September 29, 2008

AT&T Awards $400,000 Grant to Help High School Dropout Initiatives in Richmond and Hampton

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AT&T Inc. today announced that the AT&T Foundation -- the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T -- will award a High School Success grant for $400,000 over four years to Communities In Schools of Virginia to open a second Performance Learning Center(R) (PLC) in Richmond and to launch a new one in Hampton.

Performance Learning Centers(R) are non-traditional learning environments attended by students who are not succeeding in traditional school settings and are at risk of dropping out. At these centers, Communities In Schools of Virginia and its local CIS affiliates partner with the local school division and community to work with students on individual development plans that outline their academic, career and personal goals. Each PLC student is paired with a trained mentor to help them meet these goals. The first year, 75 youth in each community will be served; by year four each PLC will serve some 150 students in each community.

Students for the Performance Learning Centers(R) are identified by guidance counselors and teachers as being 1-2 years behind with little chance of catching up, but having a desire to obtain a high school diploma.

"We are proud to report that in June, 99 percent of our seniors at Richmond's first PLC graduated, and that 99 percent of our students eligible to return to the PLC this fall expressed a desire to come back," said Dr. Mark Emblidge, CIS of Virginia's Founding Director. "What makes these numbers so impressive is that 100 percent of our PLC students were slated to drop out of school."

AT&T's competitive High School Success grants are part of the company's signature initiative, AT&T Aspire, which was announced earlier this year and helps address high school success and workforce readiness.

"We're committed to working with the local community to give at-risk youth the resources they need to be successful in society and the workforce," said J. Michael Schweder, President, AT&T Mid-Atlantic Region. "A lot of this work must be done with groups like Communities In Schools of Virginia who have the expertise to help kids graduate from high school."

AT&T has committed $100 million in philanthropy through 2011 to schools and nonprofit organizations that are focused on high school retention and better preparing students for college and the workforce.

For more information about the AT&T Aspire initiative, please visit

About Philanthropy at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2007, AT&T contributed more than $164 million through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T, combine more than $1.9 billion of historic charitable commitment to communities across the country.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine's World's Most Admired Telecommunications Company list and No. 1 on America's Most Admired Telecommunications Company list. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at

About Communities In Schools of Virginia

Communities In School of Virginia, a 501(c)(3) organization, is part of the nation's largest dropout prevention organization serving over 1,000,000 students in 27 states and the District of Columbia. CIS has proven to have school-wide impact on reducing dropout rates, increasing graduation rates and improving student performance though its mission: "bringing community resources and caring adults into schools, so that all children have the tools they need to succeed in school and in life."

AT&T Inc.

CONTACT: Althea Yancy of AT&T, +1-908-234-6705, [email protected]; or WendyHosick of Communities In Schools of Virginia, +1-757-681-4484,[email protected]

Web site: