Support Christine W. Avery Learning Center (CWA) in Staying Open

Urge Hill Street Baptist Church to Reconsider Uprooting CWA Learning Center

Award-winning program Christine W. Avery Learning Center (CWA) is a pillar in our community and is essential for early learning, predominantly for Black and Brown students. Located at the Hill Street Baptist Church, CWA is in a prime location to serve students and families living in Hillcrest, Klondyke, Pisgah View Apartments, and those enrolled in Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools, and charter schools, including PEAK Academy. In addition to serving neighborhoods in proximity to the center, CWA reaches students and families living in the Burton Street Community, Shiloh, Lee Walker Heights, and Arden. The program is run by teachers whose identities reflect the students that they support and are often found alongside students in their neighborhoods, churches, and other forms of community. 

Christine W. Avery Learning Center supports children, youth, and adults from 6 weeks to 24 years old. They provide a full array of programs, serving a great breadth of students and families from early learning for young children to workforce development programs for high school and college students. Of particular note is their afterschool and summer programming, which keeps children and youth learning, busy, and safe in out-of-school hours, year-round. The Learning Center and all of its valuable programming is now at risk of displacement as Pastor Brian “BK” Scott has asked the center to evacuate by May 31, 2024 in order to “expand his ministry.” 

With no input from the community, this decision to uproot the Learning Center will displace and impact at least 55 families from accessing safe afterschool care, learning support, infant, toddler, and pre-K care, and summer out-of-school programming. This decision will predominantly impact socio-economically deprived youth and families who depend on this program. 

We are asking you to support Christine W. Avery Learning Center by advocating to keep their program open indefinitely at Hill Street Baptist Church.

Click here and fill out the form below to send an email

There is a long list of reasons why closing Christine W. Avery Learning Center would have detrimental impacts on the community. Here are just a few of them:

  • Closing this program would not only deprive these children of essential resources and opportunities for growth but also exacerbate existing disparities in educational and social outcomes.
  • Research consistently shows that afterschool and summer programs play a crucial role in supporting academic achievement, promoting social-emotional development, and reducing the opportunity gap, especially for marginalized communities. Closing this program may reverse the positive impacts the Learning Center has had on the community since 2015. 
  • The closure of this program would send a message that the well-being and success of Black and Brown children from under-resourced communities are not a priority. It is imperative that our communities prioritize equity and inclusion in our decision-making processes and ensure that all children have access to the resources and support they need to thrive.