The Village Project and The Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement officially expanded into downtown Burlington following the renovation of 217 E. Davis St., a building Elon University purchased in September 2012.
Elon purchased and renovated the building, which used to house Alamance and Alamance Women magazines, to provide extra space for both programs. David Cooper, chair of the Village Project committee, will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception sometime this month.
Jean Rattigan-Rohr, an associate professor of education, founded The Village Project in 2007. For six weeks during the second half of each semester, about 50 Elon education majors meet with local children and their parents to provide tutoring.
Rohr recently received the Oak Foundation Grant, a $375,150 award from the Oak Foundation, to expand her project.
“Parts of the grant will go towards Village Project enhancement in Elon, but also towards new national and international sites,” Rohr said.
The building provides an area for Rohr to meet with parents of Burlington students, but reading and science tutoring will take place in the May Memorial Library and the First Presbyterian Church at 508 W. Davis St., respectively.
Renovations to the building began immediately after the sale was finalized. According to Vice President Gerry Francis, the building originally held a reception area and four offices. Two offices were combined to form a meeting room, while the other two offices were left intact. The interior was recarpeted and repainted, as well.
“The renovations were quick and pretty minor,” Francis said. “It’s a small facility, only about 14 feet wide and 120 feet long.”
The meeting room seats 16 people, and Rohr occupies one of the offices. Kernodle Center volunteers work from the other office.
According to Rohr, the Village Project is currently operating out of University of North Carolina-Greensboro and North Carolina A&T University as well.
She is also negotiating to add one national and one international Village Project site to open in the near future.