Read about important Crossroads Charlotte events, information and activities.
Chris Johnson says he’s never found himself at a place where he necessarily wanted for anything. But the 19-year-old journalism student said he got a recent education in just how fortunate he’s been in life.
A film presented by Crossroads Charlotte, Temple Beth-El and Mecklenburg Ministries called “Souls of Our Neighbors” attempted to dispel certain myths about homelessness to a roomful of about 50 gathered Saturday, March 24, at UNC Charlotte’s new Uptown Campus. Most of those attending were from area high schools. Though a contingent of about a half dozen kids from the University of South Carolina Upstate, including Johnson, also attended.
The film depicts the real-life experiences of six Charlotte families who faced and overcame homelessness in what, by many measures, is regarded as one of the most prosperous cities in the country.
Johnson, a sophomore from Hampton, S.C., said he found the story of the Masters family particularly compelling.
Richard and Stacey Masters found themselves having to live in a tent in the woods for five months, even though Stacey had a full-time job. Their two daughters had to do their homework by candlelight.
Acclaimed children's book author Kimberly P. Johnson's unique professional and educational background were put to good use when she guest read to groups of preschool aged kids at Thompson Child Development Center on Wednesday, March 21.
The North Carolina native and author of 14 books charmed a room full of eager four-year-olds as part of Thompson Child & Family Focus 16th annual “March Madness for Reading” initiative, a month-long quest to encourage kids to read and discover other literacy activities. Her lively and engaging presentation also attested to her background in Early Childhood Education, Youth Development and Leadership, as well as her 18 years of experience managing boisterous groups as a flight attendant with US Airways.
By mid-March, nearly 9,000 books had been read at school or home during the month of March to the diverse group of 140 kids who attend the Center. The school's ultimate goal is to complete 25,000 books by the end of the month with the aid of volunteer readers. This cheerfully decorated, state-of-the-art facility serves children birth to age 5, including a significant population of children with fragile backgrounds (some of whom have been exposed to domestic violence, substance abuse or poverty) and special learning needs.
Sustain Charlotte is a local nonprofit that hopes to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges. By all accounts, it looks like Charlotte has a mile-high climb.
But there’s reason for optimism. Sustain Charlotte, along with UNC-Charlotte’s graduate program in Urban Design, will host the first Community Sustainability Awards on Saturday, March 31.
Leaders from local nonprofits, government agencies, businesses and schools will be recognized for their civic action. More than 70 nominations were made. The event is 7-9 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at UNCC’s Center City Building at 320 E. 9th St. The 143,000-square-foot building, which opened last fall, makes for an appropriate venue since it’s LEED-certified.
Local citizens will be rewarded for their efforts at improving the Queen City’s air quality, public transportation, water quality, energy efficiency, parks and green space, said Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte.
Sustain Charlotte is a nonprofit that hopes to ensure a sustainable future for the entire Charlotte metropolitan region, Binns said.
On March 15, a group gathered at Christ Lutheran Church to participate in "Class Matters," the first workshop of a program entitled Bridges Out of Poverty.
Sponsored by Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation and the recipient of a Front Porch Grant by Crossroads Charlotte, the program is made available to teachers and those who volunteer with outreach programs that assist the impoverished.
The main objective of the workshop is to help these teachers and volunteers form more effective relationships by understanding more about poverty, as one of the key teachings of the course is that "no significant learning occurs without a significant relationship."
The class is taught by Amy Daniels, Director of Outreach at Christ Lutheran Church and president of McClintock Partners In Education (McPIE), a collaboration between Christ Lutheran and McClintock Middle School, a school with a 78% rate of poverty among its students. "You don't have to go to a third world country to see poverty," she says.
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