November 2011 Newsletter from CISNC

November 08, 2011

A Word To Our Readers

From the inaugural statewide Mentoring Summit in Raleigh last month to many webinars and trainings offered in the coming weeks, this continues to be a busy and exciting time for Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC).

We thank you for your continued support of CISNC and our work as the leading dropout prevention organization in North Carolina. Remember to regularly visit our website for more information to keep students of all ages in school, ready to graduate and prepared for life. As always, please let Communications & Media Specialist Rebecca Clendenin know of any submissions for the upcoming newsletters.

Communities In Schools One of Nation's Top Nonprofits

Did you know that Communities In Schools was recently named one of top nonprofits working with at-risk youth in the U.S., according to Philanthropedia. Check out this Huffington Post article for more information.

2011 CISNC Mentoring Summit A Success

Superintendents, teachers, CIS executive directors, guidance counselors, program directors and mentors flocked to Raleigh’s McKimmon Center on October 25 for the 2011 North Carolina Mentoring Summit. Hosted by CISNC, this all-day event focused on engaging the community in mentoring opportunities while also strengthening mentoring programs across the state. In partnership with the N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service and United Way of North Carolina, this statewide event educated more than 250 participants, including guests from eight other states, CIS national office staff, AmeriCorps members and others.

Gov. Bev Perdue kicked off the festivities with a welcome address videoed from China. She spoke to the importance of mentoring our nation’s youth: “There is no greater gift we can give to our children than time. Mentoring and volunteering is what has made our country a leader in the world and will continue to be of critical importance if we want our children and youth to be globally competitive.” Gov. Perdue’s words rang true throughout the day, and the importance of mentoring was echoed by State Superintendent June Atkinson’s opening remarks and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton’s closing remarks.

Throughout the day, a large range of topics was addressed. From “The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring: Standards, Benchmarks and Program Quality” to “Mentoring Gang Involved Youth,” the Mentoring Summit was packed with useful and varied information for those on the frontlines of our nation’s youth development efforts. Keynote speaker Dr. Jean E. Rhodes of the University of Massachusetts-Boston, who sits on many youth mentoring committees and has written a book commenting on the risks and rewards of mentoring our nation’s youth, shared personal experience and life-long research as to why mentoring matters. The summit also featured two break-out blocks of concurrent workshop sessions. Participants gained insight into cultural, economic, and familial effects on youth, and how to better shape these students through mentoring opportunities.

Presentations and materials from the Mentoring Summit can be found within CISNC's Resource Library by clicking here.

Limited Edition "Overcoming Obstacles: CIS Success Stories" 2012 Wall Calendar Now For Sale!

Check out the CISNC "Overooming Obstacles: CIS Success Stories" 2012 Wall Calendar, featuring the best images and sound bites from CISNC's yearlong "Overcoming Obstacles: CIS Success Stories" video series. Limited edition quantity of 500! Only $10. Please fill out an order form before December 15 to purchase your calendar. Consider buying several as holiday gifts.

"Overcoming Obstacles: CIS Success Stories" October Video

Eighth grader Paige Lowery has come along way since the 6th grade, when she missed almost 40 days of school, was written up for “having a mouth,” was suspended for hitting a teacher with a ball of paper and stole a pair of jeans that almost sent her to jail. CIS Success Coach Brian Walker has helped Paige through CIS of Brunswick County’s Peer Court Program, an alternative juvenile justice program where young people who commit crimes at school are tried by a group of their peers and sentenced to community service instead of going to real court, perhaps landing themselves in jail and certainly having a record until they are 18. Watch our October "Overcoming Obstacles" video and check out the wonderful story of how, with the help of CIS, the course of Paige Lowery's life has been redirected. “We all make mistakes," says Brian Walker, "but what you do when you make a mistake is what’s important.” Enjoy and please share widely!

CISNC Featured on UNC-TV's "N.C. Now"

Check out this interview with CISNC President & CEO Linda Harrill, on keeping kids in school, which aired on UNC-TV's "N.C. Now" show on October 21. Linda's interview can be found at minute 9:35 into the video. Great job, Linda!

UNC-TV Resources on Dropout Prevention

Recognizing a need to help students stay on the path to graduation, many PBS stations, including UNC-TV, are participating in an innovative new program, American Graduate, to combat the dropout crisis in this country. CISNC is honored to partner with UNC-TV and WUNC in North Carolina on this initiative. Be sure to tune in to UNC-TV on November 17 at 10 a.m. for the "American Graduate: Keeping Kids in School Town Hall Meeting" segment. In the meantime, check out all the great resources and information on dropout prevention on UNC-TV's website.

