Help us grow & nurture our community

A little goes a long way.

Our Communities needs help drafting a plan for the repurposing of Francisco School by February 28th. Since the school was closed in 2015, community members’ have offered ideas. Now it’s time to determine what combination of ideas will work; how costs can be covered; and how, working together, area residents can build a great asset for the region. We’re seeking volunteers to be part of the draft-plan task force. We also hope to learn about groups that might be interested in using/renting space at the school for their events or projects. 

If we’re all successful in coming up with a “feasible and sustainable” plan, the facility will serve the communities of NW Stokes and people from all over the county, neighboring counties and southern Virginia. Residents from all of these areas are welcome to play key roles.

Task Force: We need people who can explore uses, and we need people who can help with the nuts and bolts

This is a two-month project and we hope the short timeline will make it possible for people to participate who otherwise could not. We’ll work with your schedules.

Use Champions: Open to anyone
If you have a particular passion or vision, this is for you. Volunteers are needed to help to determine the viability of different uses and to make a case for how these might be combined to contribute to paying the bills as well as serving the community. 

Here are some of the most popular general suggestions put forward in community forums: music and art classes, food pantry, day care, Head Start and early childhood education, eldercare, sports, fitness, community kitchen, store, media center/library, tutoring, concerts and theater performances, recording studio, after-school programs, distribution center for local farm products, business center, craft-based enterprise, small business development, social and health services. Some research will be required and you might need to visit some sites that offer potential models for use.

Skills in building-related and finance-related fields
We need people with experience in property management: housekeeping/cleaning, maintenance/repair, bookkeeping, scheduling, security and monitoring of property conditions. We also need people who have experience in financial matters, construction, building codes, operating costs, developing/analyzing numbers, etc.  If you or someone you know qualifies for ANY of these, please get in touch.

User or Rental Groups 
Please let us know now:
1) if you or your group or organization might want to use the school 
2) if you know of providers or helpful sources in any of the use categories listed above or others.
3) if you would like to help develop use guidelines and a fee policy. To ensure sustainability, we will need to come up with fair, equitable, and affordable ways to generate revenues to offset operating costs and repairs going forward. 

Our contact person is Nora Tallmon. You can reach her at or at 336-351-8230.

Once the draft is completed it will be reviewed with all interested parties. Work on the plan will then continue with different models being tested. A final proposal will be presented to the Stokes County Commissioners by June 28, 2017.

Community involvement will be crucial in making Francisco School successful once again. Let’s all work together, all communities, to make this happen. A revitalized school can help drive a whole revitalization effort for the area. We look forward to friends and family, young and old, returning to rural Stokes to have fun and make it home again. 

Together we can make improvements, while preserving and developing our community’s culture.

Please pitch in..all neighbors ready to take up the challenge to advance opportunities in our area are welcome and encouraged to do their part by picking a team and a project they’d like to contribute to. Contact us today!


  • Wildflower / Roadside Planting
  • Adopt a Highway Program
  • Establish Walking Track on School Grounds
  • Paint / Repair Playground Equipment
  • Refurbish Basketball Court / Backboards
  • School Grounds Beautification
  • Master Gardener Classes
  • Community Garden
  • Drive-By Book Exchange
  • Construct Information Kiosks
  • Website Development
  • Add Free WI-FI Hot Spots
  • Create Area Business Directory
  • Design Newcomer Kits
  • Repurpose Francisco School
  • Fundraisers / FUNraisers.

All neighbors ready to take up the challenge to advance opportunities in our area are welcome and encouraged to do their part, have fun, and create the future. Please explore the different teams currently working. If you have new ideas that may not fit in with current teams, please contact us.

  • Art, Heritage and History
    The Art Heritage and History Teams goal is to identify, document, enhance and enrich the local arts, history and heritage of our area. To accomplish our goals we will research the community, recording our history, and heritage plus cataloging artists of all disciplines. With this information, we will use creative means to honor the past and educate locals plus visitors in our area. Our title is broad, our community diverse, giving us flexibility to achieve our goals with means available at present. In the future, we hope that our community will have access to the elementary school building, which could house library, classrooms, kitchen plus a gym with its beautiful stage for interdisciplinary performances. Our team also interacts with and supports the organization by helping all to represent interest in aesthetically pleasing way plus producing items for sale or auction for monetary support of Our Community of NW Stokes.

