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Construction on Renaissance Village, new teacher housing in Welch, began in Spring 2019.This housing initiative will provide two floors of apartments along with two floors of commercial space. We believe this project will spur and facilitate economic growth in the community. 


Read about the programs and initiatives being led by Reconnecting McDowell and its partners.


Community Schools address the social, health and emotional needs of their students to improve academic achievement. The role of the school goes beyond the classroom and provides the social, health, and emotional support that each student needs by working with community partners to provide resources and services. The school also serves as a community hub that is accessible to anyone in the community and can provide space for various purposes, such as a community clinic or career center.


The McDowell Board of Education and the SMILE Initiative collaborated to establish an oral health program, which was implemented in October 2015. Through this joint effort, students have their teeth cleaned and sealed by certified dental hygienists.


The Broader Horizons mentorship program is a 5 year program generously funded by AT&T. The goal is to pair mentors with students who are struggling academically to engage with business, labor, government, education and social services leaders to learn about career and college options available to them through continued education.


The Maier Foundation awarded Reconnecting McDowell three successive grants to fund its efforts to support educational improvement in the county. The grants, which were awarded in 2018-20, were used to fund $100,000 in For Our Future Scholarships for McDowell County high school students. 

Awardees applied for the scholarship and were selected based on their demonstration of ongoing commitment to McDowell County, either through community activities, service, or other involvement with neighbors or community and neighborhood organizations. To be eligible, students had to be entering a four-year