Flint, MI – MARCH 6, 2015 – The Asbury Community Development Corporation located at 1653 Davison Road, Flint, Michigan 48506, announced today that they are conducting a pilot program for a new “community school model” with funding support provided by a Next-Step Grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. Jim Craig, Chair of Asbury CDC explained that “The Asbury Community School Model is not another charter school. Rather it is a community-involved effort whose aim is to increase literacy across the entire community.” Asbury has been one of the founding members of the Flint & Genesee County Literacy Network.
The Asbury Community School model has its roots in two prior programs sponsored by Asbury. One was the Asbury Family Development Center that utilized a curriculum known as Strengthening Families which focused on preventative training utilizing Family Systems research. The second program began as KNOW OUR NEIGHBORS asked local residents about their needs and talents with the idea of bringing them together by matching capabilities with needs. This program expanded during 2014 when Asbury conducted over 300 individual interviews that included a literacy assessment that included basic math skills. This community program called CONNECTING NEIGHBORS was also funded by a Community Foundation grant.
Asbury is encouraged by the feedback from the local community. Rosemary Denson, nurse and mother of four students, commented that “my children learned a lot while working in Asbury’s summer program. I am excited about having them participate in the community school pilot.” A former teacher, Debbie Deming, who has been helping Asbury with their college student housing program said “I’m excited about Asbury’s concept for a community school model. My experiences with Asbury as a volunteer has been encouraging.”
The Reverend Dr Tommy McDoniel, ViceChair of Asbury CDC and Pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church commented that “The CONNECTING NEIGHBOR pilot using the Asbury Community School Model is a first step to a longer term commitment by Asbury to be an agent of positive transformation within Flint’s Eastside.” The pilot consists of four activities for middle and high school youth: homework help and tutoring; art and music; health and recreation; and work-study where the students will learn how to start and run a business that builds and installs park benches.
Other community programs operated by Asbury include college student housing known as the Asbury House and a partnership with the Genesee County Land Bank’s Clean & Green program. Financial donations are appreciated and can be mailed to the address above. To volunteer or to provide in-kind donations please contact Asbury directly.