The Family Center of Northern Durham
NC111 Leadership Team created a project to support the Family Center of Northern Durham. The Family Center is a unique space for all families to come together, learn together, and play together. In one weekend, the team took a barren, dirt back yard and transformed it into a fun, colorful area for young children to play and explore outdoors. Children could feel like they mattered. The new additions included two play structures with slides and swings, a bike path, large sandbox, sound garden made from recycled and found objects, and an art area consisting of a paint station and large outdoor chalkboard. Budget $30,000.
Center gets extreme makeover
Volunteers pitch in to improve Family Center’s back yard
Date: July 12, 2009
By: John McCann
DURHAM — A guy named Said Guzman on Saturday was working on a bike, right? And it wasn’t even his bike. Plus he had no intention on riding the thing (it’s a girl’s bike).
Yet 3-year-old Said didn’t seem to have a problem doing what he could to give the Family Center of Northern Durham one of those extreme makeovers. And the kid wasn’t alone.
Workers from a company called Aerial Innovations showed up wielding chain saws to remove some big trees from the Family Center’s back yard that has no grass. But instead of taking the trees all the way down to the ground, those creative cutters carved out chairs and tables from the stumps.
The ribbon cutting on the renovations will be Monday at 1 p.m. at the center at 206 E. Murray Ave. The barren back yard will have a sound garden where kids can make noise and learn at the same time. There’ll be a painting station for them, and a giant outdoor chalkboard.
And the reason Said was working on the bicycle is because there’ll be a bike path for wee ones like him to turn their legs into mighty pistons.
Maria Guzman is Said’s mother. She and volunteer Beth Espitia were “assistants” to the 3-year-old bike mechanic.
The Family Center is about developing children, and it’s about developing the parents of those children. That is, a Spanish-speaking mom can be upstairs in the building learning English while her child is downstairs playing with kids from the preschool, where director Melissa Gibbs creates a melting pot of Hispanic boys and girls mixing it up with the center’s non-Hispanic children.
“We try to be a family resource center,” said Joanna Sutcliffe, both a Family Center parent and board member.
The NC111 Leadership Team from the WorldLegacy chose the Family Center to be the beneficiary of its outreach project. WorldLegacy is an institution aimed at personal development and empowering people to be change agents in their communities and organizations.
Christine Johnson is with the NC111 Leadership Team. To hear her tell it, getting people to donate their time, money and services to fix up the Family Center wasn’t all that complex.
“You just ask,” Johnson said.
Good things can happen when you do that.
“We’re all still a little in shock,” Sutcliffe said about the generous outpouring of at least $10,000 in donations ranging from shrubs to toys to food.
A couple of Guinea pigs named Gracie and Nuezita greet visitors at the Family Center of Northern Durham — well, the critters actually weren’t particularly cordial on Saturday, but they were there in their cage, perhaps just minding their own business.
The animals are there for the Family Center preschool kids to handle, to learn about, to learn from.
Why, Family Center preschool director Melissa Gibbs one time got fired up about ladybugs and turned that zeal into a lesson for the children.
Family Center parent and board member Joanna Sutcliffe said boy and girls who aren’t even in the preschool can get in on educational eruptions like that on Fridays when Gibbs puts together special craft activities. The cost is $5 for a grown-up and a child. If there’s more than one child with the adult, it’s $6.
As well, Spanish-speaking residents around here who need help with their English can get that at the Family Center because of a partnership with the Durham Literacy Center. The neat thing with that is the children of those students in the English classes are allowed to hang out and learn in the preschool while their parents are getting grounded in their second language.
Maria Guzman would bring along her son when she came to the English classes. She’s modest about how good she’s gotten with the new language.
“Just a little bit,” Guzman said.
But Guzman held back nothing when boasting about the opportunity provided by the Family Center
“It’s a lot of benefit,” she said. “We want to know English.”
Reprinted with Permission of The Herald-Sun Durham, North Carolina.
Help sought for Family Center weekend facelift
Date: July 10, 2009
DURHAM — One hundred percent is possible, 100 percent of the time.That’s what Carolyn Robinson, member of the ‘s NC-111 Chapter, said about getting the approval for the chapter’s outreach project less than a week ago.
The group, as a part of the ‘s leadership program, does a service project each year. This weekend, they are renovating the outdoor play-area at the Family Center of Northern Durham. Volunteers are invited to help Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“It’s just incredible what we’ve been able to get done in less than a week,” Robinson said. “All the things that have been donated, the play set, the sound garden, everything.”
Right now, the backyard of the 206 East Murray Ave. center is barren, Robinson said. When it rains, the dirt turns to mud. The play area has only a few picnic tables, and there is poison ivy growing on the trees.
“It’s not really set apart from playing in your own backyard right now,” said Family Center board member Joanna Sutcliffe. “Once it’s renovated it will be a lot better, and it will be able to serve the community a lot better.”
The leadership team plans to transform the area by adding a shaded sitting area, a new sand box, playground equipment, a sound garden, bike path and an outdoor chalkboard. Robinson estimates the renovation to cost about $10,000.
