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Letters to the editor – Sunday (6-28-09)

Communities in Schools needs your help to reach more kids
Have you heard of Communities in Schools? Do you know why they exist? Do you know what they provide for our children? Here is a story of one child.
Eric (not real name) is a typical eighth-grade boy. He’d love to play professional basketball, wants his own dirt bike and imagines the perfect meal to be Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.
There is one difference, though: He’s homeless.
He’s an example the growing population of homeless students. If predictions hold true, there could be hundreds more by years end.
Eric contends not just with homelessness but with all that come with it, including hunger, embarrassment and day-to-day fear of what’s next. Kids in middle school can be very cruel, so most of the kids who are homeless don’t want anybody to know.
Odds say many will end up as dropouts. The lucky ones will find hope through Communities in Schools, a United Way agency that seeks out students in crisis and works to keep them in school.
Eric’s dream includes “lots of money to buy food.” Until then, he’ll be happy just to prove wrong all the people who have treated him like a lost cause. “What I want people to know,” he said, “is that I’m not worthless.”
This is just one story of a child that Communities in Schools has helped. There are many, many more. These children want and need your help. In today’s economy, even though a monetary contribution will help, being a volunteer tutor or mentor is just as helpful. Rowan County Communities in Schools needs your help. For more information, please call Executive Director Vicky Slusser at 704-797-0190.
ó Dianne Greene
Salisbury
Greene is chairwoman of Rowan County Communities in Schools.

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