Crossnore School for Foster Children to Expand - myfoxcarolinas.com

Crossnore School for Foster Children to Expand

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The Crossnore School in Crossnore, North Carolina was originally built as a boarding school where poor mountain children could get an education. Over the years, the focus changed and in the 1950s, a charter school began and the children’s home worked to serve kids in foster care.

"We are the only school in the Carolinas specially designed for foster children,” said Brett Loftis, CEO, The Crossnore School. “We are a public charter school on the campus of children's home."

Loftis says the school takes children from as young as one to 21-years-old and, on average, are two years behind their peers academically.

"Average child on this campus has experienced multiple placements before they come here,” he said. “They come here with their siblings, very often are here and are scared and confused.”

Woodrow Greene came to the camp a year ago, following the death of his father.

Woodrow Greene talks about Crossnore

“I was placed here because my parents, they passed away when I was younger, Social Services found a placement for me here at The Crossnore,” Greene said. “Coming here to The Crossnore School, it’s been a blessing, it’s been wonderful here.”

Greene said he had been placed three different times in other foster care situations.

“I spent about 5 months in a foster home, little over a year ago, year and a half ago, and that was horrible. I just couldn’t stand that,” he said. “Coming here to Crossnore, it’s just been a reprieve. It’s been just great. I’m able to grow and, since I’ve come here, I’ve been able to have my own vehicle and be able to have my own job and be able to just be a kid.”

Greene Describes a typical day at Crossnore

While Greene is 18-years-old, he has the opportunity to stay on campus until he is 21. He is a senior at Williams Academy, the campus charter school, and says he looks forward to what the new school will provide to future students.

Greene commented, “There’s been time where I’ve been down and thought, “Well, I can’t do this. High school is just too hard.” And, I know a lot of kids here have been like that, but I’ve passed all my classes with the help of the people here at the Academy and I’m pretty sure that’s going to keep on happening. Everyone here wants to see you excel.”

Now, a $1 million donation from former Bank of America CEO, Ken Lewis, allowed for the creation of a capital campaign of $6.3 million for expansion to the campus. Leonard and Marjorie Williams helped by giving $1.3 million to build a new high school for the on campus charter school.

The school's impact on Greene

“In the last quarter we've turned over 50 children away because we don't have space for them,” said Loftis. “The gift will allow us to serve 50 percent more children in the charter school and now we’re raising the rest of money to serve more children on the residential campus.”

Three new cottages will be built to serve 30 additional children on the residential campus and the new high school will provide education opportunities for 50 students.

“It’s really a school where they have highly trained teachers, over half of our teachers have master’s degrees in the areas where they teach,” said Loftis. “Low class sizes and tons of opportunities for arts, travel, every child has a laptop on campus, so really an interactive learning style. So, it’s an excellent education for kids who are in foster care, but all kids in our community.”

The groundbreaking for the new high school addition to the charter school is slated for August, with a completion date one year later.

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