Charlotte area students and community come together at Engage Summit

On Wednesday, March 21, high school students across CMS will attend the inaugural Engage Summit, an empowerment initiative that brings the students and community together to promote positive climates in schools and the community. The summit, which coincides with National Youth Violence Prevention Week, March 19-23, will take place at the UNC Charlotte Center City Building (320 E. 9th Street, Charlotte) from 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Engage is part of the Make it Better campaign, which informs, educates and empowers students, parents, teachers and the community, in an effort to eliminate incidents related to school violence.

At the summit, community members, including motivational speaker Kwain Bryant; Assistant U.S. Attorney for Charlotte, N.C., Anne Tompkins; and leadership from CMS, the City of Charlotte and Carolina Panthers Organization will provide expertise and energy to help students develop a successful initiative. Michael Buchanan, co-author of “The Fat Boy Chronicles,” will provide the inspirational address.

Though group work, community exchange and brainstorm sessions, the students will learn how they can take ownership in their schools and community. They will share experiences, develop action plans to address needs specific to their school and leave the session with the tools they need to start conversations. Most importantly, they will have the understanding that the greater community is committed to supporting them.

“It’s important we hear from the students and help them address their concerns,” said Dr. Deb Kaclik, director of arts, heath, physical education and pre-K-12 curriculum support programs. “If we hear their voice, it will clue us in on ways to support their initiatives. When people work together, a group process emerges that is bigger than any one person’s actions.”

Planning support for the Summit is provided by the Larry King Center of the Council for Children’s Rights.