Volunteer Training at Hiddenite Elementary School

On Monday, September 22, 2014, Communities In Schools host our first “Reading Partners” volunteer training.  During the event, six new volunteer tutors were instructed in the usage and aspect of the Reading A to Z curriculum that will be utilized throughout the program.

Reading Partners is a direct result of a partnership between the Alexander Missional Network and Communities In Schools.  While CIS wrote a grant to NC Literacy Corps to have a volunteer join our team, Alexander Missional Network provided funding to support the initiative.

The program will take place at both Hiddenite and Taylorsville Elementary schools, and will focus on students in the third grade.  Sessions will be held  on Mondays at Hiddenite and Wednesdays at Taylorsville.  Each volunteer tutor will work directly with small groups of two to three students.

During the training, which took place at Hiddenite Elementary School, instructional coaches Brenda Siniard (HES) and Kelly This (TES) guided our six volunteers through the ins-and-outs of the work they will be doing with students.  Communities In Schools executive director Glendora Yarbrough also spoke with participants on best practices to implement as a volunteer.

There is always a need for more willing and able tutors for our Reading Partners program.  If you, or someone you know would be interested in volunteering, please contact Angie Yates by email or at 828-409-0231 today!

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West Alexander Middle: Accomplishing Greatness!

Communities In Schools would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to West Alexander Middle School, as it was recently announced they exceeded expected growth during the 2013-2014 school year!

Similar in concept to height and weight charts found in your child’s doctors office, expected growth of a school compares changes in academic performance of the student body on a longitudinal level.  Simply put, scholastic fortitude and understanding are expected to increase a given amount between grade levels.  These levels vary year to year, with great inclines in knowledge during early years transition to more gradual growths during a learner’s later school years.

By exceeding expected growth, West Alexander Middle students’ test scores reflect greater performance and understanding than would have been projected when compared to those of 2012-2013.  What a great achievement for WAMS pupils and faculty!

Higher testing scores are, accordingly, linked with higher levels of proficiency in subject areas.  Currently, all Alexander students have a 60.2 % overall proficiency in Reading, 49.3% in Math, and 73.1% in Science.  With site coordinators now located at East Alexander Middle, West Alexander Middle, Alexander Central High, and a reading program at Taylorsville and Hiddenite Elementaries, it is our goal to see these numbers continue to rise in the coming years.  Stay tuned to see what we accomplish together!

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Reading Partners: A New Program for Elementary Students

Since coming under the Communities In Schools of Wilkes’ umbrella in 2012, we’ve been able to bring many exciting and innovative opportunities to our students here in Alexander County.  The 2014-15 academic year holds no exception to this continued growth and development, as support from donors, volunteers, and partnering agencies bring more and more programs into our school system.

We are especially excited to have expanded our demographic this year through the implementation of “Reading Partners.”  Made possible through the NC Literacy Corps, this program brings Communities In Schools into Alexander County elementary schools, enabling us to impact the lives of our students during a pivotal point of their academic careers.
“Reading Partners” will take place at Taylorsville and Hiddenite Elementary schools, and will match carefully screened, trained adult volunteers with elementary learners at each respective site.   These volunteers will spend time reading with students, guiding them through reading comprehension activities proven to improve their performance in school.

Studies have shown that a student is set on the path to either graduate or drop out by the time he or she reaches the third grade.  Similarly troubling, youth retained in grade become increasingly more likely to drop out than their peers performing at grade level.  

CIS is sure to see a decrease in retention, a decrease in dropping out, and an increase in on-time graduation by intervening at this earlier age. To reach this goal, however, we will need your help!  If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering with “Reading Partners,” please contact Angie Yates by email or at 828-409-0231 today!

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CIS at the Alexander County Agricultural Fair

If you happened to visit the “Taylorsville Lions Club 69th Alexander County Agricultural Fair” this year, you may have seen Communities In Schools’ staff and volunteers out in force!  Our Alexander crew set up an information booth for the duration of the event, and we were able to spread a little knowledge about our cause because of it!  

