WINSTON-SALEM – With its latest philanthropic gift, the Rye Foundation is helping teenaged students turn obstacles into opportunities.
A charitable gift totaling $20,000 has been strategically directed to the rebranded “Meals and Mentors” program at the Winston-Salem Street School. The popular event brings role models to the school each Friday, and has been successful in improving classroom attendance.
Every Friday, a guest speaker talks with students, and then the entire student body enjoys a meal prepared by a local civic club, business, or church. Past speakers include Police Chief Catrina Thompson, businessman and former basketball star Skip Brown, and nationally – known author Dr. Gary Chapman.
“Before coming to the Street School, many of our students had very poor class attendance,” said Mike Foster, executive director of the school. “We have tried to make Friday a fun day, with a great speaker, student clubs, and a great meal. Now, they look forward to being at school.”
Founded in 2004, the faith-based Street School has produced 280 graduates. It features small classes, frequent field trips, and a dual enrollment program which allows seniors to learn job skills at Forsyth Tech Community College.
Foster and development coordinator Bonnie Flythe both expressed their appreciation to the Rye Foundation for its financial commitment. “It is really encouraging to know that there are leaders in our community who believe in giving teenagers a second chance,” said Flythe.