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CMS believes more men serving could be a gamechanger in the classroom

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will offer men basic training to volunteer on its campuses and mentor students.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are betting on the significance of men in student achievement by launching a countywide initiative to get more male volunteers on all of its campuses.

"Even if your child is grown and out of the house and you don’t have any children in CMS there are students that need male figures in their lives," Harold Dixon with the CMS Family Engagement office explained.

The school system talked about the issue and the impact of male influence during an hour-long zoom discussion moderated by WCNC Charlotte evening anchor Fred Shropshire. The discussion began at 7 p.m. Tuesday and featured several community leaders.

"We want to hear from the community what male engagement means to you," Dixon said. "What does the impact of male engagement mean to the community, and we want to have some real conversation — you know — about the violence in our schools and the gun presence in our schools."

The discussion centered around the "CMS Male Empowerment Network" and involved a new policy that will engagement men and also use metrics to measure a school's progress. The discussion was available to join via Zoom.

Dixon says years of research show a male presence on campus improves academic growth, performance and even behavior.

"When there are men present in the school you're not going have to do you see as much misbehavior with these men in the hallways," he said.

CMS plans to officially launch the "CMS Male Empowerment Network" next school year. The network will specifically train men in the community on how to mentor and volunteer. 

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