CIS-Charlotte announces community-wide Dine Out For Kids® event on Tuesday, June 20

CHARLOTTE, NC – Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg (CIS-Charlotte) will hold its signature community event, Dine Out For Kids®, on Tuesday, June 20. The event is a popular CIS-Charlotte tradition that provides a fun, easy way to support kids in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools and local restaurants.

The concept is simple:  Dine out – or order takeout – at any of the participating restaurants on Tuesday, June 20, and the restaurants will automatically donate a percentage of their sales that day to Communities In Schools. No tickets or reservations needed (unless the restaurant typically takes reservations). 

The need in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools (CMS) is great, particularly in Title 1, high-poverty schools. The ripple effects from the pandemic remain and are surfacing in poor attendance and lower academic performance. This past school year, chronic absenteeism in CMS (missing 18+ days of school) rose to 31%, which is more than double pre-pandemic levels. Among economically disadvantaged students, chronic absenteeism rose to 43%. The number of Title I schools in CMS (those with high percentages of students who qualify for free/reduced lunch) has risen significantly in recent years:  this year for the first time, more than half of CMS schools are designated Title I (94 of 181 schools). 

CIS-Charlotte currently operates in 55 CMS schools, 44 of which are Title I schools. Of the 5,000+ students that CIS serves annually, 89% identify as Black or Latinx and 70% report income of less than $35,000 annually. 

“We know that our students have incredible potential, but they often face racial and socio-economic barriers that keep them from success,” stated Men Tchaas Ari, President and CEO of CIS-Charlotte. “Our goal is to equip students with the resources and caring relationships they need to overcome these barriers and ensure that they have equal opportunities and support to experience success in school and in life.”

CIS-Charlotte places professional staff inside schools and partners with CMS, companies, communities of faith, individual volunteers, and other community agencies to provide resources and support to students and families. Services include basic needs, attendance monitoring/support, academic and cultural enrichment, college and career readiness, social-emotional learning/mental health supports, parent engagement, and more. During the 2021-22 school year, 5,360 students in grades K-12 received individualized, case-management services through CIS. Of these students:

  • 99% remained in school and 97% were promoted to the next grade.
  • 84% achieved or made progress on their identified academic, attendance, behavior and/or SEL (social emotional learning) goals.
  • 383 seniors (99%) graduated, with 84% planning to attend a 2-4 year college/university and 15% planning to join the military, apprenticeship program, or the workforce.

“The month of June is always a special time for CIS, when we get to witness the accomplishments of our seniors and the excitement of graduation,” said May Johnston, CIS-Charlotte’s director of public relations. “It’s also special because we hold our favorite event, Dine Out For Kids®, in June, and invite everyone in the community to join us in supporting students and families in our public schools that have the greatest needs. It’s an easy way to have fun and make a difference for local kids.”

Dine Out For Kids® corporate sponsors include Bank of America, HMS Host, Atrium Health, Duke Energy-Piedmont Natural Gas, Truliant Federal Credit Union, and Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance.

Visit www.cischarlotte.org/dine-out-for-kids-2023 for details and the complete list of participating restaurants.

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About Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg (CIS-Charlotte) is an affiliate of the national Communities In Schools network, the nation’s largest and most effective organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and on a path to a brighter future. CIS-Charlotte operates locally in 55 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) to ensure that all students, regardless of race, income, or history of marginalization, have what they need to build on their strengths, realize their potential, and achieve in life.