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           23 March, 2023

Category:  Press » Education


Mattie C. Stewart Foundation Receives $50,000 Grant from AT&T to Help Reduce North Carolina's High School Dropout Rate

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2008-12-06 07:10:03     
Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

The AT&T Foundation - the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has awarded the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation (MCSF) $50,000 to support North Carolina's dropout prevention initiative through the InsideOut Program and the "Choice Bus" rolling classroom. The InsideOut program features a powerful video documentary with prison inmates about the devastating effects of dropping out of school. The AT&T Choice Bus, a real bus that is half classroom and half replica of a jail cell, will also travel the state.

The grant sends 5,000 InsideOut dropout prevention toolkits to schools across North Carolina. Two toolkits will go to all North Carolina public schools, representing some 400,000 students. The grant also sponsors a statewide tour of the AT&T Choice Bus. This MCSF mobile teaching tool plainly shows children the choice between staying in school or eventually winding up in jail. AT&T volunteers will support this bus experience as it travels around the state to schools and youth centers.

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation develops relevant, effective tools to help educators, community leaders and others reduce the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate in schools across the country. AT&T's support of MCSF builds on the North Carolina State Board of Education's Call to Action designed to promote high school graduation and decrease the dropout rate.

"The Call to Action is everyone's responsibility. Every child is a special gift, for they are the future. It is important for us to nurture them and help them realize their dreams. Every child is also a child at-risk, at- risk of doing something great, and needs supportive programs like those offered by the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation. We are extremely proud to assist in increasing the North Carolina high school graduation rate by sponsoring the AT&T Choice Bus and the InsideOut dropout prevention tool kits," said Cynthia Marshall, President-AT&T-North Carolina.

"I appreciate AT&T's commitment to high school graduation for all students and their support of the InsideOut Choice Bus and the dropout prevention toolkits for schools across the state," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson. "This is one important way to get the word out: dropping out of high school sets a course that too often leads to prison. We can't afford to lose our young people in this way."

"We congratulate AT&T for stepping up and doing something about the dropout rate in North Carolina," MCSF Founder and President Dr. Shelley Stewart said. "We invite other corporations in the state to do the same. Already, our MCSF tools are in 29 states and Canada. The more we reach, the more students we can save from a life of prison and poverty, and instead give them every opportunity for prosperity.

"If we don't do something about the dropout rate, then all youth are at risk. America is at risk. It is an epidemic," Stewart said. "As a homeless kid in the segregated South decades ago, a teacher told me that if I can learn to read, I can be anything. That is our message to children today. If you get an education, you can be anything great that you want to be." Stewart is also president and CEO of o2ideas, a marketing communications firm based in Birmingham, AL.

About Philanthropy at AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2007, AT&T contributed more than $164 million through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T, combine more than $1.9 billion of historic charitable commitment to communities across the country.

About the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the dropout rate. The MCS Foundation was established in honor of Dr. Shelley Stewart's late mother, Mattie C. Stewart, in the summer of 2007 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The mission of the MCS Foundation is to create tools and resources to help educators, community leaders and parents effectively address the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate. The MCS Foundation partners with America's Promise Alliance, the National Dropout Prevention Center, Executive Women International, and o2ideas, a marketing communications firm based in Birmingham, AL. For more information, visit www.mattiecstewart.org.

URL: http://www.mattiecstewart.org
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