As part of a new middle-school initiative, United Way and Buncombe County Schools have partnered to create a “Homework Diner” program at Owen Middle School. The free weekly event takes place every Monday, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria, 730 Old U.S. Hwy. 70, in Swannanoa. Homework Diner volunteers help students with their schoolwork, and the whole family gets a free, nutritious meal. The Homework Diner is open to all families with a K-12 student in the Owen district, including public, private, and home-schooled students. All participating students must be accompanied by at least one adult family member.
The Homework Diner is part of a larger initiative to promote middle school success, and to prepare students for high school, community leadership, and ultimately college or career. Owen is the latest middle school to participate in the pilot program, joining Enka, Erwin and Asheville. Eventually, the program will be available in all Buncombe County middle schools.
Recognizing that healthy communities create healthy kids, the program will eventually reach into the larger community, using the middle school as a hub to connect residents with resources that promote health, education and financial stability. To support this goal, United Way has recently hired Josh Wells as the Owen Middle School Resource Coordinator. Josh, along with a newly-formed Community Resource Team, is hard at work building partnerships and helping to identify the unique needs of our community. Stay tuned for more details as this new program progresses.