Communities In Schools of Richmond Receives $100,000 as Part of AT&T Aspire

 Communities In Schools of Richmond Receives $100,000 as Part of AT&T Aspire

PR Newswire

RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 6, 2012

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

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:

  oNeeds 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.
  oDirect 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.
  oMonitoring 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

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements:

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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.


Contact: Dan Langan for AT&T,, +1-717-571-1743, or Suzanne
Keeley, CIS of Richmond,, +1-804-358-1247
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