Dropout Rates Down in Rowan-Salisbury School System - FOX 35 News Orlando

Dropout Rates Down in Rowan-Salisbury School System

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The Rowan-Salisbury School System is among ten North Carolina school districts with the lowest high school dropout rates. The Salisbury community says the key to keeping kids in the classroom is mentorship.

Even though students are on their spring break, they still meet mentors for tutoring and activity. Tim Bates says his purpose in life is to help kids reach their potential.

“You are somebody. It’s not really about dribbling the basketball. It’s not really about playing the drums. It’s actually somebody telling me that I belong to something. And when you know that you belong to something, then you want to do better,” he said.

Bates got that reminder as a young teen, but it took a village, to get him back on the right path.

“I too got caught up in the process of drugs and alcohol and doing things that I knew were not part of my character,” he said.

Bates says education is the key to success. Now that the Rowan-Salisbury School System’s dropout rate is down to 1.17 percent, more kids are sticking with the books. Bates say mentors are needed to keep the rate low and to provide love and support to kids like Montee McNeil.

“I was missing my father. He wasn’t in my life like I wanted him to be. I had to find somebody else to fill that void. When I met Mr. Bates and his family, they kind of stepped in and took that spot,” McNeil said.

Bates says at any point, kids could become products of their environment. He says consistency can make all the difference, allowing them to see the greatness within themselves.

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