Communities in Schools teachers, staff, mentors and students celebrated a year of work and fun Monday with a recognition banquet.
CIS Director Billy Marsh called it an â€œincredible yearâ€ as more than 300 gathered for a spaghetti dinner at the James W. Warren Citizens Center.
The banquet was marked by inspirational music and slide show presentations on classroom projects and field trips throughout the year.
CIS provides mentors, tutors and a year-long classroom program designed to provide support for students who may need some extra help.
It has programs at Lincolnton Middle, West Lincoln Middle, Pumpkin Center Middle and East Lincoln Middle. Adults pair up with students, sharing time once a week during the school year and occasionally accompanying the student on field trips.
CIS also provides after school programs and hosts the Sunrise Family Resource Center, which provides literacy programs and counseling.
The students themselves recognized their mentors as they passed out bookmark essays identifying the adults as â€œstar polishersâ€ who take children â€œin whatever shape they are in and send them out to take their places as bright beacons in the sky.â€
The expressions of support for the mentors were profuse from the program administrators, who singled out students who had made remarkable turnarounds in their.
â€œThereâ€™s not many things that mean more to me that what you do,â€ said Cynthia Williams of Pumpkin Center Middle School.. â€œIt comes from the heart, and oh, what a difference it makes.â€
Stacy Childers of West Lincoln Middle School said, â€œYou donâ€™t realize what an impression you make.â€
In announcing essay winners and students with perfect attendance records, some of the teachers recognized students who had reversed downward spirals in academic performance.
The studentsâ€™ work with projects that help the community were recognized in the slide presentations which showed them helping out at Special Olympics, canned food drives, kindergarten Easter egg hunts and other projects.
The Rev. Dale Pederson described the mentors role as that of â€œtraining wheelsâ€ on a bike, that help keep a child balanced.
â€œWhere there is a will, there is a way,â€ he said. â€œYou are part of the way.â€
A special presentation honored the late CIS mentor Howard Thompson, a Duke Power worker who mentored for nine years. His wife accepted a plaque in his honor.
For more information about CIS programs, call 704-736-0303by Albert Dozier