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   Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC), the N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service and the N.C. Mentoring Partnership today announced January 2011 as the 10th anniversary of National Mentoring Month, a nationwide initiative to strengthen and recommit support for long-term mentoring. This announcement coincides with an official proclamation made today by Gov. Bev Perdue.

   “Mentoring can truly make a difference in a child’s life, especially for children in need of a positive adult role model,” said Gov. Perdue. “Please consider giving a few hours of your time to positively influence a child in your community.”

   This year’s National Mentoring Month-themed “Help Them Get There.  Be A Mentor.”-focuses on mentoring as a strategy for boosting academic achievement and on raising awareness about how mentoring can greatly enhance their prospects for leading a healthy and productive life. Research shows that mentoring has beneficial and long-term effects on youth by increasing their chances of high school graduation and college attendance and by decreasing the likelihood of substance abuse and other risky behaviors.  

   “It only takes one hour a week to help shape a child’s life,” said Linda Harrill, president and CEO of CISNC and the N.C. Mentoring Partnership. “With our state’s graduation rate barely increasing each year and more than 15 million young people in our country needing a caring adult mentor in their lives, it is more important than ever for each of us to help our children.  Mentoring is a proven and effective tool for

making sure our children stay in school and prepare for life.”

   In a proclamation issued today designating January as National Mentoring Month, Gov. Bev Perdue praised mentors as those who “build character, encourage success, boost confidence, lift expectation and inspire young people to do their best.” The Governor urged North Carolinians “to recognize the importance of mentoring by looking for opportunities to serve as mentors in their communities.” Click here to read the complete proclamation.

   As a highlight of National Mentoring Month 2010, “Thank Your Mentor Day” will be celebrated January 25.  On that day, many Americans will reach out to thank or honor those individuals who encouraged and guided them and had a lasting impact on their lives. Thank Your Mentor Day promotes three ways to honor your mentor: (1) contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation; (2) pass on what you received by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community; and (3) write a tribute to your mentor for posting on www.WhoMentoredYou.org.

   National partners for this month-long event are the Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

   For additional information about National Mentoring Month, including broadcast PSAs, visit www.Serve.gov/Mentor.

  Communities In Schools of North Carolina is part of the national CIS group, the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to both decrease dropout rates and increase on-time graduation.  During the 2008-2009 school year, the CIS network in North Carolina worked with more than 100,000 youth and their families across the state, empowering more than 96% of its eligible high school students to remain in school.  For more information, please visit www.cisnc.org or call 1-800-849-8881. The N.C. Mentoring Partnership is a mentor-advocacy group run by Communities In Schools of North Carolina.  For more information, visit www.ncmentoring.net.

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