright spot for the members of our church,” says the Rev. Frank Thomas, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. “They are happy to be doing something in the community that is helping children directly, and the entire neighborhood indirectly. I’ve personally been impacted by my interaction with the children.”

HPU alumna Shannon Barr, an AmeriCorps VISTA who coordinates the program, says the grant shows the value of the center’s work in promoting literacy for High Point children.

“The Community Writing Center is a stellar example of the how the city of High Point comes together to support our youth,” Barr says. “I’ve had the pleasure of watching children eat snacks donated by Walmart, pick out books at Used Pages Bookstore, tour the campus of HPU, and explore creativity through literacy three days a week at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The generous support of the High Point Community Foundation allows us to continue this tradition and expand our services as the program grows.”

Article and photo courtesy of High Point University.