The Cave Spring Community Coalition was established to support the small, rural Cave Spring community in northwest Georgia. The coalition’s mission is to improve the overall well-being of Cave Spring, Georgia area residents with a focus on health, education, social and economic development.
The most pressing financial need is for support for the Cave Spring Learning Center (CSLC) to serve K-12 students in their home community. At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, the local county (Floyd) Board of Education closed the Cave Spring Elementary School and students as young as 6 years old are being bused for an hour (one-way) to another school in the county. To give parents an option for their students to stay in Cave Spring, the coalition has established the Cave Spring Learning Center, a partnership with the Georgia Cyber Academy to offer accredited virtual education to students with the coalition providing paraprofessionals to monitor the students and provide support in the classroom.
The Cave Spring Learning Center (CSLC) opened on August 1 with 64 students from this rural community. The new center has employed a director, assistant director and 8 paraprofessionals. The CSLC is serving students in grades K-8 at the First Baptist Church of Cave Spring and high school students at the historic Hearn Academy in Cave Spring. The coalition provided funds for renovation of church spaces to function as classrooms. Since opening, students have made significant academic gains, and they want to remain in this small, caring, community learning center as long as possible.
The coalition members are volunteers and have spent the last several months working to establish the CSLC. The total budget for the center for the 2022-23 school year is approximately $600,000. Private funding was anticipated to be available by early August to cover most of the costs; however, that funding has not yet been made available. A coalition member has invested approximately $230,000 to date to cover start-up costs including renovation costs for classrooms, establishment of internet system, security system (cameras in classrooms and secure entry/exit system), learning stations (tables/chairs), liability insurance, as well as salaries for the director, assistant director, and paraprofessionals through October 31, 2022.
The coalition has an urgent need for funds to keep the CSLC open through the end of this semester - $35,000 per month for November and December - or $70,000 total.
Another $200,000 ($40,000/month) is needed to cover the spring semester (January – May 2023) and finish the academic year.