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"Communities in Schools" of Michigan receives large donation to help support thousands of students

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Courtesy Photo / Communities In Schools Of Michigan
Communities In Schools of Michigan Executive Director Mallory DePrekel, at a school backpack giveaway in 2020.

A huge financial gift will help dozens of schools in Michigan assist students facing barriers to learning outside the classroom.

The organization Communities In Schools of Michigan will get a portion of a national donation of more than $130 million dollars from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

The nonprofit provides food distribution and mentoring programs to 53 schools in cities across the state including Lansing, Detroit, Flint, and Battle Creek.

CIS of Michigan Executive Director Mallory DePrekel says they focus on programs aimed at factors outside of the classroom.

“So anything we can do to help teachers prioritize learning and not prioritize having to find a pencil, we will do,” she said.

With the donation, the number of schools involved should go up to 70, with the amount of students impacted rising from 30,000 to 45,000.

“We let teachers teach, and we do everything else,” DePrekel explained. “Our job is to make sure that when a kid is sitting in that desk or on the Zoom call wherever they are, that they’re focused on the actual academics. Because all that other stuff is in their brains, and we’re trying to eliminate all that other stuff.”

DePrekel declined to disclose the dollar amount coming to CIS of Michigan.

Communities In Schools of Northwest Michigan will also receive a portion of MacKenzie Scott's national gift.