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Weldon STEM High School students to receive wraparound supports from Communities In Schools thanks to a grant from AT&T

Weldon, NC, November 22, 2016 – With $125,000 in support from AT&T, Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC) will be able to provide Weldon STEM High School Career Academies students with schoolwide and wraparound services to increase attendance, improve behavior, enhance coursework and engage more parents and families in student success.

Services will be officially launched with a program at Weldon STEM High School on Tuesday, Nov. 22, starting at 9 a.m. The address is 415 County Road Weldon, NC 27890.

In August, CISNC received a $750,000 Aspire grant from AT&T to support CISNC’s Powering the Future program, which serves students in grades 9-12 in six rural high schools where graduation rates are far below the state average, and fewer than 25% of students are grade-level-proficient.

Weldon STEM High School students face a combination of academic and non-academic barriers. Compared to the state graduation rate of 85.8%, slightly more than 83% of Weldon STEM High School students graduate. Within Halifax County, nearly one quarter of residents live in poverty.

Reaching students who are most at risk of not thriving in school and removing the multiple barriers that limit their success is accomplished by placing a student support specialist in the school to engage with school leadership, teachers and students. Communities In Schools has a two-prong action plan for Weldon STEM High School: to create a comprehensive school plan to address schoolwide needs and to drill down to create individual student success plans for those who need intensive help.

“Our approach to helping students succeed has been successful in schools across the state,” said President and CEO of Communities In Schools of North Carolina Dr. Eric Hall. “By providing and coordinating the right services and supports for each school and each student we serve, we are able to see 98% of our high school students graduate. I’m proud of the work we are doing and the partnerships emerging here at Weldon STEM High School.”

Willie Gillus Jr. recently joined Communities In Schools as the program director and student support specialist at Weldon STEM High. Gillus has experience with behavior diagnosis and intervention as well as counseling and problem solving. He previously worked at Southampton High School, where he supported academic success.

“For every young person, a high school diploma is essential, not only for future success in academics or their career, but as a milestone which affirms they can accomplish what they set out to do,” said Venessa Harrison, president of AT&T North Carolina. “At AT&T, we see young people as the future of our company, our communities, and our country. That’s why, through Aspire, we support programs that invest in students, especially those who need it the most, so they can walk across the graduation stage with excitement, prepared for success in the next chapter of their lives.”

About Communities In Schools of North Carolina

Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC) is a leading partner in providing integrated student supports or wraparound services to propel student success in nearly 400 schools across the state. Based directly inside schools, Communities In Schools connects thousands of students and their families to evidence-based services and supports as well as critical educational and community-based resources, tailored to each student’s specific needs, creating an educational experience where students can learn, thrive and succeed. Learn more at www.cisnc.org, and stay connected with CISNC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we’ve passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.

About Weldon City Schools

Weldon City Schools District serves students in four schools and a preschool facility. The district runs west of the Roanoke River from Weldon in the north roughly to the town of Halifax in the south. The district is in Halifax County, North Carolina.

Contact: Jill Cox, 919-215-4341 or jcox@cisnc.org