Education

The GFWC – NC Education Community Service Program encourages club women to create learning opportunities for themselves and their communities through volunteerism. For more than a century, education has been a cornerstone of GFWC beliefs and practices. In fact, Jane Cunningham Croly formed the General Federation of Women’s Clubs “to support clubs throughout the nation and further their efforts at providing education, improved working conditions, health care, scholarships, and other reforms.” The GFWC Education Community Service Program works to improve literacy and education awareness in communities at home and around the world.

Clubwomen are dedicated to promoting a commitment to literacy and lifelong learning by:

  • Encouraging members and others to foster and support educational opportunities for all ages in their
    communities.
  • Promoting and supporting Epsilon Sigma Omicron, an honorary educational society open
    to all per capita paying GFWC members that provides clubwomen with a structured reading program for
    self-enrichment and personal growth.
  • Educating members and others on ways to improve low adult and youth literacy rates.
  • Supporting libraries in their efforts to provide information and materials and education opportunities.

Education Community Service Ideas

  • Support Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY)
  • Donate Dr. Seuss books to schools, hospitals and shelters
  • Consider projects that help people overcome learning disabilities.
  • Promote literacy and lifelong learning – establish reading groups for children; start a book club.
  • Offer a club education scholarship.
  • Apply for a Literacy grant of up to $200. Funds may be used for purchasing books for tutors to use, providing
    books to children and/or a variety of other literacy needs. Refer to the application for a number of other
    suggestions, available at www.GFWC.org/membership/awards-contests-and-grants/.

History

1903 – Traveling libraries were started in NC. A total of 92 traveling libraries, later known as bookmobiles, were
donated to the State Library Commission.
1930 – Educational pilgrimage of 186 adult women and men night school students to Washington, DC in support
of adult education. Their initial efforts led to the establishment of the Extension Division of the University of
North Carolina.
1965 – Combined with the Sallie Southall Cotten Loan Fund established in 1913, the new Sallie Southall Cotten
Scholarship became an annual four-year renewable scholarship.
2008 – Contributed over $70,000 to the Blue Ridge Parkway Parks As Classrooms Project.

Resources

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