Bojangles Share Nights

Communities In Schools of Wilkes County – Alexander County Branch (CIS) is excited to celebrate our growing area partnerships!  The Bojangles of Taylorsville and Bethlehem generously donated a portion of their proceeds to our organization during two recent Share Nights.

During a Share Night, ten percent of the profits made between the hours of 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm are filtered back to the receiving organization — in this case, CIS!

Pictured here are managers Jeremy Pope, Nathan Annas, and Jason Gregg from the Bethlehem store, following the Share Night of March 19th. Our most recent night was last Tuesday, April 23rd.

Please check this blog and our Facebook page often for news of more opportunities in which to contribute to the nation’s leading dropout prevention program!  And from all of us at CIS to the staff of Bojangles and everyone who came out to show support, thank you!

Merlefest 2013

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching us here in Wilkes County. With school officially being out of session come the end of May, it is no surprise that the turn of the month is one heralded by parent and student alike.

As if to celebrate the start of this final countdown comes a highly-anticipated and greatly loved event for area citizens — Merlefest 2013.

Held April 25th though the 28th, Merlefest 2013 marks the 25th year of the music and arts festival, and will be featuring some big names!  This year’s line up of artists include: The Avett Brothers, Matracca Berg, Sam Bush, John Cowan, The Charlie Daniels Band, Delta Rae and many, many more!

Communities In Schools of Wilkes is excited to present this four-day event to you, as you will find us out and in action serving up some delicious food!  Find us and enjoy any of the following:

  • Grilled Chicken Wraps (Featuring Greek tzatziki sauce)
  • Buffalo Chicken Wraps
  • Veggie Wraps
  • Pinto Beans and Corn Bread
  • Baked Potatoes (with cheese, bacon, butter, and sour cream!)
  • Strawberry Shortcake

Pay us a visit during your trip to the festival — and support Communities In Schools and your area students as well as your local community college!

CIS Says Goodbye to Five Board Members

They say all good things must come to an end — a saying we felt here at Communities In Schools last week as we said goodbye to five long-withstanding board members.

On Thursday, March 14th, 2013 — CIS honored Brenda Sales, Linda Zinger, Matt Daye, Sheneele Wagoner, and Scott Perry with a small luncheon, enjoying some great food, fun, and fellowship as we said goodbye.  The meal was catered by Tim Adams.

Along with some laughter, some tears, some silly hats and a sillier song — we took the time to honor each of these outstanding citizens for their hard work and dedication over the years.  Read on to find out more about each of them — and see what “honorary title” they were given during our shenanigans. 

Brenda Sales, a board member since 1995, is retired from the North Carolina Juvenile Justice office.  During her time with us, she served as bother chairman and vice chairman.  She has been instrumental in our fundraisers, from chicken-ques to our booth at Merle Fest, so with love and affection she was heralded “Bean-Slinger of the Year.”

Linda Zinger, a realtor for Carolina Realty has served since 2005. Acting as vice-chair during her tenure here, she has volunteered not only time on the board, but as a mentor in both the Friends of Youth and Lunch Buddy programs.  She has gone above and beyond, even contributing a portion of profit from her realty sales with a program called Lots for Learning.  She is due the title of best all-around, though “Best Straight Up and Down” was much more fitting for her physique.

Moving onward is Matt Daye, who served from 1996 and acted as both our assistant treasurer and treasurer during this time. He’s a senior vice-president at Yadkin Valley Bank, and has spent time volunteering for our mentoring programs as well. Through all our recent changes, he has been the frugal voice of reason — earning him the title of “Penny Pincher of the Decade.”

Sheneele Wagoner has been with us since 2001.  She works as a lead instructor at Wilkes Community College, and has volunteered time not only as secretary of our board, but within the New Century Scholar steering committee as well.  With a full-time job, her family, and going to school for a doctorate — we have been awestruck at her dedication to our programs at CIS.  Therefore, Sheneele was given the “Most Scholarly Award” as we said our farewell.

Last but not least is another long time runner from 1995, Scott Perry. He is employed with the North Carolina office of Juvenile Justice — and served as chair of the nominating committee during his time with us.  Not only this, but he was always a loyal attendee of every CIS chicken-que fundraiser — helping us pack chicken into boxes in a manner that  deserved the title “Best Chicken-Handler.”

