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Pride Magazine: Taking a look at Communities in Schools

Communities in Schools is the nation's largest organization dedicated to empowering students to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Keeping students safe, informed and giving them guidance are all major priorities this new school year.

That’s why leaders within the Communities in Schools program are upping the ante and looking for more volunteers to help students dream and think big.

WCNC Charlotte is committed to reporting on the issues facing the communities we serve. We tell the stories of people working to solve persistent social problems. We examine how problems can be solved or addressed to improve the quality of life and make a positive difference. WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions for you. Send your tips or questions to newstips@wcnc.com.

Ruby Durham: For people who are not aware of Communities in School tell us more about it.

Men Tchaas Ari/CIS Charlotte’s President and CEO: We have been in the community since 1985.

We put caring adults in the schools to really build relationships with students to provide mentorship and support so they can succeed in school and life.

Ruby Durham: Around the country, there are about 120 Communities in School organizations Charlotte is one of the biggest how many schools do you serve within CMS?

Men Tchaas Ari/CIS Charlotte’s President and CEO: We are in 55 schools and we serve a little over 4 thousand students with direct case management support but over the years we provide support in some shape form or fashion to over 30,000 kids.

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Ruby Durham: Talk about the disparity you are seeing.

Men Tchaas Ari/CIS Charlotte’s President and CEO: During the pandemic, we saw an increase in absenteeism but it’s not because kids don’t want to go to school we found out kids are taking up employment to support families, caring for a child or dealing with mental health issues so we figure out what support we can give or resources to lend from the community.

Ruby Durham: You do a trip for students within Communities in Schools to get them outside of the classroom tell us what that looks like.

Men Tchaas Ari/CIS Charlotte’s President and CEO: Every year we take 20 students and 20 community leaders and fly them to Washington DC we put them in a hotel across from the White House, we go and visit various monuments, we go to the African American Museum of History we take them on a tour of Howards campus and what our goal is is to expand the way our students are viewing this world and their lives. It’s called the Difference Makers trip.

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WCNC Charlotte has partnered with PRIDE Magazine to bring stories out of each issue to your tv screens.

To learn more about how you can become a volunteer with Communities in Schools visit pridemagazineonline.com or https://www.cischarlotte.org/

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