Message from the President

Daniel J. Cardinali, CIS National President

Dear Colleagues,

It was my great pleasure to represent you at a gathering of national education leaders with President Barack Obama at a White House event this morning. While I was quite pleased to hear the President?s commitment to reducing the dropout rate and to helping young people graduate from high school prepared for success?as evidenced by his plan to provide $3.5 billion to improve under-performing schools and $900 million in school Turnaround Grants?I was especially gratified to hear him recognize the work of Communities In Schools by name.

(Video coverage of the full White House event is available at http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/292311-1, with the President?s recognition of Communities In Schools programs shortly after the 27:00 mark. )

That recognition, with some of the lead-in from President Obama?s speech to give it context, went as follows:

?As my Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, says, our kids get only one chance at an education, and we need to get it right. Of course, getting it right requires more than just transforming our lowest performing schools. It requires giving students who are behind in school a chance to catch up and a path to a diploma. It requires focusing on students, from middle school through high school, who face factors at home, in the neighborhood, or in school that put them at risk of dropping out. And it requires replicating innovative ideas that make class feel engaging and relevant -- because most high school dropouts in a recent study said the reason they dropped out was that they weren't interested in class and they weren't motivated to do their work.

So that's why we'll build on the efforts of places like Communities in Schools that make sure kids who are at risk of dropping out have one-on-one support.?

As this type of acknowledgment comes as a direct result of the hard work we have been doing on behalf of students, families and schools for more than 30 years, you should be proud of your work and the respect it has garnered among our President and national leaders; it is truly the dedication, enthusiasm and tireless commitment to quality of the Communities In Schools network that makes this all possible.

Now, inspired by this boost into the national spotlight, we should all look forward to continuing our hard work in order to meet the President?s challenge of achieving excellence in our nation?s schools.

Again, thank you for the great work you do and congratulations for having it recognized by President Obama.

Warmly,

Daniel J. Cardinali

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