The PNC Foundation has awarded Central Piedmont Community College two grants totaling $500,000 to support the college's early childhood education program and help train more pre-K teachers as Mecklenburg County works to provide more pre-K opportunities for local children.
"As our communities face the serious health and economic challenges presented by the current crisis, it's important to acknowledge that pre-K education is essential to helping today's children and tomorrow's workforce achieve economic mobility," said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas and a Central Piedmont Foundation board member. "These grants will help train and develop the pre-K educators who will be integral to the growth, quality and resilience of pre-K education in Charlotte-Mecklenburg."
The first grant of $255,000, awarded over five years, will enable the college to hire an early childhood education recruiter/academic coach. With a focus on Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Title 1 high schools and low-income students from other area high schools, the recruiter/academic coach will promote the program in schools and youth programs such as Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas and the City of Charlotte Mayor's Youth Employment Program. Upon identification of interested students, the recruiter will work with students and families to assist with enrollment and registration. Once students are enrolled, the recruiter will serve as an academic coach, shepherding them along their chosen career pathway.
The college will use the second five-year grant of $245,000 to provide scholarships and other assistance to incumbent child care workers in need of additional college classes and credits to earn an associate degree in early childhood education. Specifically, early childhood education students participating in the Reinforced Instruction for Student Excellence (RISE) developmental math and English program at Central Piedmont will have access to:
- online tutoring service through Smart Thinking available 24 hours a day/seven days a week;
- peer mentors;
- on-site, face-to-face tutors;
- an academic coach/career navigator; and
- laptop computers to aid out-of-class learning, for those with demonstrated financial need.
"The college is grateful to PNC for its generous support of Central Piedmont's early childhood education program," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "Providing opportunities for more Mecklenburg County children to attend pre-K school is an important economic mobility initiative in the county. The success of this effort will depend in large part on having enough Pre-K teachers.
"PNC is a true partner with the college and Mecklenburg County as we endeavor to ensure all children have the education they need to pursue their academic and life goals," Deitemeyer said.
COVID-19 has upended almost all aspects of our daily lives. Our greater Charlotte community is making amazing and immediate efforts to meet the new challenges presented by the pandemic and local and state stay-at-home orders. Here at Central Piedmont, our students, faculty, and staff remain committed and are focused on a positive future ahead. To protect the health and well-being of our community, friends, and family, we are responding in the following ways:
- Central Piedmont students, staff, and faculty transitioned to online learning on Monday, March 23. The spring semester will be completed remotely. To ensure online access, the college ordered and distributed Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots at no cost to more than 250 students and employees in need. Thanks to Emergency Fund donors for making this effort possible.
- The May 2020 commencement ceremony has been postponed. Smaller, in-person, program-focused ceremonies will take place at Central Campus July 29 - 31.
- Medical supplies and equipment from our college healthcare programs have been donated to Atrium Health and Novant Health.
- Central Campus will host a community mobile blood drive on April 21, 12-5pm.
- Central Piedmont's small business center is providing free, online business counseling and training to local business owners.
- Members of the college's Culinary Arts program helped box donated food for out-of-work restaurant employees in the Charlotte area.
- The college's Human Resources department has established the Central Piedmont Cares initiative to help all college employees identify and solve challenges in their function or their personal lives
Central Piedmont's Dr. Adam Harris, chair of the computer engineering technology, electrical engineering technology and electronics engineering technology programs, and Dr. Jacob Garbini, chair of the engineering program, are partnering with Charlotte Latin to produce the parts needed for CharlotteMEDI to make face shields for area hospital personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As instructors, Dr. Harris and Dr. Garbini regularly work in the college's FabLab, home to 10 3D printers, which the duo has been visiting tirelessly, sometimes twice a day, to manufacture the headbands and bottom clips needed to complete the assembly of CharlotteMEDI's face shields.
To date, the Central Piedmont team has made approximately 300 3D printed parts, such as bottom clips and headbands.
But, according to Dr. Garbini, that's only the beginning.
Once the team receives more filament -- the material used to produce the parts -- and services a couple of the machines to get them all working at 100 percent capacity, Dr. Garbini anticipates being able to print approximately 160 clips a day going forward.
However, productivity isn't his only concern, so is safety. "I've sectioned off the lab in the building to prohibit the parts from being exposed to any external germs or elements before they are shipped," adds Dr. Garbini. "At the end of the day, Adam and I are grateful to be given the opportunity to use our college's equipment to contribute to a community need. Any support we can offer to our healthcare providers during this critical time is extremely important -- both for their safety and the well-being of the greater Charlotte community."
Dr. Garbini delivered the face shield parts he and Dr. Harris produced to an approved CharlotteMEDI drop-off location on April 8. The parts will immediately be assembled into face shields, to later be shared with healthcare personnel working at area hospitals throughout Charlotte.
The new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The act is a $2 trillion economic stimulus package created to provide assistance to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to individual rebates, expanded unemployment insurance, and assistance for small business, the CARES Act also includes the following provisions for individual and corporate donors:
- A one-time, above-the-line deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made to qualifying charities. All taxpayers would be eligible, including those taking the standard deduction. It would apply to cash gifts made in 2020.
- For taxpayers who itemize their deductions, the cap on annual contributions in 2020 will be raised from 60 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) to 100 percent.