“It is just incredible what people are willing to give and donate,” Robinson said. “With this project, we can’t pay for anything out of our own pocket; we have to get it all from donations and volunteers. People have been really generous and they’ve been giving what they can give, and people are still giving.”
This weekend, volunteers will be asked to help install new equipment, paint, power-wash and landscape the area.
“We’re all really excited about it,” Sutcliffe said. “We can’t wait for Monday to see what we’ve got accomplished over the weekend. I think the children are going to be so excited that they have a nice place to play now.”
The Family Center of Northern Durham is a non-profit organization for families in Durham. It offer bilingual preschool, a family literacy program, a play space and library. Every Friday the center is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. During that time, families are invited to explore the outdoor area and create a craft to take home.
“We just want to make sure everyone gets there and can see the renovations and see the before and after,” Robinson said. “We want people to come out and see the joy they can have by giving to someone else.”
Reprinted with Permission of The Herald-Sun Durham, North Carolina.
The Family Center of Northern Durham is a unique space for all families in Durham County to come together, learn together, and play together. They offer a warm, friendly environment with a variety of programs for young children, their families and caregivers. The project took a barren, dirt back yard and transformed it into a fun, colorful area for young children to play and explore outdoors. New additions include: two play structures with slides and swings, a bike path, large sandbox, sound garden made from recycled and found objects, and an art area consisting of a paint station and large outdoor chalkboard. You’ll also find plenty of places to take a break such as picnic tables and little chairs made out of tree trunks.
Commissioners Community Circle Award WorldLegacy
by admin | Aug 3, 2015
Durham Board of County Commissioners August 24, 2009 Regular Session
Presentation of the Commissioners Community Circle Award
The Commissioners Community Circle Award was designed as a way to recognize county departments and community organizations and programs for the extraordinary services provided to Durham’s citizens.
Chairman Page acknowledged The WorldLegacy as an organization created to empower people by providing personal development and discovery support services. The center would be awarded the Commissioners Community Circle Award due to the numerous service projects in the Durham community.
Chairman Page made the following remarks:
“It is my pleasure to recognize the WorldLegacy as our fourth recipient of the
Commissioners Community Circle Award.
The Commissioners Community Circle Award enables the Durham Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to give special recognition to community organizations and county departments that have gone above and beyond to promote positive change in the Durham community.
This evening, the WorldLegacy, has been selected to receive this award, as they have exhibited excellence in the areas of productivity, creativity and commitment.
The WorldLegacy’s Leadership Program has contributed more than 27 pro bono projects in the Durham community. Among the many projects the WorldLegacy has made possible is their project to enhance the efficiency of the Family Center of Northern Durham, through a major community service project to build a children’s park.
This project included the delivery of services at no cost to the Family Center of Northern Durham. The WorldLegacy’s teams NC111 and NC110 enrolled local businesses and volunteers in the community to donate money, time and services with the projects — completing the children’s park within a weekend.
The made over children’s park includes many new additions such as a bike path and paint station.
In July, I had the opportunity to witness the WorldLegacy Leadership Program’s efforts first hand when I attended the children’s park ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Family Center of Northern Durham.
I was impressed by the sheer beauty of the children’s park. Children at the Family Center now have a colorful and exciting place to play and explore. The children’s park has also improved daycare services for the Family Center of Northern Durham’s clients.
WorldLegacy, the BOCC applauds your efforts to improve the lives of our citizens.
Representatives from the WorldLegacy join us tonight to receive the Commissioners Community Circle Award.
The WorldLegacy is at the heart of this award as you strive to improve and enhance our community. Our Board and your organization share the desire to make our community a better place to live. We say thank you and the WorldLegacy for your great work in our Community; Congratulations!”
The Commissioners celebrated the WorldLegacy for the successful project that was completed at the Family Center of Northern Durham. The WorldLegacy’s efforts helped to transform a simple backyard into a colorful children’s park that drastically improved daycare services for the Family Center of Northern Durham’s clients. The Board saluted the WorldLegacy for the efforts to provide positive change in the lives of Durham County Citizens.
Dr. Rob Katz, WorldLegacy Director, accepted the Community Circle Award from the Board. He stated that the center’s passion is to rekindle people’s passion for life. He continued to express gratitude for the award.
Chairman Page thanked Dr. Katz for his services to the community.
Our WorldLegacy project in Durham NC supported the Family Center of Northern Durham. This project was the culmination of a three-month Leadership program at WorldLegacy in Morrisville, NC. We chose this project because it is a unique space for all families to come together, learn together, and play together. In only a weekend, the WorldLegacy community project took a barren, dirt back yard and transformed it into a fun, colorful area for young children to play and explore outdoors. Children could feel like they mattered. Our new additions included two play structures with slides and swings, a bike path, large sandbox, sound garden made from recycled and found objects, and an art area consisting of a paint station and large outdoor chalkboard. Everyone came together in such a short time with such leadership. We had a small team that created miracles. All the training I received finally came together. Being WorldLegacy Leadership has really transformed my view of my power, my ability to work under pressure and get things done. Our budget was more than $12,500 and people gave easily. By the end of WorldLegacy Leadership our team could create anything. People were quite amazed. Our WorldLegacy trainers and coaches were proud. This was an extreme makeover project!