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NEWS RELEASES 2007-08

NEWS RELEASES 2007-08 :: JANUARY 23, 2008

DROPOUT PREVENTION GRANTS AWARDED TO 60 GROUPS ACROSS NORTH CAROLINA

Sixty groups across North Carolina have received $7 million in state grants to help them in their efforts to reduce the number of dropouts in the state, the General Assembly leadership announced yesterday.

The grants range in size from $25,000 to $150,000 and were awarded to school systems, schools, agencies and nonprofits. More than 300 groups applied for the grants.

The recipients were selected by the recently formed Committee on Dropout Prevention. The co-chairs of the committee are Dr. David B. Strahan, a professor in Elementary and Middle Grades Education at Western Carolina University, and Bill Farmer, a vice president of Time Warner Cable in Charlotte. The 15 members of the committee were appointed by Gov. Mike Easley, Speaker Joe Hackney of the North Carolina House of Representatives and Sen. Marc Basnight, president pro tem of the North Carolina Senate.

The committee is the result of a General Assembly initiative to help improve high school graduation rates in North Carolina. Earlier this year, Reps. Earline Parmon and Susan Fisher conducted a series of public hearings about dropout prevention around the state. The hearings drew educators, parents, students and community activists eager to help with the problem.

The new Joint Legislative Commission on Dropout Prevention and High School Graduation will evaluate the programs that receive grants and decide whether expanding or replicating them will improve graduation rates in the state.

The commission will also review research on student success, study major middle and high school reform efforts and how they may influence the dropout rate, review the courses required for graduation and determine whether changes should be made and determine which strategies best help students remain in school when they are at risk of being retained.

Dropout Prevention Grant winners:

  • The Alamance-Burlington School System will use $67,121 to work with 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students. Schools will work with the Positive Attitude Youth Center to increase parental involvement and integrate social, cultural, and educational activities.


  • Anson County Schools has been awarded $150,000 to develop academic, social, and personal skills in 60 at-risk 7th-graders. Students and parent will sign a behavioral contract and agree to 20 hours of parent training hours.


  • Athens Drive High School will use a $38,979 grant to improve its existing initiatives to help at-risk 9th- and 10th-grade students. The funding will also provide for literacy training for teachers and a mentor program using students from local colleges and universities.


  • The Avery County Schools will receive a $148,474 grant for its Summit initiative for at-risk middle and high school students. The program will reinforce goals and skills taught in other programs the school system uses and will provide professional development for faculty advisors.


  • B.E.A.R.S. (Building Excellence and Reaping Success) program in Hertford County will receive $25,390. Participation in the program will be geared toward African-American males entering high school with deficiencies in reading and/or mathematics.


  • Beaufort County Schools will receive $150,000 for a Pathways program to provide at-risk students an alternate route to earn academic credit. The program will utilize a combination of face-to-face and computer-mediated delivery, including online credit recovery, two-way interactive teleconferencing, and asynchronous, web-based instruction.


  • Building Hope Community Life Center (BHCLC) will receive a $90,000 grant to continue its Men of Standard Alliance. BHCLC has partnered with the Conetoe Community Life Center to provide the character education program for 300 young men in grades 6-12. Participants must commit to a code of academic, social and physical standards.


  • Buncombe County Schools will use a $150,000 grant to attack the dropout issue with a K-12 approach. The program will serve 240 rising 6th- and 9th-grade students and 45 11th- or 12th-grade students. It will feature three-week summer bridge experiences, accelerated coursework and credit recovery.


  • Burke County Public Schools has been awarded a $149,840 grant to help 225 rising 6th- and 9th-graders who have been retained at least one time and have attendance issues. The program will focus on attendance intervention, mentoring, academic support, and family attitudes about graduation.


  • Carter G. Woodson Public Charter School in Forsyth County will receive $131,466 for a Play to Your Strengths program. The program will focus on three interrelated initiatives: 1. "We Are All Winners" environment throughout the school; 2. Will monitor, and provide intensive educational experiences for 9th- graders; 3. Will create a Career and Talent Development Academy – School within the school.


  • Carteret County Public Schools will receive $149,690 toward the Twilight Leadership Corps that will serve forty rising 9th- and 10th-grade students who have failed one or more core courses and/or EOG/EOC exams, and are at-risk of dropping out. The program will run for six weeks during the summer and will include intensive academic and leadership training.


  • Centro de Accion Latino of Guilford County will receive $72,500 for Project H.E.R.E. Healthcare Career Initiative that will address student academic, emotional, physical and social needs. The program partners with other local organizations.


  • Chatham County Schools will be awarded a grant of $148,000 for the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. AVID is a program for students in grades 4-12 that seeks to restructure teaching methods of all school personnel, students, and parents to prepare students for college.


  • Clay County Schools will receive $150,000 to provide needed support for middle and high school students that will focus on a mentoring program, job placement, dual enrollment at the community college, participation in the sublimation enterprise, tutoring, career counseling and technology opportunities.