In all seriousness, we here at Communities In Schools would like to extend our gratitude out once again to all of these former board members. It has been through your help and dedication that we have been able to reach and impact our local students.  We thank you for taking the time and making the difference in their lives.

West Alexander Middle School Staff Receives Training

Earlier this month, faculty and staff of West Alexander Middle School were treated to a special bullying prevention training session provided by Communities In Schools – Alexander County Branch.  Held Wednesday, March 6th, those in attendance welcomed William “Billy” Lassiter of the Department of Public Safety, Division of Juvenile Justice — who provided this professional development training.

Bullying is a severe problem in the United States.  Daily, 160,000 students miss school for fear of bullying.  Sadly, with cyber bullying ever on the rise, this decision can offer little escape to those affected – so knowledge, prevention, and action within the school setting is key.

Angie Yates, CIS Site Coordinator for WAMS; Billy Lassiter, Trainer; Dr. Chad Maynor, WAMS Principal

The training consisted of defining bullying, exploring the causes of bullying, and looking for new ways to deal with bullying — all of which go along with the core Communities In Schools basic: a safe place to learn and grow.  It is our mission to provide our students with the best opportunities and environments for success — and we thank Mr. Lassiter for his time and efforts helping us make this vision a reality.  For more information about CIS – Alexander Co. Branch, please contact Angie Yates at 828-409-0231.

New Century Scholars Activism

As our Headed to College race draws ever nearer, you may find yourself wondering about the program it benefits: The New Century Scholars. 

We know that these last-dollar guarantee scholarship recipients are required to offer ten hours of community service per year — a chance to give back in their own neighborhoods and school systems.  But what exact sorts of volunteerism do they participate in?

On Saturday, January 12th, participating students volunteered at the Wilkes County Special Olympics Basketball Tournament. This event was held from 8:00-4:00 at the North Wilkes High School and North Wilkes Middle School gyms.

During the event, New Century Scholars helped keep score of the games — but spent time cheering on participants as well!  They also worked to help distribute lunch, then participated in clean up following.

We here at Communities In Schools of Wilkes County find no shortage of things we enjoy about the activism of our Scholars. Be it the chance to interact and engage with those from all walks of life, the chance to grow and explore, or the chance to learn the value of hard work — we value it all!  However, we enjoyed a little something extra with this event.

What was it, you may ask? The smiles on the faces of the tournament participants, of course!

Headed to College Race 2013

Are you ready for the ultimate challenge? Come join us this May for the 10th annual Headed to College Race for Communities In Schools!

Featuring a 5k, 8k, 1 Mile Fun Run, and Uphill Battle, we offer a little something for everyone! Whether you’re just getting started in the realm of fitness or you’re a certified enthusiast — join us May 17th and 18th for fun, fellowship, and a good run!

Information is available at our race website. Contents and easy navigation are listed below:


Click here to find out more about our New Century Scholar program, the beneficiary of funds generated in the race.

Race/Registration Info

Navigate to this page in order to find out times, starting locations, and registration information for each event.

Register Online

Sign up online and save paper — and money on the registration fee!  All the more motivation to go green, right?

Business Sponsorships

Find a current list of race sponsors — alongside level pricing  and contact information for those interested!


From water stations to a circuit course, Communities In Schools hopes to offer it all in this unique and philanthropic endeavor!

10 Year Celebration

We’re celebrating a big birthday this year (double digits!) and decided it was time to celebrate!  Browse this page for information on what’s new, and don’t forget to join the party!


Can’t come to the race but still want to donate to the cause? Head on over this way and make a donation online!

Click here to view our brochure, and remember to share! 🙂

Find us on Pinterest!

right! CIS Wilkes has made the jump into Pinterest land and we couldn’t
be more excited!  Here is what you will find when you come on over and
follow us:

Success Stories
Come here to find stories about how Communities In Schools is making an awesome impact in your area!

about just what effect bullying has on our students? What about the
impacts of poverty? This board is a great place to find the facts — in
formats great for sharing!

Notable Quotations
Everyone can benefit from words from the wise every now and then, so venture over this way to read up!

sure which way is up today? Can’t find the energy to carry on?  Visit
this board for some uplifting words and images of encouragement.

From our archives to our present, this is the place to check for what’s going on in the world of CIS!

Again, we’re very excited to be a part of the ever booming Pinterest world — please make the journey over and follow us!