Though we have recently passed our two year anniversary as an official Communities In Schools program, there are many individuals throughout our county who are still unfamiliar with our organization and cause.  These five days gave us ample opportunity to introduce ourselves – as well as encourage others to consider donating their time, talent, or treasure to our area’s learners.

As part of the nation’s leading dropout prevention network, our mission is to surround students with a community of support, enabling them to succeed in school and achieve in life.  Specifically, we work through in-school site coordinators to bring in valuable community resources, volunteers, and more, to meet needs and bridge gaps between our students and graduation.

CIS is proud to say that every program we offer is entirely free of charge, though this would not be possible without the aid of partnerships with businesses and civic organizations, donors, funders, and volunteers like you.  We make careful strides to encourage these partnerships come full circle as well by giving our students opportunities to give back to their friends and neighbors.  Our students have even collected large amounts of aluminum tabs for the aforementioned Lions Club, the proceeds from which help acquire service dogs for the visually impaired!

If you or someone you know may be interested in volunteering for or donating to Communities In Schools, please contact Angie Yates at 828-409-0231 or by email today!

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Stuff the Bus FAQs

The staff of Communities In Schools of Wilkes County has been happy to see the culmination of our 13th Annual Stuff the Bus campaign this year!  This outreach effort sees its peak as school counselors and staff come to collect donated supplies for distribution among area learners.

With the start of the school year right around the corner, the myriad of questions and inquiries from area parents and caregivers are entirely understandable! As such, we have compiled the following FAQs for your reference and informational purposes.

  1. Will these supplies cost anything?No.  Supplies are collected through in-kind and monetary donations throughout the summer months. Communities In Schools provides these items to area primary and secondary schools to be distributed to students entirely free of charge.
  2. Who qualifies for these items?
    Currently, there are no income requirements necessary to receive free supplies in association with the Stuff the Bus program.  All students who do not have the supplies necessary for academic success are welcome to see their school counselors for assistance in procuring these items.
  3. How do I / How does my student receive free supplies?
    Contact the school counselor at any of our public area elementary or secondary schools, including Wilkes Early College. Counselors picked up supplies Thursday, August 21, 2014 — and will have items available for pickup should your student have need.
  4. Are any of these resources available at local colleges?
    Currently, Communities In Schools does not provide any supplies to area colleges, though items are available through Wilkes Early College.
  5. Where do I sign up to receive these items?
    There are no forms required to receive access to these resources.  Simply talk to the school administration at your respective school sites — they will be happy to help!
  6. Where can I pick up these resources? / Can I pick up these resources directly from your office?
    Unfortunately, Communities In Schools does not have the space or manpower necessary to undertake the distribution of our materials on site.  As such, items will be distributed to school employees prior to the start of the school year.  To collect, please address inquiries to your respective school administration.

    For additional questions or more information, you are welcome to email us at glendora@cisnwnc.org, or contact us by phone at 651-7830.

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2014 Summer Programs

The school year may be over, but we’re still finding ways to enrich the lives of our students here at Communities In Schools.  Currently, we’re offering two different options for learners throughout the month of June.

One of these programs is in its second year: June Bugs! This group is designed for girls in the 3rd to 12th grade, and meets at the Communities In Schools office twice a week.  Each session is devoted to a unique healthy activity, volunteer effort, or self-esteem building exercise.

June Bugs head to Smoot Park during their first session!

The girls start each session with a healthy lunch, with some time for fun and fellowship among their varying age groups. Through the program, CIS seeks to nurture comradery between girls of all ages — therein building peer-mentoring relationships that enable positive self-images and beneficial life choices. June Bugs is offered entirely free of charge, with support coming from individual donations, CIS site funding, and Dreams and Kite Strings.  If you would like to donate towards one of these activities, please click here for more information.

Our second summer program is for 1st through 8th grade students, and is hosted at the Moravian Falls Community Learning Center.   Like June Bugs, this Forensic Investigation Summer Camp meets twice a week.

During each session, the group works to solve “The Cookie Jar Mystery” through various forensic investigative techniques — fingerprint and shoe print analysis, fiber analysis, and more!  This six session course will culminate with a trip to the Wilkes County Courthouse, where participants will work together in a mock trial to find the culprit.

