Glenda Bernhardt
Development Coordinator: Junior League of Charlotte
[email protected]
Tel: 704.375.5993, ext. 7
The Junior League of Charlotte Announces Partnership with The Larry King Center
to Deliver Wrap-around Services at Reid Park Academy
Charlotte, N.C. (February 6, 2013) – The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is pleased to
announce its JLC Cornerstone Project, Benefitting Families at Reid Park and Beyond - a
partnership with The Larry King Center of the Council for Children’s Rights to support an
innovative wrap-around community school model that will positively impact hundreds of
children and families in Charlotte. The initiative will kick off at Charlotte Mecklenburg
Schools’ Reid Park Academy, with the intention of replicating and applying the intervention at
other schools in the district in the coming years.
Reid Park Academy is a Pre-K-8 school where more than 95 percent of the 750 students
receive free and reduced lunch. Poverty can result in high absenteeism rates, low
achievement rates and lower graduation rates. At Reid Park Academy, less than 50 percent of
third graders read on grade level, and third grade reading scores are a key predictor of future
academic success. Reid Park transitioned to the Pre-K-8 school in 2010 and is poised for great
results from its students thanks to the hard work of Principal Mary Sturge and talented
educators and staff. However, Sturge knows that “while the academic environment is
important, big results hinge on the trust and relationships built between the neighborhood
and school.”
In January of this year, The Larry King Center, in partnership with CMS, Mecklenburg County
and several key community agencies, launched a pilot program with Reid Park’s most at-risk
students to focus on four core areas: early childhood education, parental involvement, health
and mental health needs, and social service needs. Brett Loftis, children’s advocate and
former Executive Director of the Council for Children’s Rights, believes “We can only expect
to see change for children and families when we attend to all of their needs and not just the
strength of their classroom experience.” The JLC’s support of this initiative will allow for the
expansion of this pilot by providing funding for the infrastructure needed to implement it
Five lead agencies (Communities in Schools, Thompson Child and Family Focus, Mélange
Health Solutions, Charlotte Housing Authority, and Mecklenburg County DSS) have committed
to provide Care Coordinators who work collaboratively with Student Success Network teams to
provide family case management using a System of Care model. These Student Success
Networks are comprised of individuals who represent dozens of faith-based organizations,
civic and nonprofit partners (such as the JLC, New Birth Charlotte, YMCA of Greater
Charlotte, and the YWCA) and others who are committed to the success of students and
families who are part of this initiative.
The Junior League of Charlotte has committed to raise $500,000 to support the JLC
Cornerstone Project. This aligns with the JLC’s vision to be a leading force in improving the
lives of children and families in this community. The grant will provide project management,
volunteer coordination, program evaluation, model replication at future sites, and
programming at Reid Park. The JLC will also provide $500,000 in-kind volunteer time over five
years to support programming that will promote the physical, mental and dental health of
children and families in the Reid Park community.
For more information and to learn how you can get involved or contribute, please visit
www.jlcharlotte.org or call (704) 375-5993.
About the Junior League of Charlotte, Inc.
The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is an organization of women committed to
promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the
community. Through its actions and leadership of trained volunteers, the JLC is a leading
force in improving the lives of children and families in the Charlotte community. The JLC
annually contributes more than $100,000 to community projects and more than 25,000
volunteer hours. During the 2011-2012 JLC year, the League dedicated more than $150,000
and almost 500 volunteers to the betterment of the Charlotte community. Projects that are
supported by the JLC include: Junior League of Charlotte Family Resource Center at Levine
Children’s Hospital, Kids HealthLink, JLC Smiles, Big Shots Saturdays, Junior League of
Charlotte Puppet Theater and more. For additional information, call (704) 375-5993 or visit