HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – First Lady Cathy Justice was at different schools across the state today, as part of her ‘Communities in School’ initiative.
Communities in School is a not-for-profit education initiative that forges community partnerships and brings resources into schools with a goal of keeping all students in school and ultimately graduating. One of the stops the first lady made today was at Huntington Middle School.
The First Lady and Governor Jim Justice started Communities in Schools in three counties in 2018. Since then, the program has continued to expand and is now in 33 of the state’s 55 counties.
“We want every student in the school to feel good about themselves. To be proud of who you are and know that you can just do everything,” said Cathy Justice.
The program has a site coordinator for each school that participates. At Huntington Middle East, BJ Roberts takes on that role.
“To really specifically help the students out with whatever the needs are. Whether that be attendance or help in the classroom or just basic needs. Its one of those positions where I’m not in a classroom teaching. I’m kind of outside being able to help in those areas so its really awesome,” Roberts says.
Roberts says in this role, he gets to really get to know each student, and help them advance in areas they need help in.
“Just getting to know the students, getting to know their families and just doing everything that we can to help them out. It’s really rewarding,” Roberts says.
First Lady Justice says this program helps with anything from tutoring, to food, and clothing. and just having a trusted adult to talk to.
“Just to talk to them and see their needs and wants, and we just want to be able to make things better, make them feel great about themselves. Make them feel so proud to be from West Virginia,” Justice says
Making the students feel appreciated, and eager to come to school every day. During the 2020-2021 school year, Communities in Schools served more than 63,000 students in 150 schools across the state.