  • Cleveland County Schools will receive $148,835 to expand the capacity of Davidson Alternative School and the Phoenix Program, work toward the Connected Schools/Applied Control Theory staff development and hire a Truancy Court Coordinator.


  • Columbus County Schools will receive $150,000 toward supporting a Truancy Prevention/Intervention program, introducing SuccessMaker and NovaNet to the rest of the schools in the district, and finally provide support and resources toward discipline by supports required to sustain and effective prevention program through a proactive model.


  • Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Inc. will receive $150,000 for their Performance Learning Center (PLC), which will serve high school students who are not succeeding in a traditional school setting.


  • Communities In Schools of Cleveland County, Inc. will receive $94,377 toward Club ACE, an intervention to reduce retention rates and increase parent involvement. Club ACE is hands-on, specific, engaging and consistent with the Standard Course of Study.


  • Communities in Schools of High Point has been awarded an $80,881 grant for its Latino Scholars Program for 75 Latino students and families from Ferndale Middle and High Point Central High Schools. The program will work with the Latino Family Center of High Point and requires students to maintain a 2.0 grade point average, graduate, and remain alcohol, crime and drug free.


  • Communities in Schools of Orange County will use a $150,000 grant for its Green Life Engineering Project for rising high school freshmen who traditionally do not enter math or science careers. During the summer, these students will work on math, science, and engineering projects led by college students majoring in related fields.


  • Communities in Schools of Wilkes County will use a $29,231 grant to expand its weekly program for 6th-grade girls, "Girl Power." The new program, Girl Power II, will be more in-depth and focus on 7th-grade girls. The funding will also be used for a new program, Wise Guys, for 8th-grade boys.


  • The Cross Country for Youth in conjunction with Academic Cultural Enrichment 21st Century Community Learning Centers (ACE-21st CCLC's) in Mecklenburg County will receive $150,000 toward implementing school-based community learning centers at four inner-city schools in Charlotte. The services will help students master core learning objectives.


  • DREAMS Center for Arts Education (DREAMS of Wilmington, Inc.) of New Hanover County will receive $85,500 toward an expanded pilot program that will offer a high-quality, free-of-charge visual and performing arts classes to students at high-risk of dropping out.


  • Durham Public Schools will use a $149,302 grant to implement a "Twilight School" featuring classes beginning in the afternoon to assist students who are behind their peers in school or at risk of dropping out because they are primary caregivers for their families.


  • Edenton-Chowan Schools will receive $150,000 for hiring a full-time Life Coach Coordinator and three part-time Life Coaches that will work directly with 60 at-risk students and their families (15 from middle school and 45 from high school).


  • The Education Foundation for Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Public Schools, and will receive $39,008 for the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.


  • Futures for Kids of Wake County will receive $150,000 to use technology to connect middle and high school students to real people and companies to provide relevance and motivation for completing high school and creating a career plan.


  • Gaston County Schools will receive a $149,570 grant for its Why Try? Program. The program will target 500 elementary, middle and high school students and help them realize for themselves why they should work for an education.


  • Graham County Schools will receive a $150,000 grant to begin AVID, 6th-rade SUCCEED Gateway Program, and the Re-entry Fast Track Program. Graham County is a small isolated county in the west with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. These programs will encourage and motivate students.


  • Harnett County Schools has been awarded a $150,000 grant for a NovaNet Credit Recovery Course to for high school students who have failed 2 or more classes.


  • The Harriet B. Webster Task Force for Student Success will use a $124,865 grant for its Engaging Students to Achieve (ESA) program for Carnage Middle School students. Fifty students will receive targeted tutoring and counseling as well as summer enrichment and summer employment for age appropriate students.


  • Hertford County Public Schools will receive $96,769 toward the Hertford County Public Schools' Choice Program. The goal of the program is to create a cohort of 50 students (150 over a three year period) and provide them with a foundation for life-long learning interest in mathematics, science, technology and career development activities.


  • Hickory Public Schools will receive $149,650 to create and implement the "Using Sixth Sense" – a multi-pronged approach using research-based predictors and interventions to address potential dropouts from 5th-grade through middle school.


  • Hoke County Schools will receive a $147,553 grant to help 62 middle and high school students achieve grade level status, improve decision making, and become more involved in the community though academic and personal development, and family involvement.


  • The Housing Authority of the City of Winston-Salem has been awarded a $149,660 grant to implement academic programs and activities for 125 middle and high school students living in low-income public housing communities.


  • Iredell-Statesville Schools will receive $149,966 for Project SAGE (Success, Awareness, and Growth through Enrichment). The school system will collaborate with community groups for an after school and summer program featuring case management, Parent Institute courses, and Family Night.


  • John T. Hoggard High School in New Hanover County will receive $105,549 for Project Dash, a comprehensive program which partners with Cape Fear Community College and other community organizations. The program is designed to work with at-risk students who are transitioning from middle to high school. The students will take a high school transition course that will use the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens."


  • The Link Crew in Pitt County Schools will receive $130,590 toward their program that is designed as a means of transition from middle school to the high school environment. It will focus on students' core academics, character building and proper study habits.


