Communities In Schools of North Carolina Awarded $120,000 by the Verizon Foundation

DURHAM - Representatives from Verizon today announced grants totaling $120,000 to support Communities In Schools in North Carolina (CISNC). Today, they presented a $20,000 check to Communities In Schools (CIS) of Durham at the Durham Performance Learning Center (PLC). CIS of Durham is among five CIS affiliates each receiving a Verizon Foundation grant of $20,000.

“In a world moving at the speed of technology, better equipping at-risk students with technology-based education programs will help them succeed in the classroom and prepare them for life after graduation,” said Mike Bickel, Senior Vice President of Client Services with Verizon, and new Board Member to CISNC. “We’re thrilled to assist Communities In Schools Performance Learning Centers with funding and programs like to help educators access the resources needed to improve student achievement.”

In addition to CIS of Durham, the Verizon Foundation has awarded grants of $20,000 to each of the following Communities In Schools of North Carolina affiliates:

  • CIS of Cabarrus County Performance Learning Center—Stay Connected;
  • CIS of Cape Fear, Martha S. Mosley Performance Learning Center—Mosley Scholars;
  • CIS of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Performance Learning Center—Charlotte Programming;
  • CIS of Cumberland County Fuller Performance Learning Center—Focus on the Future;

Furthermore, Verizon has awarded a $20,000 grant to CISNC for the CIS Cohort Capacity Building Project.

Performance Learning Centers are nontraditional high schools and have, for the last five years, secured the graduation of some of our state’s most at-risk students—young people who have fallen behind their peers due to earlier difficulties in learning and attendance, personal problems or plain-and-simple marginalization by their traditional schools. In collaboration with their local school systems and CISNC, each of these five affiliates oversees a PLC.

With a grand total of $120,000 donated, the Verizon Foundation will help provide online books, career college exploration activities, service learning opportunities, innovative math and science activities and, more generally, a better learning environment for these specific students of North Carolina. The grant awards are also helping to fund the Cohort Capacity Building Project, which will combine CISNC’s traditional use of specialized training and technical assistance with the power of peer exchange and support to help affiliate leaders gain new information and solve problems.

“This partnership with Verizon could not come at a better time,” said Linda Harrill, CISNC President & CEO. “If we want a well-educated workforce, then we must invest the resources necessary to provide all of our students the chance they need to reach their potential, especially those whom some might dismiss as lost causes. The PLCs show that there is no such thing as a lost cause: every child has value, potential and can thrive under the right educational environment.”

Checks were awarded on-site by the Verizon Foundation to CIS of Cabarrus County and CIS of Charlotte-Mecklenburg on Tuesday, October 11. Checks will be presented to CIS of Cape Fear and CIS of Cumberland County at a later date.

For more information about CISNC’s Performance Learning Centers, visit initiatives/performance_learning_centers.


The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit

Communities In Schools of North Carolina is part of the national CIS group, the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to both decrease dropout rates and increase on-time graduation. During the 2009-2010 school year, the CIS network in North Carolina worked with 140,000 youth and their families across the state, empowering more than 98 percent of its high school students to remain in school. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-849-8881.

Media Contacts

Rebecca Clendenin, Communications & Media Specialist, CIS
(919) 832-2700 x 106
Ellen Yu, Verizon Media Relations (Reporters only)