Mattie C. Stewart Foundation Receives $50,000 Grant from AT&T to Help Reduce North Carolina’s High School Dropout Rate

December 5, 2008

RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ — The AT&T Foundation – the corporate
philanthropy organization of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has awarded the Mattie C.
Stewart Foundation (MCSF) $50,000 to support North Carolina’s dropout
prevention initiative through the InsideOut Program and the “Choice Bus”
rolling classroom. The InsideOut program features a powerful video
documentary with prison inmates about the devastating effects of dropping out
of school. The AT&T Choice Bus, a real bus that is half classroom and half
replica of a jail cell, will also travel the state.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081205/CLF060 )

The grant sends 5,000 InsideOut dropout prevention toolkits to schools
across North Carolina. Two toolkits will go to all North Carolina public
schools, representing some 400,000 students. The grant also sponsors a
statewide tour of the AT&T Choice Bus. This MCSF mobile teaching tool plainly
shows children the choice between staying in school or eventually winding up
in jail. AT&T volunteers will support this bus experience as it travels
around the state to schools and youth centers.

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation develops relevant, effective tools to
help educators, community leaders and others reduce the dropout rate and
increase the graduation rate in schools across the country. AT&T’s support
of MCSF builds on the North Carolina State Board of Education’s Call to Action
designed to promote high school graduation and decrease the dropout rate.

“The Call to Action is everyone’s responsibility. Every child is a
special gift, for they are the future. It is important for us to nurture them
and help them realize their dreams. Every child is also a child at-risk, at-
risk of doing something great, and needs supportive programs like those
offered by the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation. We are extremely proud to assist
in increasing the North Carolina high school graduation rate by sponsoring the
AT&T Choice Bus and the InsideOut dropout prevention tool kits,” said Cynthia
, President-AT&T-North Carolina.

“I appreciate AT&T’s commitment to high school graduation for all students
and their support of the InsideOut Choice Bus and the dropout prevention
toolkits for schools across the state,” said State Superintendent of Public
Instruction June Atkinson. “This is one important way to get the word out:
dropping out of high school sets a course that too often leads to prison. We
can’t afford to lose our young people in this way.”

“We congratulate AT&T for stepping up and doing something about the
dropout rate in North Carolina,” MCSF Founder and President Dr. Shelley
said. “We invite other corporations in the state to do the same.
Already, our MCSF tools are in 29 states and Canada. The more we reach, the
more students we can save from a life of prison and poverty, and instead give
them every opportunity for prosperity.

“If we don’t do something about the dropout rate, then all youth are at
risk. America is at risk. It is an epidemic,” Stewart said. “As a homeless
kid in the segregated South decades ago, a teacher told me that if I can learn
to read, I can be anything. That is our message to children today. If you
get an education, you can be anything great that you want to be.” Stewart is
also president and CEO of o2ideas, a marketing communications firm based in
Birmingham, AL.

About Philanthropy at AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) 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 the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation is a national non-profit organization
dedicated to reducing the dropout rate. The MCS Foundation was established in
honor of Dr. Shelley Stewart’s late mother, Mattie C. Stewart, in the summer
of 2007 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The mission of the MCS
Foundation is to create tools and resources to help educators, community
leaders and parents effectively address the dropout rate and increase the
graduation rate. The MCS Foundation partners with America’s Promise Alliance,
the National Dropout Prevention Center, Executive Women International, and
o2ideas, a marketing communications firm based in Birmingham, AL. For more
information, visit www.mattiecstewart.org.

SOURCE Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

Source: newswire

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