It has been a great year for High Country Branch with increased membership, inspiring programs and three ongoing scholarship projects.

High Country Branch, AAUWNC’s newest branch, started with 15 members in 2006, and now has 26 members. Life member and former AAUWNC president, Elizabeth Laney, after months of work, formed the branch which now has expanded and grown not only in numbers but in enthusiasm for and dedication to the Mission of AAUW.

During this year, much has happened to fulfill the mission of AAUW. Program Officer Beth Mueller planned some enlightening programs with speakers including the Northwest North Carolina teacher of the year, the editor of a local newspaper and the director of the New Opportunity School at Lees-McRae College. Two of our talented members gave presentations, one on Southern women authors and the other on her experience teaching at a Navajo reservation.

We have three fundraising projects. One is our STEM project for which we raised over $380.00 through donations and a yard sale last October. We are sending two girls to the camp at ASU entitled “Camp Invention” and one girl to the ASU math camp. Our second project is raising money for the New Opportunity School at Lees-McRae College. Thirdly, our baskets raffled off at the state meeting benefited the Educational Foundation.

Plans for programs for the remainder of 2008 include reviewing the AAUW “Behind the Pay Gap” study with the director of the Equity office at ASU, a presentation on the literacy program in Boone, a yard sale to benefit the New Opportunity School, a social event with lunch and a play in Banner Elk, a report on the ASU math and science camps from the director of the programs, a meeting at the new Oasis Center to learn more about what is being done for women victims of abuse, and a report from the head of security at ASU on protecting women’s safety at ASU. In the fall, a student from ASU’s “Writing on the Web” class will set up a web site for our branch.

Another great year is ahead for High Country Branch.

Barbara McCaughey
May 2, 2008
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