    • Current projects
      School Grounds Beautification, Children’s Affordable Technology (CAT),


  • Web Slingers:
    Web Slingers Team: Works with partners to close the digital and technical divide for all residents, including the homework gap, in NW Stokes County. Focus:Accelerate access and gig speed, initiate OC and nonprofit website development and maintenance, placement of dispersed emergency and public Wi-Fi hotspots, and promote the Children’s Affordable Technology (CAT) program, helping to provide tools for educational and economic development success within the NW Stokes service area.

    • Current projects
      Establishing Free WI-FI Hot Spots, Website Development, Children’s Affordable Technology (CAT), Facilitating broadband access across NW Stokes.


  • Beautification:
    The Beautification and Outdoor Enhancement Team is dedicated to inspiring the lives of the people of Our Communities of NW Stokes County through visual enrichment of the world in which we live, play, and love. The team’s focus is on restoring that which has declined, improving that which is good, and designing for excellence. Our media is nature and other elements that are aesthetically pleasing. Recognizing that the atmosphere that surrounds us greatly impacts our overall mental state, we strive to accomplish those visual enhancements that will highlight the rich heritage that is ours and motivate us to continue the richness of the community in which we are so proud.

    • Current projects
      Wildflower/Roadside Planting, Adopt a Highway, School Grounds Beautification, Master Gardener Classes


  • Business and Tourism:
    The Business and Tourism Development Team of Our Communities will create opportunities for residents to contribute to the growth and economic development of NW Stokes County by attracting visitors through the promotion of the area’s natural resources, culture, heritage, businesses and adventures.

    • Current projects
      Business directory, Church Directory, Construct Information Kiosks, Website Development


  • Youth Initiatives
    The Youth Initiatives Team is dedicated to enhancing the lives of the youth living in NW Stokes County by providing a place to meet and learn and grow in an environment that is close to home. The team’s goals are to bring programs to the community that are needed by the youth. Some of the activities we are currently engaged in are: playground/ park, Little League baseball, Little League football and Little League Basketball. Some programs we would like to bring to the community are tutoring, head start, and summer programs. We are continuously gathering ideas from the community as to what activities are needed, so please make suggestions.
  •  Current projects
    School Grounds Beautification, Paint / Repair Playground Equipment, Refurbish Basketball Court, Little League
  • School Repurposing/Community Services
    The goal of the Francisco School Repurposing Team is to find and bring to fruition the effective and sustainable re-use of the school; the result of this effort will hopefully become a resource for all of Stokes County, especially the less served northern area.  Since we have been given the opportunity to use the grounds, we have begun efforts in that area.  The playground equipment renovation has almost been completed, and a handicap-accessible walking trail is currently being built. The team and county formed a working group, at the request of the OC team, to meet monthly and the team is to provide a quarterly report to the commission. Our next steps include cleaning the ag building that we could use for storage and continuing to work with other team’s to determine landscaping efforts.  We also meet with potential partners to determine mutually advantageous applications for the facility

    • Current projects
      School Grounds Beautification, Walking Track on School Grounds, Paint / Repair Playground Equipment, Refurbish Basketball Court / Backboards, Repurpose Francisco School
  • Communications Team
    The Communications Team was established to promote various outreach methods at community festivals, farmers markets, holidays and celebrations; promote and publicize activities through website, fliers, local newspapers, public service announcements and other effective media. We provide assistance to the other team’s to help plan activities for our communities that include children, parents, grandparents and senior citizens; reach out through other groups to co-sponsor events and activities; engage leaders of the community and other organizations.

    • Current projects
      Business directory, Church Directory, Construct Information Kiosks, Website Development, Fundraisers / FUNraisers, Children’s Affordable Technology (CAT)