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Executive Director Corner

This is our 35th year serving the boys, girls of families of Guilford County Schools (GCS). To date, we have served over 55,000 students at 22 schools and connected 8.1 million dollars in in-kind services and contributions. While in our care, over 98% of students have stayed in school. We never tire of helping to write the success stories of our participants and their families, and we labor proudly in the trenches of our students’ lives.

One of the greatest challenges we face, as do our partners at GCS, is absenteeism. GCS tracks absences across grade levels. We have come to learn that middle schoolers are chronically absent triple the amount they were before the pandemic, and high school students are more than double. Nationally, more than 25% of students missed at least 10% of the 2021-22 school year making them chronically absent. Before the pandemic, only 15% of students missed that much school.

GCS folks are tapping into a reservoir of creativity and ingenuity to meet this challenge head on. Working with parents/guardians, going to the home, making phone calls, making the schoolhouse more welcoming and inviting. Sometimes the efforts of school personnel are not enough. Some awesome ways the community can help are as follows:

Pastors can encourage excellent attendance from the pulpit.

Food banks, the Salvation Army, Catholic charities, local churches and shelters or other community agencies have and can often provide help to people in need, therefore resulting in better attendance.

A powerful strategy to improve attendance can be setting up a mentor program. Mentors can create an ongoing positive effect as students realize that at least one adult really cares about them. How great would it be for every chronically absent kid to have a mentor?

Companies, groups, organizations and individuals could provide incentives for improved attendance. 

We would be glad to work with anyone who would like to help address this continuing plague on our schools and community. Meanwhile, please continue to care about our schools, families and kids.

Highlights from Summer 2023! 🏕️

For the second summer since COVID, and under the tireless leadership of Rashard Jones and Cochise Lanier, CIS hosted the AAMI summer camp for 56 boys and some of their siblings at Wiley Elementary. This summer, the camp enrolled boys ranging from grades 3-12. Thanks to funding from the United Way, the camp afforded six students to serve as camp counselors as well as two full-time teachers in math and English.

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🔦 Mentor Spotlight: Craig Peck!

We caught up with Craig Peck and discovered why he likes being a mentor with Communities In Schools of Greater Greensboro!

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Thanks to Our

Donor! 👏

We caught up with Jana Barrett and Renica Hamilton recently to discuss Lincoln’s longstanding partnership with CIS and why they intend on remaining supportive of the organization.

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🚗 Toyota in The House!!!

"We are unifying our heart with the heart of Toyota as they build the battery manufacturing plant in

Rockingham County. Emily Wilemon-Holland brought greetings and good cheer to a meeting with a small group of CISGG board members arranged by members of our Board and the Women’s Professional Forum where Emily spoke about Toyotas presence in Rockingham and Guilford counties. Emily commented on the $1 million donated to NCA&T and CIS of Rockingham County (500k each) to enhance workforce readiness. Emily committed to future financial support and a true partnership around job and career opportunities for our participants and their family members. In addition, we eagerly await Emily’s

membership on our BOD next year."

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New Board Members

Please review our new board members FY 2023 - 2024! We are excited and honored to welcome these folk to our team! We know their guidance will make a profound impact on our mission to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life!

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'Easier not to go to school': Triad school leaders work to keep kids in classrooms

‘Easier not to go to school’: Triad school leaders work to keep kids in


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Tribute to Mr. Eric Graves!! 🏆

Eric Graves Joined the CIS Success at School Afterschool program in 2016 as the youth development coordinator at Jackson Middle School. Last year, Mr. Graves agreed to serve as the interim project director for SAS in the wake of the director’s nexpected departure... Sadly, Mr. Graves accepted a position with the YMCA in Greensboro and has handed the reins over to his successor, Ms. Jana Foster- Harris. We wish Mr. Graves much success in his new venture and as a new father to Jackson Graves. As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, we bet on Mr. Graves.

Is It Easier Not To Go To School? Chronic absenteeism doesn't have just one solution -- it has many

CIS' Chance Schools initiative is working, since 2021-2022, in tandem with schools, to continue to increase student attendance, especially since the coronavirus pandemic.

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