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MacKenzie Scott donates $5 million to help Charlotte students reengage after the pandemic

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch of Communities In Schools celebrated a $5 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott on Thursday.
Communities In Schools/Charlotte-Mecklenburg
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch of Communities In Schools celebrated a $5 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott on Thursday.

One of the world’s wealthiest women has given $5 million to help Charlotte-Mecklenburg students reengage with education after the pandemic and get on track for college and careers.

MacKenzie Scott, a philanthropist who was married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is giving$133.5 million to Communities in Schools. That’s a national group that works with 3,000 schools to create support systems for academic success.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg office will receive $5 million of that gift to support its work in 54 public schools. The organization says that’s the largest donation ever in 37 years of working with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Communities in Schools plans to use the money to help students who stopped attending school during the pandemic or who suffered setbacks that derailed their education. It will also be used to make sure students are ready to enter college, the military or a trade.

The local group has staff working in schools to support more than 4,000 students. It also helps connect families with groups that can help with food, housing, health care and other needs.

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Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.