Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
Analyzing census data sounds about as exciting as analyzing carpet fibers. But it turns out, the process can be rather illuminating when you have someone to help you draw connections and meaning from the results. In fact, there were several head-shaking moments of disbelief from the group who gathered for Crossroads Charlotte’s Know It 2 Work It program on Aug. 18.
Called "From the Numbers: Story Behind the Data," the attendees were comprised of Realtors, those in affordable housing or diversity planning and small business owners--all curious about how census data could be applied to their work and their industries. Angeles Ortega, a partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, led the group through the 2010 Census results while helping to give clarity and context to the numbers. What resulted was a compelling group dialogue about the reality of Charlotte’s growth and diversity and what that might mean for our economy and education system.
“Someone who doesn’t feel good about themselves.”
This was a young boy’s response to the question, "What is a bully?"
The performers of Opera Express engaged the children at Shalom Park Freedom School in a dialogue about bullying and friendship after performing their similarly themed version of The Billy Goats Gruff. About 50 Freedom School students, from kindergarten to fifth grade, enjoyed the operatic version of the fairytale about three billy goats and a bullying troll. The performance and the dialogue that followed focused on seeing the humanity in bullies and using kindness to breed kindness.
Shalom Park Freedom School is a collaborative effort to provide free, quality summer education programs for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students in underserved areas. The first Jewish-run Freedom School in the country, students take park in a six-week literacy and enrichment program in an effort to combat summer break learning loss.
The nearly 50 people sitting in a conference room at the Mint Museum uptown came with green thumbs, reading glasses or pictures of smiling kids. They came to share their triumphs and challenges in the effort to make Charlotte the greatest city that it can be. And they came with the hope that they will have the opportunity to do it all over again next year as Front Porch grant recipients.
On Tuesday, last year’s Front Porch recipients spent the evening celebrating this year’s success at their annual wrap-up dinner. Front Porch grants of up to $2,500 each fund community programs that build social capital among individuals, communities, neighborhoods and organizations. The seven-year-old program, which typically draws at least 50 applications each year, awarded 28 Front Porch grants in 2010-2011.
The participants at Tuesday’s gathering talked about programs that helped elementary school students from different socioeconomic backgrounds bond across books and gardening. Others talked about a GED program to help working adults. And others shared their success with an image project that gave students an opportunity to see themselves in a different way.
Front Porch Grants, a program that awards smaller-sized grants to projects making a big impact in building social capital between individuals, communities, and neighborhoods, is now accepting applications for the 2011-2012 grant cycle.
The Front Porch Grants program, named in honor of the power of a simple gathering place where people can meet and begin to build relationships, aims to increase trust, build bridges across differences and expand social connections by informal relationship building.
Last year from October to April, 27 neighborhood associations, social clubs, school groups and civic nonprofits brought together diverse folks from their community through art projects, community potlucks, creation of community gardens, mentorships, games, cleanups and other casual events that allowed for relationship building.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation, an affiliate of Foundation For The Carolinas, awards grants of up to $2,500 that support the creation of Front Porch projects while Crossroads Charlotte provides the framework.
The Front Porch Grant application accessible online must be received by noon on Friday, June 3, 2011.
More information can be found here.
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