We're Only as Strong as Our Community Partnerships

If our collaboration with Belk, Inc. and The Belk Foundation is any indication of our durability, we’re approaching Gorilla Glue status!  Beginning with a $150,000 investment in our 8th Grade Academy and apprenticeship programs in 2009, the Belk Foundation expanded its support to include an introduction to Randy Dell, Manager, Southpark Belk.  For the past three semesters, Randy’s team at Belk-Southpark has collaborated with our Citizen Teachers and students to create visual displays, present fashion shows, and help our budding fashionistas learn first-hand the intricacies of fashion merchandising.

This apprenticeship model, piloted in Charlotte, has now expanded to collaborations with stores in both Henderson and Durham.  Randy Knight, Manager of the Belk Northern Division Corporate Store, took our new relationship to the next level; he appointed a day in February  “Jeans Day” in support of Citizen Schools, donating $1,200 of the day’s jeans sales to support our program at Lowe’s Grove Middle School in Durham.  Funds were used to purchase Flip digital cameras, Lego Robotics kits, and other technology to enrich and enliven the apprenticeship experience for our students.  Needless to say, we’re stuck on Belk!