Life center opens training facility


Suqasia White, 16, and Samauri White, 9, work on Chromebooks on Sept. 1 at the Conetoe Family Life Center.


Staff Writer

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Conetoe Family Life Center has a new $150,000 training center aimed to help improve the quality of life for children and adults in the small rural town in Edgecombe County.

Dr. Garrie Moore, executive director of the Conetoe Family Life Center, said the training center is 100 percent paid for. Conetoe Family Life received a $100,000 grant from the Cannon Foundation to fund the building, while Blue Cross Blue Shield donated funds to be used by the Conetoe Family Life Center to pay other costs, such as utilities, Internet connection and other operating costs.

Moore said the training center consists of four classrooms with a computer in each room. Conetoe Family Life also has a couple classroom spaces and its administrative office at its other location across from Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.

The purpose of the training center is to have a larger space for the Conetoe Family Life Center’s after-school and summer programs, while also providing training for people to learn different methods of gardening, Moore said. The training center will have certified teachers and tutors from Edgecombe Community College and East Carolina University.

Moore added Conetoe Family Life is going through training for gap certification, as the nonprofit organization is positioning itself to sell foods to stores, restaurants, public school systems and hospitals that have all expressed an interest in purchasing the center’s produce.

“The training center was something that had been in the process for a year, and we needed a bigger space to accomodate the kids that needed our services,” he said. “We don’t want to turn kids away because they don’t have anything else to do in this community. The training center will also be used for people to learn various aspects of agribusiness and agriculture. We also will be available for other community events like family reunions for a small cost and be used as another funding stream.”

The Rev. Richard Joyner, founder of the Conetoe Family Life Center, said the center will also serve to help the community in other needed areas.

“There are a lot of people that don’t have access to broadband Internet, and they can come use the facility to help apply for jobs or work on a resume, so the training center is a community enhancement and community sustainability,” Joyner said.

Moore said the bee laboratory where honey is processed and packaged is nearly complete and the Family Life Center will soon build a walking trail around the garden to help people exercise. Moore also has plans of adding a playground in the future for small children to play at the center.

He added the second phase of the building includes building a commercial kitchen for a nutritionist to do demonstrations on processing and cooking procedures.

“We want the Conetoe Family Life Center to be a destination for families in the area,” Moore said.

Conetoe Family Life Center is set have an open house at 1 p.m. Sept. 29 for the public to tour the facility and find out about the center’s various programs. The new training center is located at 150 Vine Lane in Tarboro.