AT&T* is launching the Believe Durham℠ initiative to help ensure that students at two high-poverty public schools have the resources and support they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
The effort will focus on ensuring that hunger is not a barrier to success, while also providing enrichment and support activities, such as tutoring and mentoring for students at Fayetteville Street Elementary and Shepard Middle schools.
“At AT&T, we believe that each child deserves an opportunity to succeed and pursue their dreams,” said Trey Rabon, president of AT&T North Carolina. “Believe Durham brings together the engagement of our employees, the strength of AT&T and the compassion of the community to help make a difference for the students and their families. We are excited to be working with the Durham Pubic Schools Foundation and many other local community partner organizations to invest in the future of this part of Durham.”
While Believe Durham officially kicked off today, it has been underway for about four weeks and will last through the school year. A cornerstone of the program will be the weekly dinner meals provided to the most economically disadvantaged students. In addition, 100 students will receive food backpacks, provided through the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Both components are underwritten by AT&T.
Tutoring and mentoring will be provided by AT&T employee volunteers and students from nearby N.C. Central University, through coordination with local non-profits Kidznotes and Dreamworks.
“We are grateful to AT&T for its support of public education and our students,” said Magan Gonzales-Smith, Executive Director of the Durham Public Schools Foundation. “The students in our public schools are Durham’s future and they deserve our community’s full support along their journey. It is inspiring to see AT&T step up as a corporate leader championing our public schools, bringing together partners and investing in improving the lives of our students.”
The Believe Durham initiative will also create opportunities for AT&T North Carolina employees to address additional needs at the schools and in the community, such as working with The Salvation Army to help meet the need for warm clothing later this year.
“I'm very grateful to AT&T for stepping up in a big way to support our schools," said Mayor Steve Schewel. “Community partnerships and commitment like we see today from AT&T and the DPS Foundation are helping lay the foundation for the future of our city and her people.”
Additional details regarding AT&T’s collaboration and volunteer work will be released throughout the year.
Believe Durham is an extension of AT&T Believes℠, a larger company-wide initiative, which aims to create positive change in local communities. To learn more about AT&T Believes initiatives across the country, please click here.