OpenDoors of Asheville is Grateful for Your Support!  


You are changing lives.

OpenDoors of Asheville helps students who are growing up in poverty to become proficient readers, inspired learners, and productive members of our community. We give special thanks this year to the generous support from the Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation, Parsec Financial’s ‘Parsec Prize’, and the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina’s ‘People In Need’ Grant, among many family foundations and hundreds of individual donors who make our work possible. Our donors, trained teachers, and tutors make reading possible for the dozens of students who are the beneficiaries of the OpenDoors ‘Bridging the Language Gap’ program.

“I’m so proud of (Kalim)!  He has gone from being an angry and frustrated little boy, to a tenacious and proud young man.  He can read now – and that was no small feat.  Two years ago he would put his head down and quietly cry, he was so frustrated and ashamed of his performance in school.  After two seasons of summer camp, much Orton tutoring, and other school year interventions he is a completely new student.  I can’t describe the transformation well enough – you would have to see it yourself.” – OpenDoors TeamLeader

Bridging the Language Gap

The American Educational Research Association states that “a child living in poverty who is not on grade level by the third grade is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peers.”

The fact is that according to NC Report Cards ( 33.8% of kids in Asheville City Schools failed the End of Grade reading tests end the of the 2013-2014 school year. The great majority of these students come from our poorest households.

Supporting our schools as they teach Asheville’s most fragile students is instrumental in breaking the cycle of poverty in our community.  Improving outcomes for these students benefits EVERYONE.  OpenDoors students can show as much as two years of academic growth in one year thanks to year-round coordinated support in education, enrichment, and advocacy.  We work as a community to greatly increase our student’s academic achievement–so that they are EDUCATED instead of INCARCERATED.  See Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan’s inspiring speech to the National Press Club at 

According to the Vera Institute of Justice ( The approximate average annual cost per year, per inmate, in NC is $29,965.  It is far less expensive to educate, not incarcerate our youth!

OpenDoors uses a multi-tiered approach:

  • In order to reach a maximum number of students, we partner with schools and highly skilled Orton Fellows to train elementary teachers in the research based Orton-Gillingham approach to reading intervention.
  • We source, fund, and coordinate individual tutoring sessions for dozens of newly identified dyslexic students living in poverty who are in greatest need of intensive intervention.
  • We continue to provide Orton-Gillingham tutoring and summer camps to students, so that kids don’t fall behind while out of school but instead leap forward with confidence into the next grade. Those summer initiatives are facilitated through Asheville City Schools Summer programs, the generosity of Camp Spring Creek, the Gow School Summer Program, and continued one-on-one tutoring sessions with tutors and other community partners like the Key School at Carolina Day and Read to Succeed who work in concert with OpenDoors programming.

Schools are being held accountable for the success of ALL students. Our Orton-Gillingham Educator training gives elementary teachers and reading specialists a strong foundation and research-based tools to use when faced with students who do not learn using traditional methods. OpenDoors trainings provide teachers with the knowledge to best instruct struggling readers and improve year-end outcomes, and kids who feel successful in school most often become successful in life.  

Thank you for Investing in a child and strengthening our Community!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING