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Communities In Schools Congratulates Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools - 2011 Broad Prize Winner

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Arlington, Va. – Communities In Schools congratulates Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, a winner of the prestigious 2011 Broad Prize.  The announcement was made Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  Sponsored by the Los Angeles-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Broad Prize comes with a monetary award of $550,000 dollars that will be distributed as college scholarships for the district’s high school seniors.

The 133,600-student district was recognized for its work in reducing achievement gaps and for improving graduation rates, SAT scores, and end-of-year exam scores. Communities In Schools local affiliate, Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, works in 44 schools with high poverty rates, providing integrated student services to more than 5,700 CMS students.

“There are so many factors that contribute to a student’s performance in school,” said Ann Blakeney Clark, Chief Academic Officer with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “Communities In Schools has played an integral role in supporting our efforts to help low income and minority students succeed and graduate, which is a specific focus of the Broad Foundation.  The staff, resources and volunteers that CIS brings into our schools provides much needed support that not only impacts the promotion and graduation rates of students, but positively affects the total school environment.  We appreciate and recognize the value of key partners such as Communities In Schools.”

The Broad Prize is the largest of its kind, honoring school districts.  Its goal is to reward districts that improve achievement for disadvantaged students, while creating an incentive for districts to make successful changes.  Charlotte-Mecklenburg is the 10th recipient of the award since its inception in 2002.

“We want to extend our congratulations to the entire Charlotte-Mecklenburg community, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and to the 98 staff members and 450 volunteers of Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg,” said Communities In Schools President Dan Cardinali. 

Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  Through a school-based site coordinator, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical community resources, tailored to local needs.  Working in nearly 3,000 schools, in the most challenged communities in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves more than 1.3 million young people and their families every year.  It has been shown through an independent evaluation to be the nation’s only dropout prevention organization proven to both increase graduation rates and reduce dropout rates.  Visit our website at www.communitiesinschools.org

Mike Bento
Communities In Schools, National Office
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