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NEWS RELEASES 2000-01 :: NOVEMBER 3, 2000


A campaign that encourages communities to work with schools to help young people succeed won the endorsement of the State Board of Education on Thursday. The State Board unanimously endorsed "Schools of Promise," a part of the America's Promise effort chaired by General Colin Powell. This effort, being led by America's Promise in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators and Communities in Schools, focuses on delivering the five promises at school sites.

The mission of America's Promise is to mobilize people to build the character and competence of our nation's youth by fulfilling five promises. North Carolina is a leading state in the America's Promise effort to assure that all young Americans have:

  • Caring adults in their lives, as parents, mentors, tutors, coaches
  • Safe places with structured activities in which to learn and grow
  • A healthy start and healthy future
  • An effective education that equips them with marketable skills, and
  • An opportunity to give back to their communities through their own service.

State Board of Education Chairman Phil Kirk said the State Board is committed to getting communities more involved in their schools and to ensuring that schools are welcoming to their communities. The Board recently made "Strong Family, Community and Business Support" one of its five priorities.

Linda Harrill, director of North Carolina's Promise, said, "the unanimous approval of the State Board gives us the opportunity to truly align our efforts to get more community involvement with the schools. Schools of Promise gives us a chance to publicly acknowledge those schools that actively and effectively involve the local community in helping to support our desired educational outcomes by helping our children with critical resources necessary for their success. The statewide partnership through NC PROMISE with the Department of Public Instruction, Communities In Schools, America's Promise, AASA, NC Principals Executive Program and other nonprofits and educational entities will help to galvanize resources to help ALL of our children succeed."

Schools can sign up to be a School of Promise via the Internet ( School districts also can commit to being a School District of Promise. When they make this commitment, schools and community officials agree to engage a collaborative community team that will provide access to needed resources for students. These teams then publish their successes and their needs on the web so other community organizations can get involved. Through Schools of Promise, businesses and others in the private sector, along with community organizations such as the faith community and civic groups, can be connected with schools that need their help.

State Superintendent Mike Ward said the implementation of higher standards means that more students in this state need the support of tutors, mentors and other adults in their community to succeed. A School of Promise offers a way for this connection to be made.

The State Board resolution directs the Department of Public Instruction to collaborate with North Carolina's Promise to encourage more schools to be "Schools of Promise" and offers full support to America's Promise efforts for young people.

For information on Schools of Promise or North Carolina's Promise, contact Linda Harrill at 919.807.3300 or 1.800.820.4483.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.