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Overcoming obstacles

Meet Cole, an 8th grade student at Shallotte Middle School involved in the CIS Action for Success program where your support is helping him and others like him, overcome the challenges in their lives that stand in their way of coming to school ready to learn.

Cole has experienced significant loss in his life.  After losing his mother when he was 6, Cole’s father cared for him until he became ill and unable to provide for his son. The family decided it would be best for Cole to move in with his grandparents when he was in 6th grade. Over the past summer, loss struck his family again when his grandfather passed away from heart disease. Cole continues to live with his grandmother and older brother who wrestles with addiction. The family struggles financially and is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Florence.

This is where Michele Rau, CIS Success Coach at Shallotte Middle School, plays a crucial role. CIS Success Coaches work in schools everyday to provide a safe environment for students like Cole to express worries and frustrations. It is through this interaction that Ms. Rau developed an individualized intervention plan to meet Cole’s needs. This plan includes connecting Cole with a mentor/lunch buddy, a tutor to ensure he stays on track academically, assisting him to develop skills to recognize and manage his feelings in a positive way, and ensuring Cole has food for the weekend by enrolling him in the Backpack Program which provides food to students each Friday for the weekend. Ms. Rau also connected the family with Brunswick Family Assistance and Catholic Charities to help address their financial concerns. Cole’s attendance is slipping this school year, so he has been placed on an attendance contract to monitor his attendance and encourage him to attend school.

CIS Action for Success provides a support system for Cole. He stated that he is thankful to have his CIS Success Coach Ms. Rau to lean on when he gets upset. He knows that he has a safe place to come and talk about what is worrying him and when he is in crisis.

This is an example of how CIS fulfills its mission to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Thank you for your commitment to Cole and other students like him who are struggling each day to overcome their individual challenges that prevent them from being successful.

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