Archive for March, 2013

Communities In Schools is the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization. – and the only one proven to both decrease dropout rates and increase on-time graduation.

March 30th, 2013 Comments off
Press release: Madison Team Success: Communities In Schools working at Madison Middle school. March 2013
Contact: Jim Thorsen, tthorsen@madison 649-2269 or
               Tom Field 649-9276 ex 248
At Madison Middle School we have 613 students who come in all shapes and sizes.  Intellectual capabilities, talents, and the background of students also differ widely with some performing on grade level, some below and some well into the high school level. How students interact with each other and their teachers varies greatly also from those who spend days in ISS (In School Suspension) to those who are just a shade below perfect angels.  For students who are doing poorly academically, having trouble adjusting to the rigors of middle school life, or are experiencing behavioral problems,  The Madison Team Success program run by Communities In Schools
Annette Riddle always has a smiling face to help a student.

Annette Riddle always has a smiling face to help a student.

of Madison County  has been a big help in reaching students through their use of volunteers
committed to tutoring, mentoring or just listening and  helping students stay focused on being successful in school.
Annette Riddle is the Site Coordinator for Madison Middle School. Along with  tutoring students herself,  Annette recruits and oversees volunteers who come in and help these students mature in a positive manner.  All students are monitored or case managed throughout the year to insure that they are meeting the goals of the program: Improve academic skills, behavior, and school attendance. From help in getting through that math concept, to writing a sentence and then a paragraph grammatically correct, to helping students learn to avert situations that make them “go off” , this program tries to make a difference.
Annette currently has five dedicated volunteers working individually with 25 students one day per week to encourage, teach, counsel, and befriend these “at-risk” members of the MMS family. An adjective with negative connotations, a student may be labeled “at-risk” due to no fault of their own.  Poverty, substance abuse by family members, truancy, all contribute to performing poorly in school, behaviorally or academically.
Meagan McNeeley, Bonner Scholar at Mars Hill College, helps a student.

Meagan McNeeley, Bonner Scholar at Mars Hill College, helps a student.

There are currently five volunteers working  with Annette at Madison Middle school. Three of the volunteers are Bonner Scholars at Mars Hill College and two are community members seeking to share their experiences and knowledge.
Without these volunteers, many of these students could become a dropout statistic upon reaching age 16 at Madison High School.
Arial Ellis, Bonner Scholar at Mars Hill College tutors two students in math.

Arial Ellis, Bonner Scholar at Mars Hill College tutors two students in math.

Communities In Schools’ mission is to surround students with a community of support and empower them to stay in school and achieve in life.  Along with volunteers David Brigg, Mike Stevenson, Arial Ellis, Meagan McNeely and Marcus Hairston,
Annette Riddle is making a difference in many students’ lives.  On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Annette has students awaiting the arrival of their tutor – eager to learn. That is the reward for the tutors – to see improvement academically, or positive behaviors form in these young students.
Do you have time and talents to offer? Would you, or could you help make a difference in a struggling student’s life?  Guaranteed – the students will awe, inspire, shock, entertain, and educate YOU of the stories of their lives. And at times they will also bring about feelings of frustration, confoundedness and downright anger when they just don’t seem to pay attention to your tutoring.
Middle school not your interest? Beth Herdman is the Site Coordinator at Madison High School who oversees 15 volunteers. Also, Bonner Scholars from Mars Hill College provide help for the young adults who are close to dropping out, or associated with negative peer relationships. The number of students seeking help at MHS is now up to 85 and continues to flood Beth with the need for more volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with Communities In Schools, then check out the website. Just Google Communities In Schools Madison County and consider phoning Tom Field, Executive Director. It may be one of the most important and rewarding calls you ever make.