Originally created 09/09/04

Communities urged to help students succeed



At a luncheon for Communities in Schools of Augusta-Richmond County, speakers thanked community members for support and implored them to step up and do more.

More than two dozen parents, pupils, staff and board members attended the Radisson Riverfront Step Up to the Plate luncheon for the nonprofit organization's program designed to broker community resources to help young people succeed and help families become self-sufficient.

William Bloodworth, president of Augusta State University, called the program "known, visible and respected." He said keeping children in school is essential to their social and economic future and is one solution to many societal problems, but is not always easy to do.

"Thank goodness Communities in Schools has committed itself to that challenge," he said.

Anthony Brinkley, a sergeant in the Air Force stationed in Florida, said he takes every opportunity to speak at events involving schoolchildren, such as the luncheon. He challenged the attendants to look at where they are today, think about how they got there and ask themselves what they can do to help someone else get to their point.

"Communities in Schools has a significant opportunity to have an impact because we as a community need to be able to help people have dreams and not have them stillborn, but have them come to full term," he said.

Program Executive Director, Mary Crawford thanked attendees for their support with the organization's programs, such as those on abstinence education and leadership, and with their recent program for adults, GoodWork!s. GoodWork!s, a collaborative partnership of human service organizations that helps parents get off welfare and become self-sufficient.

"Because over 75 percent of the youth we work with are of low-income and in single parent homes, their families need assistance with self-sufficiency as well," she said. "In order for families to help their child, their needs must be met first."

WHAT'S NEXT

Communities In Schools will serve as a lead agency for the Georgia Mentoring Partnership Mentoring Conference being held from 1 to 6 p.m. Sept. 22 and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga. For more information, call (770) 423-6765 or visit www.cisga.org.

Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or samantha.mckevie@augustachronicle.com.