On a Mission: First Presbyterian Assesses and Strengthens Its Outreach Efforts
In the summer of 2014, the Lee Institute designed and implemented a 360-degree assessment of the mission outreach partnership between First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte and Westerly Hills Academy, a Title I K-8 public school.
Founded in 2000, this local outreach mission brought Church members to Westerly Hills as volunteer tutors, as well as students to the Church for summer learning programs. Church leaders commissioned the Lee assessment so they could see the program anew through the eyes of the school staff, not only through the lens of Church members, and find opportunities to better align the Church's interests and members' skills with the needs of economically disadvantaged students at Westerly Hills.
The Lee Institute's assessment provided both organizations in the partnership an opportunity to reflect on our fourteen years of working together. It opened new doors of communication that led to more synergy and effectiveness. The process also infused energy into our relationship and put us on the same page regarding our goals. One year later and we are still seeing the positive difference the assessment has made!— Reverend Erika Funk, Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church
As part of the assessment, the Lee team conducted interviews with church staff, online surveys with church committee members, interviews and a focus group with school staff, interviews and a focus group with the church's volunteer tutors, and interviews with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools headquarters staff.
Our analysis found extremely strong appreciation for the partnership and a deep well of goodwill and eagerness to make this mission relationship even stronger. Our report presented multiple perspectives on the current situation, identified programmatic improvements to bring more support to the students and teachers, and recommended new communication pathways for the partners.
For more information on First Presbyterian Church, please visit www.firstpres-charlotte.org.