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Nearly $1 million will be directed to Communities In Schools to enhance programming efforts

Charlotte, NC – Project L.I.F.T., a community initiative aimed at providing intensive support to help close the achievement gap in the West Charlotte Corridor schools, today announced its decision to commit $950,000 of funds raised to date to support Communities In Schools (CIS) of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This contribution will enhance programming efforts focused in the West Charlotte corridor schools beginning in the fall for the 2011-12 school year. Communities In Schools will begin deploying additional services in selected West Charlotte corridor schools in conjunction with Project L.I.F.T. strategies.

Additionally, Shantiqua Neely has been named as the CIS program director for Project L.I.F.T. She will be responsible for the management and coordination of the CIS staff and programs at the eight Project L.I.F.T. schools. This will include working with and supporting the students and families in this community to ensure success.

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”Communities In Schools has a proven track record of keeping students on the graduation pathway,” said Denise Watts, Project L.I.F.T.’s executive director. “This partnership is in natural alignment and supports the vision and mission of Project L.I.F.T. Our collective efforts, coupled with our focused philanthropic approach, will allow us to strategically line up both the private and public sectors around a plan to address this growing community issue, even in the face of budget cuts and constraints within the county and school district.”

According to Molly Shaw, CIS executive director, CIS already provides programming and services to a number of West Charlotte Corridor schools, and over the years has built trust and strong relationships with students, parents, and school personnel.

“The Project L.I.F.T. grant is one of the largest that CIS-Charlotte has ever received,” said Shaw. “Not only will it enable us to increase and enhance services to the families we currently serve in the West Charlotte feeder zone schools, but we anticipate an additional 1,000 students and their families will be served through the partnership,” Shaw added. “Our staff and board are honored and excited to be a part of this groundbreaking initiative and believe it will have a significant impact on the students and families our mission calls us to serve. This is an outstanding opportunity for all involved.”

About Project L.I.F.T. (Leadership and Investment for Transformation)
Project L.I.F.T is a philanthropic initiative composed of leaders from Charlotte’s largest community and family foundations. An initiative of the Center for Civic Leadership at Foundation For The Carolinas, Project L.I.F.T. aims to galvanize and collectively help lift efforts to accelerate the improvement of academic outcomes for children in the West Charlotte corridor.

About Communities In Schools
The mission of Communities In Schools (CIS) is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve success. An affiliate of the national Communities In Schools network, CIS of Charlotte-Mecklenburg currently serves over 5,200 students annually in 44 high poverty Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools who are most at-risk for dropping out. As the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, Communities In Schools is helping build a stronger local community where every child is capable of reaching his or her greatest potential. Find out more at www.cischarlotte.org.

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Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. | 601 E. 5th Street, Suite 300, Charlotte NC 28202 | 704.335.0601

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