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Thought Leader Philanthropy

Partners Advancing Student Success keeps kids equipped for success through supply closets

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By Nikonie Brown, marketing administrative assistant, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta 

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta recently completed its annual General Operating Support grant cycle, awarding more than $1.9 million to 21 nonprofit organizations through a competitive analysis and review process. Here we highlight one of the organizations that received a grant. 

Partners Advancing Student Success, Inc. (PASS) focuses on improving student success by providing support and services to students in collaboration with their schools and families. PASS targets students’ academic and nonacademic barriers to learning by providing them with mentors, tutors and social services. In its short history, this program model has proven successful as demonstrated by the fact that 100 percent of its case-managed students graduated last year.

PASS’ staff, called advocates, have flexibility that school counselors do not have. For example, while school counselors are not allowed to visit students at their homes, PASS advocates can, allowing them to interact with parents more personally to discuss challenges.

PASS serves all six high schools and three middle schools in the Carroll County and Carrollton City School Systems. At each of the schools, PASS operates a supply closet that contains snacks, sanitary supplies, school supplies, extra t-shirts and other materials. By meeting basic needs through the supply closet, students have fewer distractions from schoolwork and schools report that the supply closets have contributed to fewer missed days of school. PASS has a steady flow of supplies to these closets thanks to the in-kind donations of local supporters.

“Meeting the basic needs of students is the first step in ensuring they are prepared for their academic challenges in life. If a student is hungry, has poor hygiene, poor clothing or poor health, then they are not prepared to learn. We want them to feel safe and supported at school so the extra benefits we can provide to them will help them become productive students. Our role in the schools is to remove those barriers preventing them from succeeding,” said Cynthia Langley, executive director.

The work of PASS and its local supporters shows the importance of thriving communities. This collaborative work keeps students happy, supported, and most importantly, in school. For more information on PASS and its work, click here.

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