CIS Helps with the Alexander County Backpacks Program

Members of both branches of Communities In Schools of Wilkes
County joined forces last Wednesday to help pack backpacks of food for
Alexander County students. Staff members met at First Baptist Church in
Taylorsville to compile the bags of weekend necessities – which are received by
area students enrolled in the program.
Sponsored by the Taylorsville Rotarians, the Alexander
County Backpacks program began six years ago with aim to supply weekend meals for
area students.
With food costs ever rising, it should come as no surprise
that weekend meals during the school year cost $135 dollars per student.  With 300 students being served – and the
number ever growing – this outreach operates solely on donations. Their biggest
supplier? Galaxy Foods: a locally owned grocery store that offers a huge price cut
on necessary inventory.
The Backpacks program serves identified students at all seven Alexander
elementary schools, as well as both middle schools, and the Head Start
program.  Area high school students have
access to a food pantry located on campus. 

Angie Yates, a site coordinator for Alexander County, remarks of the CIS staff:

“The staff members from Wilkes were a huge help. 
It is amazing to see the collaboration between the two counties.  I
believe it shows how we feel about students regardless of their geographical location
and . . . [our] desire to help them.”

If you would like more information on the Backpacks program, please click here,
or contact Angie Yates by email, or at 828-495-4611.

National Mentoring Month

Whether we were ready for it or not, we’ve passed the two week mile marker into 2013.  We here at Communities In Schools of Wilkes County(CIS) hope these two weeks have found you well, and that you have been able to enter this year with the success and determination we work constantly to instill in our students lives.

Our work, of course, would be vastly limited if not for the reach of our wonderful mentors.  January, as National Mentoring Month, gives us a chance to reflect on and thank these wonderful people.  These wonderful people graciously donate their time, supplying area students with the CIS basic “a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult,” — someone to turn to in terms of support, encouragement, and guidance.

To begin our celebration of National Mentoring Month — we would like to first thank our Friends of Youth volunteers — those individuals who spend two to four hours during the week with their mentees, offering the valuable resources listed above. These wonderful people are as follows:

Matthew Daye
Kathy Jennings
Gary Doran
Gaye Drennen
Elizabeth Wagoner
Candie Greer
Emily Greene
Gary Newman
Brenda Clardia
James Barnes
Josephine Redmon
Todd & Debbie Garner
Teressa Byrd
Linda Zinger
Dawn Michael
Thu Nguyen
Rebecca Hayes
Robin Ellis
Monica Foster
Lyn & Debbie Lambert
Kayla Harless
Pealie Brown
Annie Denny
Chad Hayes
Katherine Byrd
Patricia Turner
Joe Samuel
Lora Davis
Ginger Mathis
Fawn Roark
Dorothy Adams
Roy Williamson
Michael Jordan
Mary Ann Ferguson
Ken & Glendora Yarbrough
Phill Caudill
Neal Settle
Joe Rhoades

All of us at CIS would again like to wish the sincerest of thanks to these selfless people. It is people like you who truly make the difference in the lives of today’s students, and we are forever grateful for the work you do and the impact you have.

Again, thank you!!

If you or someone you know may be interested in volunteering for Communities In Schools of Wilkes as a mentor, please contact Jettie Walker by email or at 651:7830.

New Year — New Century Scholars

The start of a new year is a familiar marker of hope and new beginnings for individuals worldwide.  It’s impossible to go anywhere without talk of goals and New Year’s Resolutions – from losing weight and getting fit, to learning Spanish or continuing an education.

Along those lines, applicable students within the New Century Scholar program of Communities In Schools of Wilkes County kicked the year off right with their enrollment in the spring semester of Wilkes Community College.  Guided by program coordinator Melissa Higgins, alongside Sheneele Wagoner from WCC, the group was led through an orientation of the campus.  Therein, they were given the opportunity to familiarize themselves not only with their schedules, but also with where their classes would be held.

Higgins and Wagoner also helped the group get their student IDs, as well as their books and parking passes for the semester.

Apart from this campus tour, students were introduced individuals of SAGE (Supporting Academic Goals for Education). SAGE offers free tutoring, diverse cultural trips, and peer mentors for first year students or networking contacts for graduates. All services are free of charge, and are funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.


Scholars were also encouraged to continue the habit of giving back that they have developed through the New Century Scholar program.  How so?  By becoming a tutor for the wonderful people at SAGE.

If you are interested in getting to know more about the New Century Scholars, please visit our programs page or contact Melissa Higgins at 336.651.7830 or by email at