Students examine the state of housing in Asheville


Students examine the state of housing in Asheville

This looks like a great project to examine a very timely issue. Here's more from a press release: 

A group of 11th-grade students at Franklin School of Innovation have started a multi-faced project to examine the issue of housing insecurity.

A group of 11th-grade students at Franklin School of Innovation have started a project that will examine the state of housing in Asheville, focusing on the multifaceted problem of housing insecurity and putting a face on this very real issue in our community.

March 8-9, Expedition Kickoff: We will begin our Expedition with a day of service. Students will spend the day at a Habitat for Humanity build site, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, or at ABCCM as volunteers. On Friday, we will visit the Poverty Initiative, where students will tour downtown Asheville to learn from their Poverty Scholars about their perspective on issues of housing. Finally, students will determine which focus group they would like to study throughout our work.

Classwork/Speakers: Students will study the circumstances which lead to housing insecurity and develop a better understanding of the struggles that arise from gentrification, city-planning, tourism, and housing policies across the country. They will also read anchor texts (English III - Nickel and Dimed; AP English Language - Evicted) that closely examine the connection between salaries and housing and discuss the ethical role of a writer or journalist in telling someone else's story. In math, students will analyze the finances of home ownership with reference to inflation and interest rates. Our Expedition will also bring speakers to our classrooms, including Julie Mayfield (Asheville city council member), Maddy Jones (Habitat for Humanity communications director), and Denise Weegar (Co-Director of Women’s Recovery Center).

March 28, Field Work Day: Students will choose one of five focus areas (government & politics, veteran services, health & homelessness, hunger, or gentrification) and will complete field work according to their focus area. We have partnered with several organizations around Asheville for students to learn about the work being done in our community; the organizations include ABCCM, Haywood Street Congregation, Hood Huggers, 12 Baskets, the Community Development Team of Asheville Social Services, and Asheville’s Housing Development Services Department.


Culminating Project: Students will ultimately create an Instagram page with the goal of educating the community about the state of housing in Asheville. Each student will create one of the posts for that page that will be published between the end of our Expedition and the start of next school year. These posts will be promoted through Asheville's H4H social media, and each post will feature a snippet of an interview that the students conduct with people we work with through each organization we've partnered with.

Service Element: Throughout the year, a student leadership team is working on our Habitat for Humanity student build. We are partnered with Christ School, Asheville Christian Academy, and Carolina Day to build a Habitat house in 2018-2019. Between now and then, we are tasked with raising over $13,000 to build our share of the house, and students will participate in build days throughout the spring and next year with Habitat. Consider supporting our fundraising efforts by eating at Five Guys on Hendersonville Road, on Thursday, March 22nd 5-8pm, or visit our GoFundMe page at

May 4th - Celebration of Learning: Students will reveal our final product and tell the story of our work to parents, peers, and community members; this celebration will take place at the Bent Creek Baptist Church. We will send more details as we get closer, but for now hold the date!

EL School Model and Expeditions: Franklin School of Innovation is an EL Education (formerly Expedition Learning) School. Students learn through challenging, collaborative work. Schools in the EL network define student achievement to include mastery of skills and content, combined with character development and the production of high quality work. Schools that fully adopt the EL Education approach regularly outperform surrounding schools on student achievement measures.

One of the EL structures at Franklin that support student learning are Expeditions. These long-term, teacher-designed studies bring learning beyond the classroom walls. Students practice original research, critical thinking, and problem solving. Learning Expeditions are directly tied to curriculum standards, and focus on developing literacy as well as persistence, leadership, and collaboration. Expeditions end with celebrations of student learning, sharing final student products with authentic audiences. Students participate in at least one multidisciplinary expedition each year.