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Communities in Schools receives $220,000 grant

Communities in Schools

SALISBURY — Communities in Schools of Rowan County is one of 18 nonprofit education service providers to be awarded a state grant.

The agency was awarded $220,503 to provide student support services in the nine Rowan-Salisbury schools it serves, beginning immediately. The grant will allow CIS to increase its presence to 40 hours a week at each school.

The agency serves Hanford Dole, Hurley, Isenberg, Koontz, North Rowan and Overton elementary schools; Knox and North Rowan middle schools; and Henderson High School.

“This is wonderful news,” said Superintendent Lynn Moody of Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

Communities in Schools has been an invaluable partner for years, she said.

“Our district has a wide range of student needs that must be addressed so we can keep them in school and on the pathway to graduate with a high school diploma,” Moody said. “Many thanks to the folks at CIS for continuing to research and receive resources to help our children be successful.”

The grant was made possible through the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program.

The General Assembly appropriated $6 million from the At-Risk Student Services Alternative School Allotment for the grant program for the 2017-18 school year. The program funds extended learning and integrated support programs for at-risk students.

Nonprofit agencies working in collaboration with local schools were invited to participate in the program. Thirty-four applications were received by Oct. 13, and a total of $5.8 million was awarded to 18 of those applicants.

The Communities in Schools grant will be used to help at-risk students who are not performing at grade level, are at risk of dropping out or are at risk of of school displacement because of suspension or expulsion.

Rob Turbyfill, executive director of CIS Rowan, said the grant will expand what student support specialists can do at the nine schools.

“Each will have 40 hours each week to provide student supports to improve attendance, behavior, coursework and parent involvement,” Turbyfill said.

Student support specialists bring resources to the schools, including school supplies, uniform clothing and mobile hotspots for students without internet access at home, he said. They also coordinate volunteer tutors and mentors.

“Being ‘in’ schools every day is what makes CIS unique,” Turbyfill said.”We are truly ‘in schools for kids’ to surround them with support empowering them to stay in school and succeed in life.”

CIS Rowan and other grant participants are eligible to receive grants for up to two years in an amount of up to $500,000 each year. 

Communities in Schools is a member agency of United Way of Rowan County.

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