|By PR Newswire||
|December 6, 2012 07:01 AM EST||
RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Civic and government leaders from the Richmond area today joined representatives from AT&T, Communities In Schools of Richmond (CIS-Richmond), the City of Richmond School District, and other local guests to announce a $100,000 contribution to CIS-Richmond as part of AT&T Aspire.
The announcement was made at John Marshall High School in Richmond, one of five schools in Richmond where CIS-Richmond is working to reduce dropout rates.
CIS-Richmond is one of 47 Aspire recipients nationwide that together shared more than $10 million under AT&T Aspire this year, one of the largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. AT&T announced an additional quarter-billion-dollar expansion to the program earlier this year, bringing the total commitment to $350 million since the program was launched in 2008.
"Communities In Schools of Richmond is doing remarkable things to help students in the City stay in school and achieve their dreams," said Vince Apruzzese, regional vice president, AT&T- Virginia. "Programs like this are essential to helping students succeed and to keeping Richmond – and our entire commonwealth – competitive."
Apruzzese added that through Aspire, AT&T has supported other organizations in the Commonwealth, including Communities In Schools of Virginia, a statewide organization. In addition, in collaboration with Junior Achievement, students across Virginia have participated in job-shadowing events at AT&T facilities in the Commonwealth, giving students a chance to make the connection between school and the workplace.
Aspire applicants were evaluated based on their accomplishments in serving students at risk of dropping out of high school and their ability to use data to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work. After a rigorous and competitive process, CIS-Richmond was identified as making a real difference in Richmond by supporting and motivating traditionally underserved students to stay in school and prepare for the next step in life.
According to Harold Fitrer, president and CEO of CIS-Richmond, the challenges are not small: more than 75 percent of Richmond Public Schools' students live below the poverty line. Their struggles are significant – not because they lack ability, but because of the economic circumstances of their families. High concentrations of poverty make the educational enterprise much more difficult for urban school systems, with the demand for resources far outweighing availability.
"We are thrilled to work in partnership with AT&T to guide and support high school students toward graduation. Our students face many challenges both inside and outside of the classroom. The CIS model offers individualized and integrated services to help students address these barriers and achieve academic success," Fitrer said.
According to Fitrer, at each of the five neighborhood high schools, CIS of Richmond will fully implement the CIS Model; monitor and measure progress; and adjust intervention services to ensure that high school students improve academic achievement, strengthen positive behaviors, and increase attendance and school attachment. The work facilitated by CIS-Richmond over the 2013 and 2014 school years includes:
- Needs assessment administered to teachers, students, parents, administrators, and staff to identify needs. This assessment assists staff in determining the level of community and professional services to mobilize in a school, which becomes an annual Action Plan.
- Direct services to students managed by a Student Assistance Team (SAT). The SAT is staffed by CIS, school faculty, and repositioned staff from public and nonprofit agencies. The team receives referrals on a regular basis and meets weekly to develop and coordinate services for targeted children and families. Individual student action plans can include the assignment of a volunteer mentor, a regular home visitation, therapeutic day treatment and a referral to a CIS resource organization.
- Monitoring and follow-up on outcomes of student plans in the school setting to include outreach to families. The individualized, coordinated, and integrated team effort gives each student and family many of the services needed to solve social, educational, health, and emotional problems that impede school success. Because all of this takes place at school, families do not have to negotiate a maze of services to meet needs.
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About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2011, more than $115 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.