  • McDowell County Schools will receive $132,920 toward AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and the Why Try program that will be expanded to all 6th-graders and at-risk junior and senior high students to build life skills.


  • Mitchell High School has been awarded a $95,032 grant to help students address social issues that can affect school success, including poverty, drug and domestic abuse, and pregnancy. The program will focus on students already identified in its Freshmen Leadership Academy, students who may fail a class, students with several discipline referrals, ESL students, and students who are experiencing social issues that may put them at-risk of dropping out.


  • New Hanover County Schools has been awarded a $143,178 grant for NHCS CONNECT for students who recently dropped out and at-risk high school and middle school students. The school system will work in collaboration with Communities in Schools of Cape Fear and Cape Community College to identify at-risk students through graduation coaches and offer community resources and reenrollment options.


  • The NARIOP New Light at Risk Intergenerational Outreach Suspension Program will receive $149,320 to assist students who have academic, economic, social, and emotional difficulties. The program will use a well rounded educational and emotional approach that includes parental involvement and self-motivation classes.


  • The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will use a $150,000 grant for its Stepping It Up Program. The University will partner with the Black Child Development Institute of Greensboro and Kiser Middle School and use step dancing to teach teamwork, discipline, academics, and leadership development.


  • North Carolina Central University Foundation in Durham County will receive $150,000 toward the Durham At-Risk Youth Collaborative. The Collaborative is a partnership of various organizations in the community. The Collaborative seeks to improve student outcomes by implementing its holistic, comprehensive, and continuous model of intervention and prevention strategies that have been documented as best program practices for at-risk students.


  • The Northern Moore Family Resource Center will use an $86,500 grant to operate Unidos para Niños to increase the school readiness of Latino children. The program will work to increase parental involvement/skills and English language skills of parents and children 2 to 4 years of age.


  • Operation Homework in Guilford County will receive $118,540 to work toward underserved populations through education by empowering the individuals and their families. Operation Homework is an after school program that will provide a curriculum that supports and supplements what students are learning during the day.


  • Polk County Schools will use a $100,677 grant for a transition summer school program to help students from elementary and middle schools transition to the next level and high school students stay in school.


  • Randolph County Schools will receive an $88,627 grant for its Fast Forward program. The program will teach the 7th- and 8th-grade curriculum at an accelerated pace, requires the 80 middle school participants to complete 20 hours of community service, and also includes field trips and a summer retreat.


  • S.O.A.R. Academy (Student Options for Academic Readiness) in Lenoir County will receive $60,000 toward a school-within-a-school dropout prevention and acceleration program for overage 8th- and 9th-grade students who have failed one or two years.


  • South Stokes High School has been awarded a $54,370 grant to enroll 675 students in self-selected enrichment activities. These activities will also help students develop personal relationships with school personnel and find relevancy in course work.


  • The Sovereign Alliance for Youth in Caldwell County will receive $150,000 to create an alternative high school that will work with students in a way that calls each student to make positive choices. This program is a community partnership with Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department and the local Child-Community Collaborative.


  • Swain County Schools will receive $126,189 to work toward "The Graduation Project," which will include an Evening School, a Peer Mentoring Program, a Credit Recovery Program, Staff Development, a Summer Transition Program, and After School Opportunities.


  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Orange County will receive $126,651 toward an intervention program that will target "boys of color" in Pre-K through third grade. The program will consist of 15 teachers in three different districts that will participate in a year long training aimed at improving relationships and instructional strategies for "boys of color."


  • The Urban Restoration has been awarded a $99,000 grant and will work with First Baptist Church-West Community Services Association to implement the West Charlotte Dropout Prevention Initiative. The six-week summer program will serve 75 at-risk middle and high school students from West Charlotte schools.


  • Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School will receive $134,514 for an after school program. The program will feature mentors from Wake Forest-Rolesville high School and Wakefield High School as mentors to middle school youth.


  • Wellcome Middle School has been awarded a $61,585 grant for the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.


  • Western Region Education Service Alliance (serves 19 western counties) will receive $25,000 toward the Creating an Atmosphere for Positive Educational Experiences Program (CAPEE). CAPEE is designed to increase the opportunities for educators in Western North Carolina to share and discover positive dropout prevention strategies that are being practiced inside and outside the state. CAPEE will also partner with East Henderson High School to further develop their "Jumpstart" program.


  • The Youth Resource Center of Moore County will receive $57,565 toward a community wide planning initiative that will include staff to assist adolescents in Brookshire Housing Development with setting standards and to promote effective and accountable governance and management.


  • The YWCA of Asheville and Western North Carolina will use a $89,300 grant to fund its FutureVision program. The program will provide 50 9th- and 10th-graders with on-campus and off-campus mentoring, including homework assistance, service learning projects, and teen pregnancy prevention education.


  • The YWCA of Winston-Salem in Forsyth County will receive $150,000 toward coordination of valuable community services. The program will work with 50 11th-graders enrolled at Carver High School. The program will look at the student as a "whole valuable person" rather than an "academic failure."

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.