If you would like to know more about our Forensic Investigation Summer Camp, contact Tiger Posey at 651-7830 or by email here.

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Headed to College Race 2014

Our great challenge for an even greater cause is just around the corner!  Bring your friends and family along in May for the 11th annual Headed to College Race for Communities In Schools!

Featuring a 5k, 8k, Uphill Battle, 1 Mile Color Run, 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 16th and 17th 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 5k and 5k Races.  Also, learn more about the Wilkes Art Gallery — this year’s sponsor of our first ever Color Run!

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

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


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

New This Year

Navigate here to find out what’s new to our 11th Annual Race.


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! 🙂

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Are You Smarter than an Elementary School Student?

Are You Smarter than an Elementary School
Student? Join us on Friday, March 21st at the Stone Center to find out
— and see how some local celebrities compare as well!

When: Friday | March 21, 2014 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Where: The Stone Center
Admission: Adults: $5 | Middle and High: $2*| Elementary: Free!
*Middle and High School Students free with two paying adults.

We will have several celebrity guests out to test their knowledge during the event, with select students from area elementary schools there to assist as needed!  Popcorn, drinks, and silent auction items will be available for purchase as well, so be sure to come out and join in on the fun!

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Flapjack Fundraiser for Elementary Clothing Closets!

We here at Communities In Schools of Wilkes County are counting down the days until our Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraiser.  Details are as follows:

WHEN: March 16th, 2014 | 7:30 am to 10:00 am
WHERE: Applebee’s | 1909 A West Highway 421 | Wilkesboro
COST: $7.00 per person (includes food and drink)
WHO: CIS of Wilkes, in conjunction with MFES and NWES
RSVP: Call 651-7830 or email andie@cisnwnc.org

The event will benefit the clothing closets of Moravian Falls Elementary and North Wilkesboro Elementary Schools.  Attendees are encouraged to bring and donate new and gently used clothing for area students, kindergarten through fifth grade.  Tickets are $7.00, and include the flapjack breakfast and drink (coffee, tea, soda, milk, or juice) of your choice. You can even get your order to go!
We encourage you to bring your families, friends, church groups, and civic organizations out to this event.  Proceeds will benefit Communities In Schools programs at both elementary school sites.  To order or reserve tickets, please call 651-7830 or email andie@cisnwnc.org today!
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Communities In Schools Recognizes Businesses

In January of 2014, our executive director, Glendora Yarbrough, was given the opportunity to  recognize five businesses for contributions towards our organization.  As a nonprofit, our work among area learners would be crippled without the support of contributors, donors, funders, and volunteers — and we are ever grateful for those who find it in their hearts to contribute to our cause.  Together, we are making strides to impact the lives of Alexander County students, providing them with the tools necessary to succeed academically, and achieve in life.

(Left to Right) School Board Member David Odom, School Board Chairman Bridgette Rhyne, Duke Energy Representative Robin Nichols, CIS Executive Director Glendora Yarbrough, and School Board Member Milton Campbell.

Currently, our business partnership levels are as follows:
•    Honorary  – under $1,000
•    Silver – $1,000 – $2,000
•    Gold – $2,000 – $3,000
•    Platinum – $3,000 and above

The following businesses were those recognized for their contributions toward our work in Alexander County.

  1. Duke Energy (Platinum Partner)
  2. Craftmaster Furniture (Gold Partner)
  3. Hancock and More (Gold Partner)
  4.  HSM Solutions (Gold Partner)
  5. Foundation for the Carolinas / Shurtape Industries (Honorary Partner)
(Left to Right) School Board Member David Odom, School Board Chairman Bridgette Rhyne, Craftmaster Representative Kevin Mann, CIS Executive Director Glendora Yarbrough, and School Board Member Milton Campbell.

Kevin Mann accepted a plaque on behalf of Craftmaster Furniture and Robin Nichols accepted a plaque on behalf of Duke Energy.  The remaining plaques were distributed to the businesses unable to attend the meeting.

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