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Grant to help prevent drop-outs

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Communities In Schools of North Texas was awarded $1.6 million from the Texas Education Agency for a program that provides at-risk students opportunities for learning beyond the normal school day.

The funds will allow CISNT to open 10 new after school programs to serve students at-risk of dropping out of school in the Lewisville and Denton Independent School Districts.

The grant is a collaborative effort between Communities In Schools of North Texas, Lewisville ISD, Denton ISD, Garden Ridge Church of Christ, Mad Science of DFW, Mindworks Resources, Robson Ranch Kiwanis, Texas Women’s University, University of North Texas, United Way of Denton County, The Village Church, and Wells Fargo Bank.

The purpose of the 21st Century Community Learning Center after school program is to provide academic enrichment to students that will increase their success in school. In addition, support in provided for parents, which will include adult ESL classes, financial literacy training, tax preparation assistance training and Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) preparation training from the United Way of Denton County and Wells Fargo Bank, and college readiness activities through the University of North Texas.

Communities In Schools of North Texas’ new after school programs will provide dropout prevention programming at Hedrick Elementary, Independence Elementary, Lakeland Elementary, Lewisville Elementary, Peters Colony Elementary, and Southridge Elementary in Lewisville ISD, and Borman Elementary, Ginnings Elementary, and Rivera Elementary in Denton ISD.

“The 21st Century Community Learning Center after school programs will undoubtedly enhance what students are accomplishing in the classroom during the school day,” said Dana Smith, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Communities In Schools of North Texas.

“This grant will allow students at-risk of dropping out of school the opportunity to continue in the learning environment an additional 12 hours a week, and will provide resources to parents and families to help them support their student’s academic success.”

Communities In Schools of North Texas will need to hire new staff to serve as full-time Site Coordinators and part-time Academic Enrichment Specialists at these schools. Interested applicants should go to http://cisnt.org/about-us/careers-with-cisnt to apply.

Communities In Schools of North Texas is also actively seeking volunteers who will donate one hour a week as a mentor to a student. Volunteers are trained by the organization’s staff to prepare them for a successful mentoring experience. Last year more than 1,200 volunteers served as school-based mentors with Communities In Schools of North Texas, donating over 18,000 hours of service. The Communities In Schools of North Texas staff hopes to dramatically increase the level of volunteer mentorship in Lewisville and Denton ISD through these 10 new after school programs.

Communities In Schools of North Texas is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves over 2,000 students at-risk of dropping out of school in Denton and Wise counties. To learn more about Communities In Schools of North Texas, or make a donation, visit www.CISNT.org or call 972-436-6377.

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