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The Communities in Schools movement is a national endeavor that began in the 1970’s to give students access to personalized mentoring and resources in the school they attend. Communities in Schools of Richmond is present in 35 local schools, works with 160 community partners to assure that students’ needs are met, and has a ~98% full-diploma completion track record for its students. Guest speaker Harold Fitrer debunks the myth of ‘dropping out,’ saying that kids don’t want to drop out, but often they don’t have the resources they need to stay in school. Factors affecting high school completion and academic success include early unpreparedness, attendance, behavior, course completion, peer group, and basic unmet needs like hunger or medical attention. Communities in Schools of Richmond aims to have a 1:1 mentor-student ratio for each school they serve; they have 3,000 mentors right now and need 20,000 more. For more information, visit www.cisofrichmond.com.
Elaine Summerfield, host
Jay Westermann, sound engineer