The Center for Community Safety Receives Grant to Expand STARS

August 21, 2013

The Center for Community Safety (CCS) at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has received a $143,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to expand the "Students Taking Action and Reaching Success" program, known as STARS, into two additional Forsyth County middle schools in the 2013-2014 school year.
STARS is a middle school-based elective program that teaches life skills to promote self –esteem and spark students' internal drive and motivation to want to succeed.   Last year, over 200 students participated in the program at the three inaugural schools, Flat Rock, Hanes and Philo-Hill Magnet Academy. This year, a total of nearly 400 students are expected participate in STARS at five schools.
"STARS represents more than a single program and is important for our community given the limited resources available to focus on positive youth development that can lead to a reduction in juvenile crime," said Alvin Atkinson, CCS executive director.  "STARS provides a targeted strategy to improve outcomes for youth, both in and out the classroom, by offering effective, evidenced-based youth development preventions in an effort to eliminate the need for criminal justice interventions.  With over 80% of juvenile crime in Winston-Salem being committed by youth ages 16-17 years old, improving educational and social outcomes for youth ages 11-13 can mean fewer youth choosing crime as a career."
In addition to the $143,000 from the Trust, the STARS strategy is being supported by members of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Community Safety Partners' Coalition, a community collaborative that include schools, governmental, health, and other community and service based agencies.
The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, based in Winston-Salem, was established in 1947 and is now the largest private trust in North Carolina.  Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina.  The Health Care Division promotes wellness state-wide by investing in prevention and treatment.  The Poor and Needy Division of the Trust responds to basic life needs and invests in solutions that improve the quality of life and health for financially needy residents of Forsyth County. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. serves as sole trustee.
Since its creation in 2001, the Center for Community Safety at WSSU has used scholarship and collaboration as core ingredients to obtain new knowledge, practices and skills to support positive individual, organizational and community change.  The STARS program is the latest culmination of this work and is evidence of the interaction and interdependence of WSSU, community partners and individuals to help each other succeed.

For more information, contact Alvin Atkinson at (336) 750-7321 or

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