Langley: Relationships matter in graduating kids

Communities in Schools Executive Director Cynthia Langley

Communities in Schools Executive Director Cynthia Langley

When you factor in the cost of educating each child, last year Carroll County lost a $1.7 million investment when 216 kids did not graduate high school, according to Cynthia Langley, executive director of the local Communities in Schools organization.

Langley spoke to the Rotary Club of Carrollton this week to update the club on the latest accomplishments CIS has made in Carroll County. CIS has a presence at two locations in the county at this time – the Carrollton City Schools Performance Learning Center and Villa Rica High School.

Even though the graduation rate in the county has improved as compared to the state average of 72 percent (Carrollton City at 87 percent and Carroll County at 82 percent), still 216 students countywide did not graduate last spring, said Langley.

“In my opinion, that’s still a lot of kids,” she said. “Let me tell you what will happen to these 216 kids. They will be eight times more likely to commit a crime, more likely to receive welfare and won’t be eligible for 90 percent of new jobs being produced today.”

Communities in Schools provides a site coordinator at each location it serves and depends on a lot of community support. The site coordinator at Carrollton’s PLC is Carrie Olinger and Villa Rica’s site coordinator is Temekia Cheely.

“Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel,” said Langley. “Our goal is to find the resources that are available to help these kids not only in school, but beyond the classroom.”

The local program, now in its fourth school year, has 174 students receiving services at the PLC and VRHS. Last spring, 85 percent were promoted to the next grade. This success at the PLC and at VRHS will allow CIS to expand its presence in two more schools – Temple High School and Central High School next school year. Learn more about CIS

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