Big Creek People In Action, Inc. was
founded in 1990 by citizens of McDowell County, West Virginia. Since that
time, this nonprofit organization has been serving the community of
McDowell County in the realms of education and literacy, leadership
development, volunteer service, service learning, arts and culture,
housing, recreation, and collaborative partnerships. BCPIA's vision of
McDowell County is one of empowered and self-sufficient people living in
communities that are economically vibrant, democratic, and socially just.
To learn more about the history of Big Creek People in Action, please
2012 PROGRAM REPORTS
2012 Education/Literacy Program
One of our
greatest successes and most rewarding program we have is our afterschool
program. 39 kids have
participated in our year-round program with an average attendance of 16
kids per day. There are 3
teachers that work with them each day and parents have reported that the
children’s grades have been improving.
We also have Afterschool during the summer months and were able to
take them on a few field trips.
We have Reading
Coaches that work 4 days a week in the schools.
One Reading Coach works with students at the vocational school and
another works with elementary students at Southside K-8 to improve reading
and academic skills. Another
Reading Coach works with the Afterschool program.
They all work with the afterschool program and Super Why camp
during the summer months. The
literacy camp is held for four weeks and each week is held at a different
community in the county. A
total of 45 children attended the camp.
AmeriCorps and VISTA members have worked on the following projects in
Southside K-8 and the McDowell Career and Technology Center
Working with the
activities at Southside K-8 school; War Cove, Endwell, Big Sandy, and
Raysal Head Start Centers; and the War and Welch Libraries
4-Week Super Why
Summer Literacy Camp at Caretta, War, Bradshaw, & Welch
Dr. Seuss Read
Hop on Pop Youth
Remembrance (Working with other LifeBridge members to prepare 500 care
packages for soldiers overseas
2012 Housing Rehabilitation
reports the lowest standard of housing in the state of West Virginia, with
age being the primary factor affecting the quality of housing. Sixty-seven
percent of the houses were built before 1940 and
half are rated below normal quality levels, but many people don’t
have the resources to make the needed repairs.
In 2012, BCPIA
served 132 individuals with housing rehabilitation services plus hundreds
of others with special community projects including painting and repairing
the War Public Library playground, cleaning a gymnasium for a Southside
K-8 school event, and projects at our Center including painting,
installing sheetrock, repairing floors in shower stalls, and installing
two dropped ceilings. In
addition to the special projects, 67 work projects were completed on 41
homes with the help of 342 volunteers.
Types of assistance included installing 4 new roofs, repairing
other roofs, painting, several handicap ramps, vinyl siding, windows,
insulation, plumbing, new bridge built over a creek, flooring repairs,
bathroom repairs, and others.
that visited during 2012 included:
University of Richmond, Emory and Henry College, two trips by
University of Notre Dame, University of North Carolina – Wilmington,
Centre College, Warren Wilson College, Berea College, Adrian College, and
Davidson College. Church groups included:
Upshur Helping Hands from West Virginia, Sidwell Friends from
Washington, DC, Christ United Methodist Church from Yorkana, PA, Saints
Peter & Paul Church, from Hamburg, New York, Red Bank Baptist Church,
Convent Baptist Church, South Lexington Baptist Church, Samaria Baptist
Church, and Smyrna Baptist Church from South Carolina, Unitarian
Universalist Church from Alexandria, VA, and Unitarian Universalist Church
from New Hampshire.
2012 Service Learning Program
is a method of teaching through which students apply their academic skills
and knowledge to address real-life needs in their communities. Service
Learning teaches the skills of civic participation and develops an ethic
of service and civic responsibility.
Students have a
variety of service opportunities here from which to choose a meaningful
placement. Included are alternative college breaks, community service
weekends, summer placements and internships, community and higher
education linkages, and special events.
2012 Computer Lab
Our computer lab
offered free access to the Internet and many specialized programs and
learning activities to 82 people in 2012 to enable them to enhance their
quality of life through access to communications and information
technologies. Future Generations helped to set up the lab that offers
self-paced courses to people of all age groups and skill levels, whatever
their technology needs are. They can access information on life skills,
driving tests, beginning and advanced computer skills, job skills,
financial information, and a variety of other courses. There is always a
teacher present to answer any questions and give individual help when
participated in the one-week Tech Camp in the Computer Lab to learn about
technology. Activities at camp
gave them opportunities to use digital photo cameras and learn new
software to turn their photos into creative projects. Activities included
photo scavenger hunts and lessons on digital drawing, photo editing, and
video game animation.
