My Turn: You can make a difference in our schools

Published 12:42 am Monday, August 29, 2016

By Ron Turbyfill
Communities in Schools of Rowan County recently kicked off the new school year with a breakfast hosted by Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church.  Dozens of community and school leaders came together to hear a report that included statistics showing progress in attendance, behavior, coursework success, and parental involvement in the seven schools served by CIS – Rowan.

The gathering left me encouraged that our schools have great support among the decision makers in Salisbury, East Spencer, and Rowan County and at the State level.
What is the role of citizens in the support of our schools?  CIS – Rowan organizes volunteers from citizens, churches, and civic groups.  The Salisbury Kiwanis played an important part in our kickoff by volunteering to prepare the breakfast meal for approximately seventy attendees.  Many area churches are supporting our schools financially, with school supplies, and uniform clothing.
Most significantly, individuals in our community can make a positive impact in our schools by serving as tutors, mentors, and lunch buddies.  Two speakers at our breakfast kickoff drove that point home.
Jennifer Perrell, a teacher at Overton Elementary spoke passionately about the need for volunteers.  She sees the huge impact that adults, organized, oriented and trained by Communities in Schools make in her school.
Tarik Woods, a 2016 graduate of Salisbury High School was served by Communities in Schools as a student at Knox Middle School.  He credits the relationship built with CIS staffer Bob Foreman during those years as having given him focus and goals leading to success in high school. Tarik will begin his freshman year at UNC Chapel Hill this fall, having won several scholarships for academic excellence and leadership.
Those of you reading this letter can make an impact in a student’s life.  Communities in Schools of Rowan is proud to be a United Way of Rowan agency.  Your support of 2016 campaign is vitally important to our work.  The mission of CIS – Rowan is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  We’re doing it!  Will you help?  Become a volunteer and a partner in the success of our children.  Contact Executive Director Scott Bannister at CIS – Rowan 704-797-0210.
Dr. Ron Turbyfill is board chair of Communities in Schools of Rowan County.