Communities in Schools - Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Volunteer | Donate | Success Stories | Schools                                       FALL  2016

Beating the Odds for a Better Future
CIS Graduate Tra'Quan Cunningham
From homelessness and just getting through each day, to becoming a high school graduate with all A's and B's headed to college on scholarship... meet Tra'Quan Cunningham, Class of 2016 CIS graduate from West Charlotte High School. Tra'Quan - known as Tra' to his friends - will tell you that he is a prime example of "it takes a village..." He will also tell you that he came very close to becoming another dropout statistic.   Read More

Read more of our student success stories at this link, including recent graduates Zorriah Cole and Tyrajah Legions.

Putting Words into Action 
In the wake of the Charlottte protests that made national news, Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg recently joined with other local businesses, faith communities, nonprofits, and individual citizens to pledge our time and resources to support the efforts of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force. The Task Force is calling all citizens to get involved and work together to find solutions that will bring about positive change for all sectors of the Charlotte community. If you are not familiar with the Char-Meck Opportunity Task Force, you can learn more on their website at this link. We hope that all of our CIS friends will find ways to contribute and support these efforts - after all, #ThisIsOurCharlotte.

Upcoming Volunteer Orientation Dates 
Here's a way that YOU can support our students in a very rewarding way - volunteer to be a reading buddy or mentor! Learn more at one of these upcoming Volunteer Orientation sessions. No commitment to volunteering is needed to attend, though we greatly appreciate folks registering in advance so we can plan accordingly.  RSVP to Courtney Peterson, Volunteer & Engagement Associate. Hope to see you there!

October 20  -  11am-12pm, OR  6-7pm
November 2 -  11am-12pm, OR  6-7pm

CIS-Charlotte named a "Growth and Impact Community"
Just as we were welcoming students back in September for the 2016-17 school year, we received news of several wonderful opportunities for CIS-Charlotte - which translates to more opportunities and access to services for our students.

In September, CIS-Charlotte was named a "Growth and Impact Community" by our national Communities In Schools office. Out of nearly 200 CIS affilliates across the country, just 10 affiliates were recognized with this designation. In addition, CIS-Charlotte is one of just three affiliates, along with CIS of Charleston and CIS of San Antonio, named an "Impact Community", which means we were identified as being models of excellence in how we serve the needs of students who may be at risk for dropping out. The three affiliates will be used as research centers to help pilot new initiatives showing how our effective use of Integrated Student Supports (wraparound services) helps students stay in school and graduate.   Read the CIS National press release

And in August, we learned that our TRiO "Talent Search" program was awarded another 5-year grant. This is fantastic news for CIS high school students! Funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education, the TRiO program provides career exploration and college admission support services to low income, "first generation" (to attend college) students. With this new grant, our TRiO program will be able to expand from two high schools (West Charlotte and West Mecklenburg) to four, adding the program at Harding and Olympic.

Thank You to Our Everyday SUPER HEROES!    
We may be a bit biased, but we really loved the theme of CIS of North Carolina's state-wide staff training conference this year:   Call of Duty: Everyday Super Heroes - because that's exactly what our Site Coordinators are to their students and families! Yes, we really do have "everyday Super Heroes" among us, and we are grateful and proud of the work our Site Coordinators do every day in our schools. But they will tell you, it isn't really work at all, it is a calling. We hope you'll take a moment to thank a CIS Site Coordinator next time you're visiting a school!
Carla Gaymon (pictured at right) is one of our CIS Super Heroes at Allenbrook Elementary. See a few more of our Super Heroes here!

Charlotte Auto Show benefits CIS ~ November 16-20 
Gotta go to the Auto Show! Fun family activity to check out the latest in cool cars - AND support CIS at the same time! CIS-Charlotte is one of 13 local charities that the Auto Show has selected to support through ticket sales to this annual event. A percentage of ticket sales will be shared between the charities. General Admission tickets are on sale now - $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Buy Tickets at this link

School Tools Rules!
This year marked the 20th Anniversary of the School Tools Campaign! CIS-Charlotte, along with WSOC-TV, was one of the founding partners when the campaign was initiated in 1997. Today, in collaboration with WSOC-TV and Classroom Central, School Tools is the largest school supplies campaign in the region and has provided school supplies to more than 3 million children in 22 counties. Thanks to YOU and thousands of donors, this year donations were up 110% over last year, with 814,548 items donated! 

School Tools held its kick-off celebration at he NASCAR Hall of Fame. CIS student Amir Olumoroti, in center above with Mayor Jennifer Roberts and NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger, was chosen to be the School Tools "Student Ambassador." Amir graduated from West Charlotte in June and enlisted in the U.S. Marines Corps this fall.

In Gratitude   
3,000 School Uniforms donated by Belk   
Belk Department Stores, in coordination with United Way of Central Carolinas, recently donated nearly 3,000 school uniform items to Communities In Schools and A Child's Place. In addition to the generous donation, our friends at TIAA spent several days sorting and organizing the uniforms in preparation to deliver them to selected CMS schools. "This is a huge undertaking," said Courtney Peterson, CIS Volunteer & Community Engagement Associate. We're so grateful for Belk's donation and for TIAA's support."

Lotta Foundation + A Lotta Coats = A Lotta Love 
CIS is deeply grateful to The Lotta Foundation for their recent donation of 109 winter coats for CIS students at Statesville Road Elementary School. Lotta Foundation founders Christina and Titus Bartolotta learned from CIS Site Coordinator Torrie Burgess that a large number of Statesville Road's students came to school last winter in freezing temperatures with no coat. Before you could say "32 degrees," the Bartolottas got the word out and collected gently used coats from friends and neighbors, and then laundered them all before delivering them to the school.

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It!)      
We sure had a Lowcountry good time at our 8th annual Lowcountry on the Green event on September 17! In case you missed it, you should check out this slideshow and see for yourself - the "proof is in the pudding!" (or in this case, the shrimp & grits!) 

Mark Your Calendar!
Oct. 20  l  Nov. 2
Upcoming Volunteer Orientation Dates
Nov. 17-20
Charlotte International Auto Show - Ticket sales benefit CIS-Charlotte
Nov. 29
Giving Tuesday
CIS Holiday Cards and Year-End Campaign

Communities In Schools  l  601 E 5th Street, Suite 300  l  Charlotte, NC 28202  l