The computer lab staff demonstrated the components of a computer and then
let the children take apart a computer and assemble it together again.
We added three
lap top computers to the lab this year to better accommodate the
2012 Healthy Lifestyles Program
with Future Generations, we started the CHERP program this year to help
community members gain access to health care and develop a healthier
lifestyle. Big Creek People in
Action’s Healthy Lifestyles Program challenges participants to take better
care of their body through proper diet and exercise, smoking cessation,
health checkups, and more. Youth in the afterschool program exercise 30
minutes each day to combine fun and fitness as they play games that
require them to move and get their heart rates pumping.
Community members have attended a variety of workshops on many
topics including diabetes management, prenatal and early childhood care,
drug abuse awareness, nutrition, and more.
2012 Special Events
Big Creek People
in Action hosts many special events throughout the year that support
education, family events, entertainment, and holiday observances. These
events give families a chance to spend quality time together in a
wholesome atmosphere. Events during 2012 included the following:
Carnival – Who doesn’t like an old fashioned carnival with twenty-five
cent games and plenty of great prizes and food? The Spring Carnival held
each year in April, gives the community an opportunity to have some fun in
a family environment. There were many activities for the young and the
old. Emory and Henry College students helped to financially support the
Carnival and run the games.
139 people came to the Caretta Community Center to enjoy this year’s
Healthy Mom /
Healthy Baby Shower – Twenty-five mothers or mothers-to-be participated in
workshops to provide them with health and wellness information to help
them before and after the birth of their children. They enjoy a luncheon
and each receives gift bags with a variety of supplies such as diapers,
baby hygiene needs, and other useful items.
Diversity Day /
Senior Celebration – For the first time, the McDowell County Board of
Education allowed school students from Southside K-8 to be bussed here and
participate in the Diversity Day Celebration to promote and celebrate our
heritage and the diversity found in our coal camps. The gym is full of
displays of artifacts, information, and foods from many different cultures
throughout the world. We always invite the area senior citizens to
participate in this event and speak about their heritage.
Festival – Showcasing local talent and giving the community a day and
night of free family-style entertainment is what this festival is all
about. We sold great home-cooked foods and staged carnival games and
raffles. Hundreds of people enjoyed the music from the parking lot,
gymnasium, and even the Coal Museum located on the first floor, including
those who were in front of the stage flat footing and dancing the night
away. Great fun for everyone… and admission, as always, was free.
Christmas Activities – With a lot of help from three Baptist Churches from
South Carolina, a church from Virginia, and many other generous people,
Christmas was made a little brighter for many children, families, and
seniors who attended our annual Christmas Parties. Over 564 people
attended the three parties on December 7th.
Each child and senior received gifts, children picked out gifts to
give their mom and dad, all families received food boxes, and everyone
enjoyed a hot Christmas meal.
We hosted a separate Christmas Party for the War and Endwell Head
Start Centers as well as a party for our afterschool kids.
Big Creek High
School Alumni Prom – We were proud to host the 3rd Annual Big Creek Alumni
Prom in August for all people who graduated from Big Creek High School.
People enjoyed great food, a video presentation from yearbooks,
music, dancing, and a great night out with old friends.
a variety of other events throughout the year including:
Free Hair Cuts
by a beautician with a work group
Book Bag /
School Supply Giveaway at Southside K – 8
Drug Abuse, Breast Health, Dental Hygiene, Parenting, Cyber Bullying,
Nutrition, Children’s Health, and Diabetes
Diapers, Hygiene Kits, Shoes, and Socks Giveaway
distributed to 60 Veterans
In collaboration with Future Generations Graduate School, BCPIA hosted a
one-week technology camp in July for area youth. Each of the 10
participants increased their computer skills and learned about technology.
Activities at the camp gave them opportunities to use digital photo
cameras and learn new software to turn their photos into creative
projects. Activities included photo scavenger hunts and lessons on digital
drawing, photo editing, and video game animation.
