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Ron Turbyfill: Partners make schools stronger

By Ron Turbyfill

Special to the Salisbury Post

Communities In Schools of Rowan County has completed its 2017 School Tools Drive. More than 30 local businesses, churches, and civic groups participated in the drive. This was augmented by mailbox contributions collected by U.S. Postal Service employees. Together, more than 22,000 items of school supplies were contributed to the effort.

Communities In Schools employs student support specialists in nine Rowan-Salisbury schools. They work to provide students in need with basic school supplies including bookbags, notebooks, filler paper, composition books, pencils and a wide variety of necessities.

Thanks for support

School counselors and school social workers have been encouraged to reach out to Communities In Schools to secure supplies for students in need outside of our nine participating schools.

It is gratifying to see the outpouring of support for Rowan Salisbury students. As a retired school principal, board member, and now executive director of Communities In Schools, I have experienced this powerful support for our teachers, children and youth. Our community is blessed with very generous individuals and family foundations that provide strong financial support for our agency as well as many others.

What you can do

There are real and meaningful ways for local citizens to be a positive partner in our schools. Let me outline three ways you can be involved in strengthening our schools.

First, when you contribute school supplies you are a partner not only to the students, but to their teachers. Many teachers provide simple but necessary items paid for from their own pockets.

A second partnership is supporting our efforts in the campaign being conducted now by the United Way of Rowan County. Your employer may offer opportunities to contribute. If not, or if you are retired consider making a significant gift to the United Way campaign. Communities In Schools of Rowan County is one of sixteen local non-profit agencies serving a wide variety of Rowan citizens.

• Thirdly, the need for volunteer tutors and mentors is great. Both Communities In Schools and Rowan Salisbury Schools offer volunteer training year-round. Details can be found at www.cisrowan.org and www.rss.k12.nc.us. An hour each week can change the life of a child, youth, or teenager in our schools.

The power of partnership with a supportive community strengthens schools. I invite you to join Communities In Schools of Rowan County and Rowan Salisbury Schools as we surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and succeed in life.

Dr. Ron Turbyfill, executive director of Communities In Schools of Rowan County, is a retired teacher and administrator, having worked more than 38 years in education.

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