State Farm 26 Second Campaign

Did you know that every 26 seconds in America, a student drops out of high school? Check out this hip online campaign recently launched by State Farm to address this startling statistic and engage those who can most directly affect change—young people themselves.

State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants—November 15 Deadline

State Farm is proud to team up with Youth Serve America to offer grants of up to $1,000 for service-learning projects in K-12 public schools in all 50 U.S. and the District of Columbia. The State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants encourage semester-long projects (a Semester of Service) that launch on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (January 16, 2012) and culminate on Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22, 2012). Up to 125 grants will be awarded; at least 10-15 grants will support projects addressing teen driver safety issues. Click here for more information.

Teen Driving Safety Grants—November 15 Deadline

Teen driving accidents are one of the biggest challenges for some of our rural communities and traffic accidents are the #1 killer of young adults. Project Ignition, sponsored by State Farm and coordinated by the National Youth Leadership Council, provides grants for public high schools to support their students in addressing teen driver safety through service-learning. Students and teachers develop innovative service-learning projects, working to ultimately influence driving behaviors and save lives on the road through public awareness and engagement campaigns. Public high schools that enroll students in grades 9-12 in the U.S. are invited to apply. Twenty-five schools will be chosen to receive $2,000 grants to support the implementation of their campaigns from January to April 2012. Ten of these 25 schools will be selected to receive $5,000 to support their participation in a national conference or event. The application deadline is November 15, 2011. Visit the Project Ignition website for the application and tools to create a high-quality proposal.

Volunteers for Governor’s Service Awards—November 18 Deadline

Gov. Perdue encourages North Carolinians to nominate volunteers in their local communities for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.

“The strength of our communities lies in those who give their own time, energy and resources to help our fellow North Carolinians,” said Gov. Perdue. “These awards are an opportunity to recognize the leaders who make a difference in our state.”

Since 1979, the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards program has honored individuals, groups, teams and businesses that make significant contributions to their communities through volunteer service. For people interested in nominating someone, please contact the program coordinator in your county who can inform you of the local deadline for submitting nominations. The awards program is administered by the N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, which is housed in the Governor’s Office.

This year’s Volunteer Service Categories are:




Youth Volunteer

Senior Volunteer

Perseverance in Volunteerism

National Service Volunteer

Outstanding Mentor

Faith-Based Volunteer

Corporate/Business Volunteerism

Lifetime Achievement

Non-Volunteer Service Category:

Director of Volunteers

Click here for a list of coordinators, deadlines, nomination forms and procedures.

Institute for Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation

For the second year, the Raleigh-based Institute for Emerging Issues is excited to announce its "Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation" where teams of students submit proposals to address some of the biggest challenges facing our state. This year the topic is increasing the high school graduation rate. The winning team of students will be announced at the 2012 Forum and will receive $5,000 to implement their idea. The competition is open to both high school and college students, and there is a separate prize for each category. Please pass this flyer along to teachers, students and others who are able to participate or spread the word.

Verizion Foundation Awards $120,000 to CISNC Network

The Verizon Foundation recently awarded grants of $20,000 to each of the following Communities In Schools of North Carolina affiliates:

CIS of Cabarrus County Performance Learning Center—Stay Connected

CIS of Cape Fear, Martha S. Mosley Performance Learning Center—Mosley Scholars

CIS of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Performance Learning Center—Charlotte Programming

CIS of Cumberland County Fuller Performance Learning Center—Focus on the Future

CIS of Durham Performance Learning Center—STEM Plus

Furthermore, Verizon has awarded a $20,000 grant to CISNC for the CIS Cohort Capacity Building Project, which will combine CISNC’s traditional use of specialized training and technical assistance with the power of peer exchange and support to help affiliate leaders gain new information and solve problems.

With a grand total of $120,000 donated, the Verizon Foundation will help provide online books, career college exploration activities, service learning opportunities, innovative math and science activities and, more generally, a better learning environment for these specific students of North Carolina. “This partnership with Verizon could not come at a better time,” said CISNC President and CEO Linda Harrill. “If we want a well-educated workforce, then we must invest the resources necessary to provide all of our students the chance they need to reach their potential, especially those whom some might dismiss as lost causes. The PLCs show that there is no such thing as a lost cause: every child has value, potential and can thrive under the right educational environment.”

