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CD Spangler to fund scholarship for black males at West Charlotte H.S.

Charlotte education philanthropist CD Spangler has given more than $2 million to nudge African American males at West Charlotte High School toward college. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more: West Charlotte High School is 87 percent African American. And male students in general, make up a disproportionate number of dropouts. After reading a newspaper article on dropouts in CMS, CD Spangler says he was looking for a way to make a dent in the 46 percent of students at West Charlotte who didn't graduate within four years. Both his daughters graduated from the school in the 1980s. "We want to try something that we don't know if this will work and it's not a perfect program," says Spangler. The solution: a $1,000 scholarship to all young black men who graduate from West Charlotte. The students will have to attend either Central Piedmont Community College or a University of North Carolina System school. The CD Spangler Foundation has given the two systems $1 million each to fund the scholarships. West Charlotte Sophomore Saye Williams says the gift is very empowering. "It actually propels the black man to go out and get something, go out and do something more than what the status quo would have us be," says Williams. "What would that status quo be?" I ask. "Maybe going to jail or being in the street, being in what they call the ghetto, if you will." West Charlotte also received $50,000 to pay for college application fees of all students. The donation was part of a long list of gifts totaling nearly $5 million that the CD Spangler foundation gave toward education. List of CD Spangler gift recipients: (12/16/09 announcement at West Charlotte High School) $1.5 million - Teach for America (Charlotte office), national recruiter of teachers placed in high-poverty schools $1 million - CPCC, to fund $1,000 scholarships for W. Charlotte African American male graduates $1 million - UNC System to fund $1,000 scholarships for W. Charlotte African American male graduates $250,000 - Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg, reading materials for at-risk children $250,000 - discretionary funds for CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman $176,000 - all CMS principals ($1,000 per principal) $150,000 - Communities in Schools (Charlotte office), national dropout prevention program $100,000 - CMS PreK program Bright Beginnings $100,000 - New Leaders for New Schools (Charlotte office), national recruiter of principals in high-poverty schools $100,000 - CMS Parent University program that encourages parental involvement $50,000 - for college application fees of all students regardless of race or gender - at West Charlotte Total of $4,676,000