2021-2022 Year in Review

Thanks to our many donors and sponsors, the Poe Center had another great year. Your valuable contributions helped many of Poe’s most innovative programs evolve from creative collaborations and brought Poe’s health education programs directly to new audiences.

Over the last twelve months, the Poe Center reached 44,928 participants through the delivery of 1,656 programs. Our health educators served 31 counties, providing valuable health education across the state. The Poe Center’s social media campaigns reached 7 million users, where we were able to share resources, tips, events, and information related to our nine program areas: General Health, Dental Health, Nutrition & Physical Activity, Family Life, Substance Use Prevention, Bullying Prevention, CookWELL Kitchen, GrowWELL Garden, and MindWELL Mental Wellness.

The Poe Center’s reach extends further than health education programs. During the 2021-2022 year, youth leaders presented on the effects of vaping to youth, adults, and policy makers. Poe Center staff educated tobacco merchants in Wake and Johnston counties to prevent youth access to alcohol and tobacco products. Youth leaders and community partners were trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. Poe Center staff distributed medication lock boxes, disposal kits, and cabinet safety locks to help prevent children and youth from accessing prescription medication. Additionally, the Poe Center launched new after-school programs at four local high schools.

Check out more of the highlights:

Taking it to the Courts

Thanks to funding from the National Tennis Foundation and a partnership with the National Junior Tennis Leagues, health educators met with 169 middle and high school athletes, on the tennis courts, to provide weekly nutrition and physical activity lessons, in addition to healthy snacks.

Growing the Fuquay-Varina Growers’ Market

Residents and neighbors of Fuquay-Varina have more access to farm-fresh produce thanks to a collaboration between the Poe Center and the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce. Now in its second season, the market features benefits for low-income families, buybacks from farmers, produce donations to local food banks, bilingual materials, and educational and entertainment activities. Over 12,000 people visited the market in the 2022 season.

“After Hours” Program Encourages Personal and Professional Growth

Over 120 high school students participated in a new after-school program at local schools (East Wake, Enloe, Southeast, and Wake Early College high schools) thanks to a grant from 21st Century. With an emphasis on building health-focused skills, the “After Hours” program also provided academic support, life skills programs, health-science career exploration, CPR/First Aid certifications, field trips, and family engagement programs to students in academic need. A summer extension program was also offered at the Poe Center to help reduce learning loss.

New & Improved: Visit the Poe Center’s Website

A fresh modern look with vibrant photos and easier navigation are just a few of the improvements on the Poe Center’s redesigned website. Major new functions include a convenient keyword search, a program directory which sorts programs by grade and topic, and a searchable directory of recommended sources.

New Outdoor Artwork Completes Five-Year Vision

The Poe Center completed its five-year initiative to make the outside as exciting and educational as the inside. Collages of eighteen colorful large-scale icons depicting Poe’s educational areas now greet anyone who passes Poe on Sunnybrook Road. Poe was recognized for using public art as an innovative approach to health education with the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for community appearance.

Outdoor Theater

2022 Annual Award Recipients

Each year the Poe Center recognizes individuals and organizations who have been stalwart supporters of health education and the Poe Center. Board president Amy Amerson and executive director Ann Rollins recognized award recipients during our annual awards ceremony. Congratulations to the recipients of the 2021-2022 Poe Center Awards:

The Faye L. Miller Distinguished Service Award was established to recognize board members or volunteers who demonstrate outstanding service, dedication, investment of time and wholehearted commitment to the Poe Center.

Recipients: Alyson Gordon, Curt Ladig, Jennifer Lee, and Jenny Pilewski

Alyson, Curt, Jen, and Jenny are outgoing Poe Center Board of Director members. Each has served in leadership positions on the Board of Directors during their terms. Curt served as treasurer and chair of the finance committee, Alyson as chair of the human resources committee chair, Jenny served as chair of the marketing committee, and Jen served as board president. They have given their time and expertise and helped Poe grow and provide effective and empowering health education to children, youth, and families across the state.

Faye L Miller Award

This award is presented annually to an individual or organization whose outstanding support and leadership help ensure the financial security of the Poe Center and perpetuates the Gordon Smith, Jr. legacy.

This year’s recipient is Duke Raleigh Hospital. Duke Raleigh Hospital has been a supporter of the Poe Center since the beginning. They are always quick to provide us with incredible volunteers, partner with us to reach more community members, support our summer lunch program for kids, and they are the current sponsors of our nutrition theater and this conference.

Each year, the Poe Center presents the President’s Award to honor the achievements of an individual or organization whose work over the past year demonstrates a strong commitment to prevention and health education in our state.

The 2022 recipient, the WakeMed Health & Hospitals Facilities Department has been a tremendous supporter of the Poe Center. Keeping our campus looking beautiful, our park clean, and our building functions is a big job. The WakeMed Facilities department tackles so many of our needs each and every day. For that we are delighted to present the Gordon Smith Award to the WakeMed Facilities Department.

Presidents Award

The Educator of the Year Award honors a champion of physical education or health education in the schools. The 2022 recipient is Jack Neiger, Physical Education Teacher, just retired, at Wake County Public School’s Green Elementary School.

Green Elementary School is a BeWELL partner with the Poe Center. BeWELL with Poe is a school wellness partnership for schools with 50% or more students who receive free or reduced lunch. Poe creates meaningful collaborations with the school community to provide health education and changes to the school environment that promote healthy behaviors. Jack was a true champion of this program at Green Elementary!

Featured Event: 2022 Annual Meeting

Check out the highlights of our 2022 Annual Meeting conferences and events including keynote speaker, Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, founder and CEO of Bee Downtown.

Learn More

Featured Resource: Poe Center Resource Directory

Explore the Poe Center’s resource directory for videos, websites, activities, and other health-education material recommended by our team of health educators.

Explore Now