The Leon Levine Foundation announced today it will support Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg (CIS) by offering a $100,000 matching gift challenge grant. Donations made to CIS by new donors – or donations that represent an increased gift by a current donor – will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000 if made between now and December 31, 2012. “We are thrilled and excited about this generous opportunity,” said Molly Shaw, CIS Executive Director. “This grant will have a huge impact on our ability to broaden our donor base by attracting new donors as well as larger donations. Further, it will allow us to meet the community’s growing needs and serve more students, as well as continue programming to the children we currently serve in 44 Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.” Communities In Schools’ mission is to help disadvantaged students stay in school and graduate from high school. CIS takes a holistic approach to increasing graduation rates in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools by addressing the physical, emotional and academic needs of children and their families through direct case-management and a comprehensive range of services for students in grades Pre-K through 12. By determining students’ needs and surrounding them with a community of support through relationships established with local businesses, social services agencies, health care providers, faith communities, and civic and other volunteer organizations, CIS helps thousands of students each year to be successful in school and prepared for life after high school. Of the 5,735 students enrolled in CIS during the 2010-11 school year, 99% stayed in school; 93% were promoted to the next grade; and 624 CIS seniors graduated with a high school diploma. “Strengthening PreK-12 public education and providing post-secondary access for disadvantaged students is one of the key tenets of The Levine Foundation’s mission,” said Tom Lawrence, Executive Director of The Leon Levine Foundation. “We believe Communities In Schools’ mission to help kids stay in school and graduate, along with the organization’s demonstrated track record of success, aligns perfectly with our mission. Most important, the entire Charlotte community will benefit if CIS is able to reach more students and provide them with the resources they need to become high school graduates and productive citizens. We’re optimistic that this ‘challenge grant’ will be met with resounding success.” To learn more about Communities In Schools and to make a gift that will be matched by The Leon Levine Foundation, visit www.cischarlotte.org and click on the “Donate Now” tab. Or donations may be mailed to Communities In Schools, Attn: Development Office, 601 E. 5th Street, Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28202.