Our Affiliated Site: Piney Creek Elementary School in Piney Creek, North Carolina

facts about piney creek elementary school: 

  • Grades Served: Kindergarten – eighth grade
  • Facility Description: A cluster of utilitarian brick edifices on a carefully landscaped site, the school buildings comprise classrooms, a gymnasium, a library, and a cafeteria.
  • Transportation: Many of the students are bused in from remote areas, having to rise before dawn and travel sometimes up to a mile to get to the nearest bus stop. In winter, the winding mountain roads are often impassable.
  • Education: The teaching staff is fully certified, and the instruction conforms to the requirements of the state of North Carolina. Piney Creek offers a tutoring program in reading, since many of its students have little access to books, newspapers, or magazines in their homes.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Piney Creek Elementary offers a comprehensive athletic program (including interscholastic sports for boys and girls), a school band, and a variety of student activities and clubs.
  • Medical Care: A part-time nurse treats students whenever there is a need.

Just south of the Virginia-North Carolina state border, Alleghany County is nestled amid idyllic mountains, only a few miles from the only roadway to be designated a U.S. national park: the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thousands of tourists pass through Alleghany County each year to glimpse its spectacular vistas. The area’s breathtaking beauty, however, belies a tragic truth: In these hollows, slopes, and verdant valleys reside some of the nation’s poorest families. For many here, the only accessible sources of income are tenant farming, farm labor, or jobs in textile mills and shoe factories, when they are available. Years of isolation and a widespread lack of education have left area residents with few marketable job skills and little awareness of the world beyond their communities.

With unemployment on the rise and little industry to speak of, many families in this rural area live well below the federal poverty line. This overwhelming poverty has debilitating effects on children of the region, affecting their self-esteem, health, and overall wellbeing. For this reason, Piney Creek Elementary School serves as a beacon of hope to its surrounding community, providing a nurturing environment and a well-rounded education – the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and helping children rise above the difficult circumstances from which they come.