Communities in Schools - Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Volunteer | Donate | Success Stories | Schools                                SUMMER 2015
#ClassOfChange15: PROUD of our Students!

It's always a wonderful way to start the summer: watching with pride as our students walk across the graduation stage, filled with excitement to begin the next chapter in their lives... Or handing out certificates of achievement and hard-won improvement to our younger students who are moving up to the next grade. Every year, CIS has so many students with powerful stories to tell, and this year is no exception - our staff worked with some pretty amazing young people this past school year! Hope you'll take a moment to read a few of their stories - it just might make your day! Click on their photos to read more.
Zack Morla
The loss of his mother last year to cancer was devastating, but with support from his team-mates and CIS family, Zack stayed focused and graduated.
Christian Brister
Christian and her family landed in Charlotte in 2005 after going through Hurricane Katrina. It's been a tough road, but if anything, Christian is a survivor.
Georgina Smith
Georgina was raised by her grandmother, who is from Liberia. It has been very tight financially, but now Georgina has big dreams to pursue at Hampton University this fall.
Vy Ho
Vy Ho was enrolled in CIS as a Kindergarten student, and has been in the program  ever since. An extremely bright young lady, Vy says CIS has played a major role in her success.

More Graduation News & Pics!
Rehana Ward-Cooper
Safe Journey/APP Graduation ~ May 28
Our Safe Journey and Adolescent Parenting Program (APP) held its graduation celebration on May 28 at Covenant Presbyterian Church. Thirty young women (teen mothers) out of 30 seniors in the program, graduated! Many of them are planning to attend community college, and four graduates received scholarships to attend 4-year institutions - including Rehana Ward-Cooper, a West Mecklenburg graduate, who received the Highest GPA Award (4.24 GPA!) from Safe Journey. Rehana received scholarships and will attend UNC-Chapel Hill this fall. Congrats to all!

Re-Entry Program Graduation ~ June 3
It was definitely a special evening on June 3 at First Baptist Church West, where CIS, CMS's Turning Point Academy, and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office held a graduation ceremony for 17 youthful offenders. Proud parents, grandparents, teachers, staff, and counselors, along with smiles, laughter, and a few tears... all were present that evening as the graduates were recognized for persevering against very difficult circumstances and past mistakes. More details in this Fox 46 News story and this article in The Charlotte Observer.

View more photos of our graduates and younger students "moving up" to the next grade in our #ClassOfChange15 photo album on Facebook!

#GetYourGiveOn! ~ #SummerShareCLT, July 13-26

This summer, Charlotte has the opportunity to support the community in an important way! Taking place July 13-26, #SummerShareCLT will inspire neighbors to help give "need" a vacation by making monetary or in-kind donations. #SummerShareCLT is a collaboration of 45 nonprofits serving Mecklenburg County, spearheaded by SHARE Charlotte. Each nonprofit has come up with a "Wish List" of their top three tangible needs (items). CIS-Charlotte is focusing on school supplies, as the vast majority of families we serve cannot afford even the most basic supplies. Here's a link to our "Wish List" on (our Top Three Needs are Bookbags, TI-84plus Graphing Calculators, and Copy Paper). Or visit for more information. Thank you for your support!

Lowcountry on the Green is Sept. 26 ~ Order Tix Now!

The cool(er) breezes of fall will be here before we know it... and with fall comes back to school, Panthers football - and a SUPER FUN way to show your support for Communities In Schools and public education! Please join us for Lowcountry on the Green on Saturday, September 26 at the Mint Museum-Randolph. We'll be serving up outstanding lowcountry cuisine and libations, dancing to your favorite tunes, and lots of good company and conversation! Round up your friends and order your tickets now!  

CIS Volunteer News
Volunteer Spotlight
George Bohmfalk - Montclaire Elementary
If you look up "Renaissance Man" in the dictionary (or internet!), we're pretty sure you'll find George Bohmfalk's name right next to it! A retired neurosurgeon who moved from Texas to Charlotte in 2008, George has also been the owner and chef of a fine-dining restaurant; he played the organ for a church in Texas; and he's fluent in Spanish. But here in Charlotte, CIS thinks (selfishly!) that he has found his true calling: volunteering with CIS students at Montclaire Elementary! Read More

Congrats to Christ Episcopal Church!
Congratulations are in order for CIS volunteers from Christ Church for receiving a N.C. Governor's Award for their service and dedication to Rama Road Elementary School! Christ Church is a strong partner with CIS and sponsors the CIS program at Rama Road. "Not a day goes by when there's not at least one volunteer from Christ Church at the school," says CIS Site Coordinator Deanna Chillemi. "They're amazing!"
Volunteers Needed!
NOW is a great time to consider volunteering for the coming school year! It is a huge help to have trained volunteers ready to go in the fall, to be matched with an individual student or be assigned to a specific classroom or club/activity.  Contact Volunteer Coordinator Courtney Peterson or complete our Volunteer Interest Form and she will contact you!

CIS Says:  Learning = F-U-N!      

A lot of emphasis is placed on academics in school (as it should be) - but who says is has to be BORING?!  If you can get kids engaged and excited about learning, that's half the battle, right? This year CIS Site Coordinators have made extra effort to support teachers at their schools and find ways to reinforce what kids are learning in class. Check out these two ideas - we're always looking for volunteers... and we promise it will be F-U-N! 

CIS Scrabble Clubs
Our Elementary Team had the S-T-E-L-L-A-R idea to form Scrabble Clubs at each of our Elementary sites. Many of our students didn't know the game, and it's a great way to build not just spelling and vocabulary, but math and social/sportsmanship skills, too. The Charlotte Observer recently featured the Scrabble Club at Rama Road Elementary - pretty neat that CIS students from neighboring McClintock Middle School come over to Rama Road to be help the younger kids learn!

Photos from the End of Year Scrabble Club Tournament in June - Champions were Jada and Tyrianna from Bruns Academy! 

Math 24 Tournaments 
Do you know what a "Math 24" competition is? One thing's for sure - spend a day practicing for a Math 24 tournament and you'll either be impressed with your improved math skills -- or else really glad you aren't in school any more competing with these kids!  Our Project L.I.F.T. Team started the Math 24 competitions last year for their middle school students. It proved to be so popular (and effective) that they invited all of our middle school sites to form teams and participate this year. Click here for all the scoop on Math 24!

Let's Get JAZZY With It!
CIS Site Coordinator and Students form Jazz Band at Vance High School

Looking for some entertainment for an upcoming event? Perhaps a backyard soirée on a hot summer's eve? You might want to contact Momentum, a jazz band recently formed by CIS students at Vance High School! The idea and inspiration for the band initially came about when CIS Site Coordinator Stuart Barrett met one of his students last fall who was unmotivated, disengaged from school, and showed little interest in completing his assignments. 
Read More

Mark Your Calendar!


July 13-26 
#SummerShareCLT - "Because need doesn't take a vacation"
August 1-15
School Tools Campaign with WSOC-TV and Classroom Central
Postal Collection Day:  Saturday, August 8
August 24
First Day of School
September 26
Lowcountry on the Green at The Mint Museum-Randolph Rd.

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