MILLEDGEVILLE — Communities In Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County (CISMBC), Georgia College GIVE Center and the Baldwin County public school system are collaborating to kick off the “Whatever It Takes” campaign for fiscal year 2014 to help local students.
“Last year, CISMBC really started solidifying a partnership with Georgia College. CISMBC works with the school system to see what their need are, and our office helps meet their needs by providing volunteers and resources,” said Kendall Stiles, GIVE Center director.
Through generous donations made by GIVE Center students, all of the nearly 3,000 students in grades 3 through 8 will receive new composition notebooks for their interactive notebooks project.
“We’re so excited to be able to serve the schools. The GIVE Center and other Georgia College departments provide mentors and help us with various projects, but our biggest partnership is with the GIVE Center,” said Sandy Baxter, CISMBC executive director. “The GIVE Center made this donation possible.”
The “Whatever It Takes” campaign will continue to grow year-round, focusing on whatever it takes to help youth learn and graduate on time to pursue post-secondary education.
“There’s so much the college students offer and we want to build awareness within the community to highlight the impact volunteers have on our students. We’re even partnering with the Northridge Campus Church for special projects,” Baxter said. “It has made such a difference in the schools, in student grades and teachers love that we’ve made it easier for them to put together programs, which makes it easier for students.”
GIVE also provided 72 black mesh book bags to fill school supply closets for CIS site coordinators to distribute based on the need of students in elementary schools and the ASPIRE program.
“We were able to make it happen with some extra funding we had,” Stiles said. “We wanted to make sure that the schools and students were getting what they really need.”
A leadership development retreat is slated Sept. 6 and 7 for Georgia College leadership teams as a way for college groups to understand the need within the public school system and how to implement projects and programs to benefit students.
“We’re hoping to provide many additional programs to the schools. We’ve been asked to provide art programs and we’ve expanded Communities In Schools to serve the Early Learning Center, Eagle Ridge Elementary, Midway Elementary, Creekside Elementary and Baldwin High School,” Baxter said. “We want to combine our focus to meet a need in the local schools and expand our partnerships.”
The three partners are also in the midst of planning for the annual Youth Leaders America Conference Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Georgia College to foster leadership and networking skills among high school students. The annual Read for the Record event is also scheduled Thursday, Oct. 3 to raise awareness of the early literacy crisis and promote early childhood education.
“Hopefully we can make the community more aware of the partnership we have and how much the community does to help our students,” Baxter said. “Our ultimate goal is working in collaboration and utilizing resources we have.”
To donate funds, school supplies or time, contact CISMBC at 478-452-3408.