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Duke Energy Employees Volunteer at East Durham Children’s Initiative

DURHAM, NC – Duke Energy teamed up with the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) on Nov. 10th for an afternoon of volunteering. More than 30 Triangle Duke Energy employees and retirees, joined by Durham County Commissioner Brenda Howerton, filled 200 school supply bags and cleaned up the nearby Cherry Grove Park.

The schools supplies will be given to students participating in the nonprofit’s Parent Advocate program, which provides a link between parent, teacher and child and encourages parents to advocate for their children’s educational success in elementary school.

Founded in 2008, EDCI is an innovative nonprofit located at 2101 Angier Avenue in the heart East Durham, North Carolina. After reading Paul Tough’s book Whatever It Takes, Durham community leaders Wanda Boone, Minnie Forte-Brown, Barker French, and Ellen Reckhow began envisioning the East Durham Children’s Initiative. Like Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, they were determined to provide children in low-wealth communities with high-quality, comprehensive services and opportunities that would prepare them for college or career.

With the help of research by the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative of Duke University, risk factors in various communities were assessed and East Durham was identified as one of Durham’s most distressed neighborhoods. A 120-block area of East Durham was later selected as EDCI’s target area, known as the EDCI Zone.

EDCI’s pipeline of high-quality services from birth through high school graduation includes early childhood interventions, parent and family support, after-school and summer programs, health and nutrition services, and community outreach.

More than 40 partner organizations and hundreds of community members work collaboratively with EDCI to create a pipeline of high-quality services from birth through high school graduation for children and families living in East Durham.

Through this collaboration with community members and partner organizations, EDCI develops and coordinates services to meet the needs of children living in the Zone and surrounding areas.

Duke Energy is one of those partner organizations. The volunteer event was part of Duke Energy’s Season4Giving program that provides employee and retiree volunteer opportunities with local low-income, energy assistance and Veteran’s charities. ECDI Board member Commissioner Ellen Reckhow joined the activities and thanked all of the participants.

To volunteer or to donate, click here.

(submitted photos)

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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