healthy community

A healthy community is one where residents are physically and emotionally healthy, and able to energetically contribute to their community’s civic life and economic wellbeing. That’s the vision we have for Alamance County.

We are focused on creating an environment where businesses, government agencies, community organizations, you and your neighbors, work together to create a healthier community. We believe that creating a healthier community is a mission that no single person, organization or agency can do alone. We must all work together.

In 2015, Impact Alamance invested nearly half a million dollars to support that common vision and our community. In 2016 we will be supporting a community effort to help community leaders, businesses and organizations, and citizens like you, come together around a common vision to improve outcomes for our kids. We’ll partner with national leaders StriveTogether, and work to see that all children, regardless of their zip code, have an equal opportunity for success from cradle to career. 

2015 Healthy Community Grants – $482,874

FrameWorks Institute and StriveTogether


Alamance-Burlington School System



The StriveTogether Partnership is supported by Impact Alamance, but it is not an Impact Alamance program. It’s a community program that aims to help the county make a quantum leap in student outcomes.

“We can help, especially, the children that are being left behind, that are falling through the cracks,” says Rev. Larry Covington, senior pastor at Ebenezer United Church of Christ. “A lot of children don’t have a healthy starting point.”

The idea is simple: The success of children in the classroom is influenced by many factors outside the classroom. If all the organizations and people who have an interest in kids — from schools to health care providers to social service organizations — coordinated their efforts and used a common set of metrics to guide their work, they would all be more effective.

“If they all push in the same direction we’ll really have a significant impact on improving the quality of education,” says Derek Steed, an executive at Glen Raven and member of the StriveTogether executive committee. 

ABSS Superintendent Dr. William Harrison says he believes StriveTogether will strengthen an already strong sense of common purpose across multiple agencies and organizations. He also believes the effort will build on what ABSS has already begun with the five-year strategic plan it adopted in 2014.

We recognized early on that if we were going to truly make that vision a reality, we couldn’t do it ourselves,” .... “We needed this community engaged in a very intentional manner.
— Dr. William Harrison, ABSS Superintendent

StriveTogether Executive Committee

Susan Osborne, Alamance County Social Services
Jean Rattigan-Rohr, Elon University
Stacie Saunders, Alamance County Health Department
Rev. Ron Shive, First Presbyterian Church of Burlington
Derek Steed, Glen Raven, Inc.
Carrie Theall, The Alamance Partnership for Children
Mac Williams, Alamance Area Chamber of Commerce

Tony Foriest, Retired, NC Senate
Gerry Francis, Elon University
Tracey Grayzer, Impact Alamance
Dr. William Harrison, Alamance Burlington School System
Craig Honeycutt, Alamance County
Dan Ingle, Alamance County Commissioner
Cathy Johnson, Alamance Community College
Heidi Norwick, The United Way of Alamance County

Teacher Leadership Academy

One factor that’s been proven, time and again, to affect student success in the classroom is the quality of the teaching they receive. That’s why Impact Alamance created a county-wide Teacher Leadership Academy in 2015.

The Academy is part of an Impact Alamance commitment to invest $750,000 over five years for professional development for ABSS teachers and staff. Each year, 50 teachers — one from each school as well as 14 additional candidates from throughout the district —
will participate in the year-long professional development program.

Each participant attends an annual retreat and spends one full day each month learning about key tenets of the ABSS strategic plan and how they can support the plan in their schools.

“It helps build the culture of lifelong learning that we want as a school system,” says Dr. Harrison, who attends the daylong retreats along with the teachers. He says the Academy is more powerful than other teacher development programs he’s seen. “I really believe it is a national model.”

Teachers who participate in the Academy, including a two-day retreat in June, can also apply for grants to implement new and creative programs in their school. Impact Alamance funded $135,000 of these teacher innovation grants in 2014-2015.

2015 Impact Alamance Teacher Leadership Academy Grants

B. Everett Jordan Elementary School – $20,000

E.M. Yoder Elementary — $6,920
LEGO story creation and filming to engage students in literacy and math-rich education

Graham Middle School — $20,000
Innovation Lab

Hillcrest Elementary — $3,550
Early exposure to higher education program

E.M. Holt Elementary — $10,000
Science kits

Walter Williams High School — $19,700
Innovative pilot program for at-risk students

Pleasant Grove Elementary — $9,000
Common Core podcast for individual student instruction during physical activity


Marvin B. Smith Elementary — $2,800
Interactive maps and globally focused books

Western Alamance Middle School — $1,630
Cameras for environmental education and direct scientific observation

North Graham Elementary — $8,800
Equipment for physical activity and play in underserved area

Alexander Wilson Elementary — $12,000
Technology-based classroom

Western Middle School — $16,000
“Bring Your Own Device” pilot project

Turrentine Middle School — $4,600
Upgrading a classroom to improve collaboration and focus among struggling students