January 25, 2015

Fletcher commits over $1 million to East Durham


Jim Goodmon

Jim Goodmon

DURHAM, N.C. - Over the next three years, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation will invest $1.135 million to help break the cycle of poverty in East Durham.

The Raleigh-based foundation has assembled a package of grants and loans that will support the goals of the East Durham Children's Initiative, a collaboration of local agencies that aims to surround residents of the 120-block neighborhood with "cradle-to-career" services designed to transform the area.

Based on Harlem Children's Zone model created in New York City, the effort brings together community residents, education and government leaders and local agencies that serve children and families.

"With this grant, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation will focus like never before on the multiple needs of a single community," Jim Goodmon, chair of the Raleigh-based foundation and president and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company, says in a statement. "Our hope is that this approach will bring strong results and provide a model for other groups looking to rebuild communities in North Carolina and beyond."

East Durham Children's Initiative, a program of Center for Child & Family Health, will receive $300,000 in grants over three years.

Healthy Families Durham, also a program of the Center for Child & Family Health, will receive $110,000 over two years to provide intensive home-based support to prevent child abuse and promote child health in low-income, high-risk families.

Student U, which involves college students in sharpening the academic and personal skills of students in the Durham Public Schools, will receive $60,000 over three years.

Preservation North Carolina will receive a $425,000 loan to purchase and renovate historic houses in East Durham that are vacant and that then can be sold to local families.

And Teach for America will receive $240,000 over three years to bring teachers to Neal Middle School in East Durham.

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