Saturday, March 17, 2012

Charlotte area students and community come together at Engage Summit

On Wednesday, March 21, high school students across CMS will attend
the inaugural Engage Summit, an empowerment initiative that brings the
students and community together to promote positive climates in
schools and the community. The summit, which coincides with National
Youth Violence Prevention Week, March 19-23, will take place at the
UNC Charlotte Center City Building (320 E. 9th Street, Charlotte) from
7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Engage is part of the Make it Better campaign, which informs, educates
and empowers students, parents, teachers and the community, in an
effort to eliminate incidents related to school violence.

At the summit, community members, including motivational speaker Kwain
Bryant; Assistant U.S. Attorney for Charlotte, N.C., Anne Tompkins;
and leadership from CMS, the City of Charlotte and Carolina Panthers
Organization will provide expertise and energy to help students
develop a successful initiative. Michael Buchanan, co-author of "The
Fat Boy Chronicles," will provide the inspirational address.

Though group work, community exchange and brainstorm sessions, the
students will learn how they can take ownership in their schools and
community. They will share experiences, develop action plans to
address needs specific to their school and leave the session with the
tools they need to start conversations. Most importantly, they will
have the understanding that the greater community is committed to
supporting them.

"It's important we hear from the students and help them address their
concerns," said Dr. Deb Kaclik, director of arts, heath, physical
education and pre-K-12 curriculum support programs. "If we hear their
voice, it will clue us in on ways to support their initiatives. When
people work together, a group process emerges that is bigger than any
one person's actions."

Planning support for the Summit is provided by the Larry King Center
of the Council for Children's Rights.