The computer lab staff demonstrated the components of a computer and then
let the children take apart a computer and assemble it together again.
The children learned a lot and took some beautiful photographs,
which are hanging on our Computer Lab wall.
SUPER WHY SUMMER LITERACY
BCPIA co-sponsored with West Virginia Public Broadcasting a very
successful 4 week summer literacy camp.
Each week was held at a different community in the county and a
total of 45 children attended the camp.
Super Why was created to help children ages 3-6 learn to read through
interactive story adventures. SUPER WHY features a team of
literacy-powered super heroes: Alpha Pig (with Alphabet Power), Wonder Red
(with Word Power), Princess Presto (with Spelling Power), and Super Why
(with the Power to Read).
SUPER WHY focuses on reading fundamentals. A comprehensive literacy
curriculum incorporates key skills identified by the National Reading
Panel: letter identification, word decoding, phonemic awareness, word
encoding and phonics and reading comprehension.
SUPER WHY's signature educational approach includes:
books as a resource for solving problems kids face in preschool and in
that facilitates practice and learning
integration of story and literacy content
In each episode, the Super Readers experience a preschool-related problem,
fly into a book to find the answer and apply what was learned to resolve
Camp activities reinforce knowledge through repetition and multiple modes
of learning — art, music, movement, dance and games — and also use
multiple media types, including CD's, DVDs, worksheets, and more. Camp
attendees showed significant improvement (at the 95% significance level)
in their literacy skills thanks to this multimedia approach.
The SUPER WHY Reading Camps build on the signature early literacy approach
of the popular SUPER WHY television series, extending its unique
interactive reading approach into the community. Each day at Reading Camp,
children transform into one of the SUPER WHY characters and take part in
reading-based, branded SUPER WHY crafts, games, and songs that practice
the targeted early literacy skill of the day: Monday–letter
identification, Tuesday—rhyming with word families, Wednesday—letter
sounds and spelling, and Thursday—vocabulary and comprehension. On Friday,
families are invited to join the campers in celebrating the
accomplishments of the week.
During each week of camp, campers watch a SUPER WHY episode (the same
episode all week) and then engage in a variety of interactive early
literacy activities that build on the literacy skills taught in the
episode. Each day of the Reading Camp follows the same sequence of
activities, but every day has a particular reading skill focus.
Children received extra resources to take home with them every day.
Research has shown that the literacy attitudes and practices in the
home are instrumental in helping children become successful readers. Three
informational handouts shared these findings with parents and encourage
them to enjoy books with their children, visit the library together, and
include their kids in their everyday reading and writing activities.
Big Creek People in Action
offers a variety of Positive Parenting Workshops
During early spring and well into the summer months, BCPIA will offer
workshops for parents on many different topics.
We realize that no-one can be that “perfect mom or dad” and we all
can use some guidance or have some questions. This is why we will have
knowledgeable trainers offer workshops discussing things such as:
Caring for and/or recognizing the signs of Drug Addicted Children;
Medicine or Candy-Can your child tell the difference?; Time Management for
new moms; Child Abuse and Neglect; Child Sexual Abuse; Shaken Baby
Syndrome; and so much more.
Feedback from many of the workshops that have already passed was very
positive. Parents walk away with a lot of information and are ready to
attend other workshops. “ I always try to offer incentives for the parents
to attend the workshops. I
have distributed diapers, parent gift bags, new shoes, smoke detectors,
and more. The gifts are an added bonus, and we want the parents to attend
for the information, not just for gifts.”
We invite you to attend upcoming workshops. For more information, contact
Annetta Tiller at 304-875-3418.
BCPIA SPONSORING 3RD ANNUAL
BIG CREEK ALUMNI PROM
Big Creek People in Action, Inc. is excited to be sponsoring the 3rd
Annual Big Creek Alumni Prom on Saturday, June 9, 2012 from 7:00 pm ‘til
midnight at the Big Creek People in Action Center in Caretta. The Prom is
open to anyone that graduated from Big Creek High School and their invited
guests. The Big Creek High
School Gymnasium in War has been damaged to the extent that it can no
longer be used for the Prom.