- For corporations, the limit on deductions for contributions is elevated from 10 percent of AGI to 25 percent for 2020. Food donations would be available to 25 percent, up from the current 15 percent cap.
Central Piedmont Community College Foundation is proud to announce an anonymous donor has made a generous and timely commitment that will match all gifts made to the college's Emergency Fund on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to $100,000
Central Piedmont's Emergency Fund provides short-term financial support to students and employees experiencing financial emergencies.
"This amazing gift, and the community's response to our donor's matching-gift challenge, will enable us to better respond to the growing financial needs of our students, faculty, and staff during the coronavirus outbreak," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. "These needs include access to the technology needed for remote learning and scholarships for tuition and books, as well as resources for food, housing, child care, transportation, and medical care."
If you're a member of the community who would like to make a gift to Central Piedmont's Emergency Fund, and participate in the matching gift challenge, visit cpccfoundation.org/donation. Your support for the Central Piedmont family will be of enormous assistance as the college works together to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Central Piedmont Community College's hospitality education program partnered with Sysco Foods and the Piedmont Culinary Guild on March 25 to package and deliver 500 boxes of food to local restaurant employees who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sysco Foods donated 250 cases of food to the community outreach project. The cases consisted of frozen chicken, produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy products, such as milk and butter.
Representatives from Central Piedmont, Sysco Foods, and the Piedmont Culinary Guild were on site at Central Piedmont's Culinary Arts Center to receive the cases of food, sort and package the individual boxes, and deliver them to 2530 restaurants located in Mecklenburg County and beyond.
Each box included three to four major food group items, providing local restaurant workers with a nutritious meal for their family during this unprecedented time. Restaurants needing employee assistance signed up to participate in the community outreach project online through the Piedmont Culinary Guild's website.
Thanks are extended to Central Piedmont's Richard Kugelmann, division director of the college's hospitality education division; Ross Howard, director of business resources and marketing for Sysco Foods; and Kris Reid, co-founder of the Piedmont Culinary Guild for spearheading the initiative.
Recognizing not everyone has access to technology while they learn and work remotely during this unprecedented time, Central Piedmont has loaned a limited number of Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots -- at no cost -- to approximately 250 students and employees in need. A distribution point, staffed by Central Piedmont employees, has been set up behind the North Classroom building, located on the college's Central Campus.
In the weeks and months ahead, students in need will be able to use their assigned device as long as they are enrolled in classes and until the college is able to resume traditional, in-person classes. At that point, computer labs will reopen. Employees will be able to use their loaned equipment until they are able to return to on-campus work.
"Our internal community is our top priority, we understand that everyone may not have the technology needed to complete their studies or work," said Dena Shonts, associate dean for student engagement at Central Piedmont. "Our job is to help them succeed and providing them with the tools to do that is essential."
To be considered for the program, students and employees had to apply online or call the college's Single Stop office.
In light of recent COVID-19 developments, the Foundation will modify its in-person staffing and institute telecommuting procedures to continue operations and help maintain the safety of staff. Beginning immediately, certain Foundation staff will be present in their offices on a rotational basis during the work week and will telecommute on other days; someone will be available each day of the week answer calls and respond to messages and questions. Other staff members will work exclusively online as a result of public school closures or health concerns.
In accordance with CDC and local guidelines. Foundation events which will gather 50 or more individuals between now and the beginning will be cancelled unless notified otherwise. Please continue to check this site about the status of upcoming events.
During this challenging, rapidly-evolving period, your understanding and patience are much appreciated. Thank you for your ongoing support of the Central Piedmont and students.
For the latest updates and announcments from Central Piedmont regarding COVID-19, please visit the college's coronavirus information information page. Read more
Laterria is pronounced La-Terra. Although the "I" is silent, she is not silent when it comes to advocating for children in Charlotte.
She graduated from Central Piedmont in 2016 with a degree in Early Childhood Education.
"I believe that Central Piedmont is the best college in the country," Laterria says, "I am extremely grateful for the connections created during my time spent there."
While her degree prepared her for her career, being a mother to her five children inspired her to speak out against injustice in education.
Laterria works at Open Door School, a progressive preschool at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte. Her work at the school also includes passionately advocating for early childhood education to those in government who would like to improve it, such as North Carolina Senator Jeff Jackson who visited the school in 2018.
In 2019, Laterria started a business where she offers support to families with childcare, home care, and adult care needs. She offers special support to other caregivers through a program under the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). She interned at the NDWA to learn how to advocate for issues that affect care workers in adult-care facilities and in childcare centers.
Laterria attributes her success to her faith. She is a member of Flowing Life Church and Outreach Center, and takes every opportunity to give back to the community.
She also values the community of educators she met during her time at Central Piedmont.
"I continue to stay connected with my Central Piedmont instructors," Laterria says, "we work to find ways to enrich the life of educators so they can speak up for children whose voice is often unheard."
Share your own Central Piedmont journey and successes to be considered for a future spotlight.
Few people have done more for the Charlotte community than Harvey Gantt. As Charlotte's first black mayor and Clemson's first black student, Mr. Gantt personally knows the power of education.
That's why this Black History Month he explains why he chooses to support Central Piedmont.
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