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Communities In Schools of North Carolina receives $360,000 grant from GSK

As schools prepare to open, Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC) and GSK have joined together to announce tools and training to ensure that students in the state’s lowest performing schools have access to high quality wraparound services to propel success in school and beyond. 

Yesterday at CISNC’s “2015 Impact Training: Mission Possible” event in Cary, GSK announced a $360,000 grant to enable Communities In Schools of North Carolina to put high quality, research-based interventions in schools to increase attendance, improve behavior, enhance coursework, and engage more parents and families.

CISNC works collaboratively with 400 schools across North Carolina, providing student supports to students and teachers. The two-day impact training brought together more than 300 school-based student support specialists from across the state to learn new ways to drive student success by training staff to create individualized school and student success plans, monitor data, and adjust services to meet the evolving needs of students.

“With more than half of North Carolina students living in low-income households, ensuring student success means more than having access to great teachers and schools,” said Dr. Eric Hall, president and CEO of Communities In Schools of North Carolina. “It means putting a well-trained person in the school to focus on the whole student from attendance and behavior to coursework and parent and family engagement. By training our student support specialists in research-based interventions, we are ensuring that students have the high quality support and services they need to succeed at school and in life.”

The GSK grant makes it possible for Communities In Schools of North Carolina to better help schools increase attendance, improve behavior, enhance coursework, and engage more parents and families. The organization notes that these core areas are identified by Johns Hopkins as the best predictors of student success. 

“GSK is proud to partner with Communities In Schools of North Carolina,” said Mary Linda Andrews, director of community partnerships at GSK. “As a science-driven company with a longstanding commitment to education in North Carolina, we support their proven approach for reaching and impacting individual students. This program is making a difference every day in students’ performance and the future of the state.”

By using research-based approaches to help students achieve their potential, Communities In Schools is seeing more students promoted to the next grade and staying in school to graduate. During the two-day training event, student support specialists were exposed to new curriculum modules designed in partnership with the UNCG SERVE Center to remove barriers to student success. 

Attendees were also exposed to keynote speakers who addressed reaching students in the bottom third, the power of one-on-one relationships, and building self-esteem in girls. Dr. June Atkinson, superintendent of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, addressed the conference on the evolving school environment and the necessity of multi-tiered systems of support like those provided by Communities In Schools.


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.