Music will be provided by a DJ, dress is semi-formal, and food and drinks
will be served. Admission is
$20.00 for singles and $30.00 for couples.
Graduates of the 1932 through 1945 classes are invited at no
You must purchase your tickets in advance so we can plan accordingly.
Our gym will be beautifully decorated and we are hoping each of you
will plan to spend the evening with us reminiscing, eating, dancing, and
partying with old friends.
We will have a “Chill Room” set up with Big Creek High School memorabilia
and yearbooks to look at if you need to take a break from the music.
A photographer will also be available to take photos.
Give Marsha Timpson or Dyanne Spriggs a call at (304) 875-3418 if
you have any questions. Big
Creek High School was a wonderful school and we all have many memories of
fun times. Let’s celebrate and
keep the “Owl Spirit” alive.
AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM STARTED
To expand our services as a Family Resource Center, Big Creek People in
Action began an afterschool program this fall called “EXTRA SCHOOL
HANGOUT.” Parents can
instruct the school bus to let their children off at the Center after
school and we provide transportation home.
There have been 28 students signed up for the program so far.
Many children in McDowell County, WV come home to an empty house after
school. Reasons can be that
the parents work, have appointments, or simply just don’t care what their
children are doing. The issue
we want to address is the fact that when children have to take care of
themselves, there are more accidents and injuries, behavior problems, and
lower academic achievement.
Big Creek People in Action, Inc. has created an afterschool program that
is safe, healthy, enriching, and enhances young people’s social,
emotional, physical, and academic success.
Our afterschool program is from 4 – 7 pm four days a week.
Kids get off the school bus at our Center, and if necessary, we
provide them transportation home.
The children are around caring adults in a warm and safe atmosphere
and are fed a nutritious supper.
The program offers homework support, crafts, exercise, computer
time, learning activities, and recreational time to improve their physical
and mental health. They
have the opportunity to form close bonds with other children and have more
positive relationships with their peers.
The only hot meals many of the children in our area receive are the ones
they receive at school. When
they attend our afterschool program, they get to eat a healthy supper with
foods from all of the food groups so they don’t have to go to bed hungry
at night. The actual rate for
Free & Reduced lunches at our area school is 89%, but we are part of a
pilot program where 100% of our students get to eat free meals at school.
A hungry child is not able to concentrate and perform up to their
potential at school.
We collaborate with our local Department of Health and Human Resources by
having them refer families to us who are at risk of child abuse or
neglect. We offer these
families our services through our afterschool program to get the children
out of the house to reduce family stress.
The goals we have set for our Afterschool program are:
To provide a safe, culturally diverse, and a positive atmosphere to
To promote pro-social behaviors that will lead to improvement in
self-concept and provide numerous opportunities for their academic,
social, and personal growth.
To provide students with supplemental academic activities.
To provide opportunities for students to develop physically.
To provide a nutritious meal.
To increase computer skills.
To promote family and community involvement.
To transport students to and from the Center when necessary.
Our program is offered free of charge to all participants.
It is financially supported by the WV Department of Health and
Human Resources, May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, and Max & Victoria
Dreyfus Foundation. We accept
any school-age student into our afterschool program, but are targeting
those from at-risk families and those who may need extra support in order
NEW COMPUTER LAB OPEN
Through collaboration with Future Generations Graduate School and the
Coalwood Caretta Volunteer Fire Department, Big Creek People in Action has
a new 10-station computer lab connected to high-speed internet that has
opened in our Center. It is open to the public Mondays from 9 – 12 noon,
Tuesdays from 1 – 4 pm, and Fridays from 4 – 8 pm.
It is also used by our Afterschool Program four days a week and at
other times when needed.
Courses include Beginning Computer Classes, Advanced Computer Classes,
Career Skills, Microsoft Programs, Substance Abuse, Emergency Services,
Money Management, Student Support, Digital Photography, and many others.
The classes are taught by the computer program so participants can
progress as fast or as slow as they want and learn at their own pace.
Additional courses may be offered if requested.
Big Creek People in Action, Inc.
HC 32 Box 541
War, WV 24892
Ph. (304) 875-3418
Fax: (304) 875-3518