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GREATER ENRICHMENT BRUNS AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM, CHARLOTTE NC

Program Name: GREATER ENRICHMENT BRUNS AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Program Address: 501 SOUTH BRUNS AVENUE, CHARLOTTE NC
Contact Phone: (704) 334-8518
Website: http://www.gepinc.org/
Detail: Greater Enrichment Program, an out of school time program for area at-risk children, began in 1975 as Gethsemane Enrichment Program in the basement of Reverend George Battle’s Gethsemane AME Zion Church off Beatties Ford Road. Much has changed during the history of the program. The group changed its name to “Greater Enrichment Program” and now operates out of four Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and two community sites. “35 years ago, the view outside my office at Gethsemane AME Zion Church showed a community that was in trouble. Children were in the streets with no supervision or direction. I felt called and knew I had to do something to help give them a future,” says Bishop Battle, founder of Greater Enrichment Program. Bishop Battle credits strong executive leadership and community support for the success of the program. In 1975, he solicited the help of church member Adelaide Hunt, who became the first Executive Director of GEP. Cathy McIlwain, the program’s 2nd Executive Director, had over 30 years of employment with the program until her death in 2010. Bronica Glover has been GEP’s Assistant Director since 2003 and is now the program’s leader. With the help of staff and volunteers, GEP helps improve test scores and touches the lives of almost 400 local school children every year. “GEP focuses on the whole family – not just the child who is in our program,” said Glover. “We know parenting and educating children is a big job, especially for families with limited income and resources.” GEP is about more than just homework and tutoring. The program provides a safe learning environment, free transportation, healthy snacks and cultural opportunities that the children might not otherwise have. Parents and guardians are encouraged to participate in GEP programs that teach parenting skills, help eliminate the stigma of illiteracy and increase their awareness of school standards and their child’s educational needs. Greater Enrichment Program is supported primarily through a grant from the City of Charlotte’s Neighborhood Development Department. The program also relies on grants, tax-deductable financial donations and in-kind gifts from foundations, individuals and corporations to sustain important programs and services.
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