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RHA Wins Regional Award for STEM Program

GREENVILLE, NC.-Roxboro Housing Authority (RHA) won a Superior Site of the Year award from the N.C. Dept. of Public Instruction Summer Nutrition Program. The state agency recognized RHA for delivering a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum along with an arts camp for over 20 youths daily throughout the Summer of 2019. It was the agency's first time entering the competition among over 100 summer kids feeding sites throughout Central and Eastern North Carolina.

"I wanted to make sure kids got more than a good, healthy meal to last them until the next one a few hours later," Director Felts Lewis said. "I wanted RHA to help give kids knowledge in a fun way that will help sustain them for a lifetime."

RHA received the award at NCDPI's 6th Annual Summerpalooza training event held at the East Carolina University Student Center. The event highlighted successful activities and provided research information. Event Director and Summer Meals Consultant Cynthia Worth encouraged summer kids meal providers, organizers and site coordinators throughout Central and Eastern North Carolina to carry out innovative ways to attract youths to the free meal sites after the school year ends.

RHA Executive Director Felts Lewis, Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator and Site Coordinator Larry Mayfield and STEM Instructor Charlene Bumphus joined over 100 attendees at the training.

About 20 youths a day trekked to the summer feeding site at 437 Mt. Bethel Church St. within the Harris Gardens Apartments in Roxboro. It was open to children that lived in public housing and the general public from June through August 2019. Elementary to middle school-aged youths enjoyed a health cereal and packaged fruit breakfast provided by Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C. For lunch, the children received a hot lunch from K&W Cafeteria of Chapel Hill.

After lunch Bumphus, who had taught several of the participants throughout the school year as a substitute teacher in Person Co. Schools, offered fun ways to teach the kids less than interesting subject matter. From making volcanoes inside to gathering earth samples outside, she had their attention and helped lay the foundation for future scientists and engineers.

The North Carolina Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides nutritious meals to children who would normally receive free or reduced price meals when school is in session. SFSP helps children to maintain a nutritious diet and helps their families to stretch their food dollars during the summer months. This program enlisted the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C. to provide meals to over 50 sites within its 34-county service area. The agency had K&W to provide hot meals delivered to Roxboro Housing Authority Monday through Friday for 53 of the possible 54 service days in the Summer of 2019.

RHA received a $22,000 grant from the N.C. Council for Women and Youth Involvement to continue providing free meals and snacks along with STEM instruction, tutoring and fun activities, starting Nov. 4, 2019.

Volunteers and gift certificates from local businesses are requested. For more information, check out or call Mr. Mayfield at the ROSS/FSS Office at (336) 647-4340.

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