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Mattie C. Stewart Foundation partners with CIS-North Carolina to Increase Graduation Rates

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The Choice Bus takes a three week tour in North Carolina counties

Charlotte, NC - For the next three weeks, students in 10 North Carolina counties will experience The Choice Bus – the nation’s first mobile experience dedicated to reducing the dropout rate. Communities In Schools of North Carolina has partnered with The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation to help increase the graduation rate and teach students the importance of their decisions, especially the decision to stay in school. An estimated 2,000 students will have the opportunity to board the bus. In Mecklenburg County, The Choice Bus will be at Vance High School on Monday, November 5 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:45 pm.

This is not the first time The Choice Bus has been to North Carolina. Since 2008, when the bus was first introduced, Communities In Schools of North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction made sure students across the state took advantage of this interactive tool.

“We know how important it is for our students to not only stay in school, but make the right choices too,” said Linda Harrill, President and CEO of Communities In Schools of North Carolina. “That’s why we continually leverage our partnership with The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation and find opportunities to bring The Choice Bus to our students.”

Close to 10,000 students in North Carolina have experienced The Choice Bus since 2008, and that number will grow after the bus visits students over the next three weeks.

“When we had an opportunity to bring The Choice Bus to Mecklenburg County, we had to have it here for our students; they need to see first-hand the consequences of not staying in school,” said Molly Shaw, Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

The Choice Bus is half-prison cell and half-classroom setting, and gives students an opportunity to think about the choice of staying in school and pursuing their education versus dropping out of school. The bus will visit several counties, including Catawba, Cleveland, Guilford, Lee, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Randolph, Robeson, Rowan and Wilkes from October 30 to November 16.

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation develops tools educators can use to encourage students to stay in school, but maintains that no tool is more powerful than building solid relationships with students, families and communities.

“This partnership has been a wonderful surprise for the Foundation,” said Phil Christian, Executive Director of The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation. “The Choice Bus has spent a considerable amount of time in North Carolina because of CIS of North Carolina, and we are thankful for the opportunity to impact students here to make the right choice to pursue their dreams.”

Additionally, the Foundation has created InsideOut, a 26-minute documentary that features prison inmates sharing their stories of regret for not getting an education and Bewhoyouwanna beSM, a career mentorship program for ages 7-13.

To learn more about The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, visit www.mattiecstewart.org.


About Communities In Schools of North Carolina
Communities In Schools of North Carolina is part of the national CIS group, the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to both decrease dropout rates and increase on-time graduation. During the 2010-2011 school year, the CIS network in North Carolina worked with more than 143,000 youth and their families across the state, empowering 98 percent of its high school students to remain in school. For more information, please visit www.cisnc.org or call 1-800-849-8881.

About Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc.
The mission of Communities In Schools (CIS) is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS of Charlotte-Mecklenburg currently serves over 7,800 students in 44 high poverty Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools who are most at-risk for dropping out. As an affiliate of the national Communities In Schools network and the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, CIS of Charlotte-Mecklenburg is helping build a stronger local community where every child is capable of reaching his or her greatest potential. www.cischarlotte.org

About The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation
The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the dropout rate. The Foundation was established in honor of Dr. Shelley Stewart’s late mother, Mattie C. Stewart, in the summer of 2007 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Its primary corporate partner is o2ideas, Inc., a corporate communications and brand relations firm also based in Birmingham. The mission of the Foundation is to create tools and resources to help educators, community leaders and parents effectively address the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate. The Foundation also partners with America’s Promise Alliance, Communities In Schools, the National Dropout Prevention Center, PepsiCo, Shelby County, State Farm and Verizon Wireless. For more information, visit www.mattiecstewart.org.

For more information, contact:

Phil Christian, Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

Charlotte Media Contact:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg

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