Telecommunications corporation AT&T on Monday announced that two programs in North Carolina that help students graduate will receive a total of $1.25 million.
The Communities in Schools programs were among 18 nationwide recipients that will share $10 million awarded in a competitive process. Communities in Schools in North Carolina and Communities in Schools of Wilkes County were this state’s recipients.
The state program will receive $750,000 to help students in ninth through 12th grade at six rural high schools in Conway, Littleton, Oxford, Warrenton, Weldon and Winsor. Graduation rates are far below the statewide average there, and only one-quarter of the students are proficient at their grade level.
The Wilkes County program will get $500,000 to help ninth- through 12th-graders in seven rural, high-poverty high schools in North Wilkesboro and Taylorsville. More than 1,000 of the 5,500 students in the program will receive individual services.
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AT&T announced the grant in a ceremony at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. Gov. Pat McCrory, U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield and state Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson were among the speakers. McCrory said this kind of public-private funding is the future of education.
He said these programs recognize that individual students have their own roadblocks to education, whether it’s hunger or transportation or other issues.