Cottage Gardens Resource Center
The CHCS Cottage Gardens Resource Center (CGRC) opened in June 2019 in the Cottage Gardens apartment complex (formerly known as Avalon Trace). The CGRC offers a children’s after-school E3 program (Education, Enrichment, Entertainment), which takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3:00pm – 6:00pm and 10am-2pm in the summer. CGRC’s E3 program currently has 15 Cottage Grove resident families enrolled, with participant children ranging from 5 to 12 years old (Kindergarten – 6th grade). CGRC is conveniently located in one of the units inside Cottage Gardens Apartments, making access direct for the children to and from the school bus stop and their homes.
Programming is focused on providing educational and fun activities, field trips, expert guest presentations, and age-appropriate science and health activities. Program participation also includes snacks provided by Out of the Garden Project as well as coordinated food donations to each child’s family through Backpack Beginnings.
CGRC connects with a wide array of university and community partners. We host Bonner student volunteers from Guilford College to help with one-on-one tutoring and help plan children’s activities. UNCG School of Nursing hosts a clinic every Thursday from 12:00pm-2:00pm, where they perform basic health checks, physicals, and medical referrals (fall semesters only). Mustard Seed Community Health Clinic’s mental health practitioners provide workshops and activities for the children to learn better coping skills, body-positivity, increase self-esteem, and emotional regulation. New Hope Community Development Group engages E3 participants in gardening and environmental projects. Additional partners we work with include NCA&T Biology and Social Work Depts, Out of the Garden, Collaborative Cottage Grove, and others.
In partnerships with community leaders and neighborhood members, we envision the Cottage Gardens Resource Center to provide a community space to address identified needs and gaps in the Cottage Grove neighborhood. By expanding opportunities to all residents, expanding our current food pantry capacity, implementing a lending library, and other projects, our goal is to promote holistic, asset-based community development. The CGRC can be a stabilizing factor for the community – offering a way to improve the education outcomes of children, while also providing a point of contact for social and community health and wellness.