Congratulations to CIS of Brunswick County on Achieving National Accreditation and on a Successful Gala

Please join CISNC in congratulating CIS of Brunswick County on achieving National Accreditation by demonstrating compliance with all Communities In Schools Total Quality System (TQS) Standards. North Carolina continues to be the country's leader in accredited affiliates—15 and counting!

Congratulations, too, to CIS of Brunswick on a successful fundraising event. More than 600 friends and supporters attended the sold-out 10th Annual Benefit Gala for Children held October 28 at Sea Trail Golf Resort and Convention Center to raise vital funding to support the programs and services of CIS of Brunswick County. Through sponsorships, donations, live and silent auctions and ticket sales, the Gala raised close to $125,000, including $27,000 which will go directly to graduating seniors in the form of scholarships. Great job, Brunswick!

Upcoming National Webinars

November 15, 2011, 1 p.m., Increasing Visibility Through Media Opportunities

Join Rebecca Clendenin, Communications & Media Specialist of CISNC; Cindy Nixon, PR/Marketing Manager of the national office of Communities In Schools; and May Johnston, Community Relations Director of CIS of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County, in discussing best practices in media outreach, including how to identify and pitch media worthy stories, craft media releases and build thriving relationships with your media contacts.

November 16, 2011, 2 p.m., Education Pioneers: Building a Pipeline of Talented Leaders for Public Education

Join Ann Ziker, Managing Director, Education Pioneers Houston; John Troy, Managing Director, Education Pioneers Washington D.C. Metro Area; and Brandon Malmberg, Managing Director, Education Pioneers Los Angeles for this engaging webinar.

To register for these or any other upcoming webinars, visit the Communities In Schools WebEx Event Center website and click on “Register” next to the topic that interests you.

Free Bank of America Nonprofit Impact Series Webinars

November 17, 2011, 2 p.m., Ethics in Fundraising: Guidelines for the Philanthropic Community

Carol O’Brien of Carol O’Brien Associates, Inc. will present a framework and process for ethical fundraising. Points to be covered will include:

Definitions and principles of ethics

Differentiating between personal and professional codes of ethics

Common elements of professional codes of ethics

The Donor Bill of Rights

Ethical decision making

Ethical issues relating to fundraising

The higher standard for nonprofits


 December 7, 2011, 2 p.m., The Public Finance Crisis: Can Philanthropy Shoulder the Burden?

During the last three years, the U.S. has endured an almost unprecedented economic downturn. Cuts to state programs have adversely affected nonprofit organizations with existing contracts with state governments to provide important services to underserved populations. In this webinar, Dr. Susan Raymond of Changing Our World will:

Analyze the data and present the depth of the budget crises for different states;

Analyze the impact of state finance cutbacks on the nonprofit sector;

Discuss whether, and if so how, private philanthropy can bridge the funding gap;

Present strategies to help nonprofits manage through the current crisis and be prepared for the next economic downturn; and

Discuss how nonprofits can be constantly aware of shifting economic conditions and be flexible and ready to adapt to these changes

To register for these or any other upcoming Bank of America webinars, click here.

CISNC Charter School Training

November 17, 2011, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., N.C. Medical Association Building, 222 North Person Street, Raleigh, NC

As a response to the current legislation to establish charter schools, CISNC is hosting an opportunity to our affiliates, Board Members and school district personnel to attend a training on creating high quality charter schools in partnership with school districts. CIS has two models: the Performance Learning Centers and the CIS Academy, both of which fit with the educational focus of the charter school model. Join us as we discuss charter school law, blended learning for student success and the application process for establishing a charter school. To register, please contact Training & Events Coordinator April Clark.

Understanding Students In Poverty Training

November 17, 2011, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., First Baptist Church of Kings Mountain, 605 West King Street, Kings Mountain, NC

November 17, 2011, 12:30 - 3:30 p.m., First Baptist Church of Kings Mountain, 605 West King Street, Kings Mountain, NC

How does poverty impact learning, work habits or decision-making? The reality of being poor brings out a survival mentality and turns attention away from opportunities taken for granted by others. If you work with or support people in poverty, a bit of understanding of how different their world is from yours will be invaluable. Hosted by CIS of Cleveland County, this seminar provides practical, real world support and guidance for overcoming barriers and helping others succeed. Specifically, this session includes the work of Dr. Ruby Payne and Eric Jenson and is designed for mentors, community leaders, educators, community of faith members, site coordinators and anyone working with individuals who live in poverty. To register, please contact CIS of Cleveland County Executive Director Phillis White.

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