We are less than two weeks away from commencing our fall programs here in North Carolina and very enthusiastic about launching the first Extended Learning Time program in the state at Neal Middle School in Durham. As we kick off the school year, however, we have made some tough decisions, along with our district and school partners, and we have some disappointing news to share. It is with great sadness that we inform our supporters, volunteers, staff, families, and students of the decision to close the Citizen Schools program at Henderson Middle School. Unfortunately, after working hard to find a solution for keeping the program open, our regional board and leadership team has made this difficult decision due to brutal fiscal realities and school district leadership transition.
We sincerely appreciate the time, effort and dedication of Angelo Cross, Henderson Middle School Campus Director, and his team over the past three years, and especially during this most difficult process. We launched our campus in Henderson three years ago, uncertain as to how successful we could be in a rural community without prior knowledge of the community’s unique resources and challenges. We soon realized that the power of our program to successfully engage a community was not limited to metropolitan areas. We hired strong staff, several of whom were from Vance County, including current Teaching Fellow Connie Terry and current Teaching Associate Tamara Terry.
Henderson students gained access to resources they otherwise might not have known existed in their community and have experienced everything from formulating biodiesel fuel to printing their own newspapers. In an especially memorable moment in 2009, after the tragic death of Abria Lewis, a student at Henderson Middle School, Citizen Schools’ Henderson staff went above and beyond by raising funds to support her family through a challenging time.
We are confident that, through the relationships we have built and the work we have done, our students will continue to thrive. We wish the school district, principal, school and, of course, the students, the greatest success.
Please contact our North Carolina staff if you'd like more information.