Northwest Roanoke is a community teeming with energy, talent and resources. Its rich history and cultural fervor impact the identity of the entire Roanoke Valley. It is in this setting that the Cultural Arts for Excellence (CAFE) center was established as a means of strengthening the educational and community integrity that already exists in this great neighborhood.
CAFE Kids after school program presents a unique opportunity to enrich a student’s academic achievement in a way that is fun and engaging. CAFE capitalizes on this through a strategic design that incorporates the arts as a fundamental approach to academic remediation. Students participate in workshops that serve to nurture drama, music, dance, and poetry skills while enhancing performance on the Virginia Standards of Learning. This synchronization of fun and education serves to “edutain” (educate and entertain) students, increasing academic competency as well as social and life skills in a challenging and engaging environment.
CAFE is a 501(c) (3) community center located in Northwest Roanoke that provides facilities, programs and services that nurtures, inspires and challenges middle school students through the provision of meaningful out-of-school enrichment programs that promote academic achievement through the creative arts; builds capacity for lifelong learning and enhanced quality of life and public well-being through free and fee based classes for youths and adults, and a place for positive social interaction.
CAFE celebrated its grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration on Saturday, May 22, 2010 following Kingdom Life Ministries International’s purchase and renovation of the old Reid and Russell Florist building in support of its commitment to improving the quality of life for families and youths residing in Northwest Roanoke.
CAFE Kids has had a successful five years positively impacting the lives of middle school students.
Cultural Arts for Excellence (CAFE) after school presents a unique opportunity to enrich a student’s academic achievement in a way that is fun and engaging. CAFE capitalizes on this through a strategic design that incorporates the arts as a fundamental approach to academic remediation.
CAFE was the winner of the Spring 2016 Big Lick SOUP (Supporting Outstanding Urban Projects) event. The micro-grant event saw had over 250 participants raising $2,720. These funds will be used to take CAFE Kids to a steel drum competition in the Tidewater area in April.
The First 5 Years
FAMILY RUN & WALK
The goal of the CAFE 5K Family Run & Walk is to raise awareness and emphasize the importance of community health, childhood education and giving back in the Northwest Community.
This is the first idea and implemented event of its kind in the area. We believe that talent is all around us and we want to support to a community to empower and bring forth talented individuals. Each year we have awards, performances, by the CAFE kids and others, dancing, Zumba, bounce houses and face painting for the kids. It is excellent opportunity for family to come together to support one another and bring the community together.
CAFE SUMMER PROGRAMS
The CAFE two-week summer camp is designed to expose middle school students to life outside of their neighborhood and immediate community. The aim of this exposure is to create new life experiences, broadening the horizons of each student, and opening new doorways of interest and curiosity.
Some past camp activities have included an introduction to milk and ice cream making at the Homestead Creamery in Bedford, a trip to Healing Strides horse farm, where students learn how to care for and ride horses, a downtown scavenger hunt where students discover the sights and sounds of downtown, a trip to a llama farm, and a trip to South County Library Wetlands trail, where students encountered unusual and exotic habitats. Fun activities are interwoven into the camp experience with trips to the skating rink and Splash Valley waterpark.
CAFE ARTS AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Since our founding during the 2011 - 2012 academic year, Cultural Arts for Excellence has served over 200 middle school students. We have expanded our services to include the services of an intervention counselor to support the mental health of each of our participants.
CAFE provides enrichment in its truest sense, complimenting research that shows the effectiveness of the arts in the academic development of students, CAFE has strategically employed SOL-aligned activities that nurture learning, increase self- confidence, and enhance overall life engagement. A visitor to the CAFE would witness creative activities such as poetry slams, steel drum workshops, instrument instruction, and character development workshops, all incorporating concepts founded in Virginia Standards of Learning curriculum.