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Wilmington Youth Center for Inspiration, Recreation and Education (WIRE)

Located on the corner of Orange and 11th Streets downtown, WIRE supports the needs of at-risk students and their families in a safe environment by providing free, positive, daily programming to New Hanover County students. The afterschool program at WIRE provides STEM-based activities, as well as targeted tutoring, and is designed to improve each student’s math and literacy skills.

Student Support Specialists

Student Support Specialists provide case-managed services to students identified as being at-risk of dropping out, or in need of specific intervention services. The Student Support Specialist links these students with resources and programs including mental health counseling, tutoring, attendance monitoring, mentoring, and afterschool programs. Current school sites include: Alderman Elementary, Forest Hills Elementary, Freeman School of Engineering, Snipes Academy of Arts & Design, Williston Middle School, Wrightsboro Elementary, and New Hanover High School in New Hanover County; and at Burgaw Middle School, Cape Fear Middle School, Penderlea School, West Pender Middle School, Pender High School, and Heidi Trask High School in Pender County. 

Young Parent Support

The Young Parent Support Program is a two-tiered system of support for young parents ages 13 to 24 living in New Hanover and Pender Counties. Tier One utilizes the Partners for a Healthy Baby home visiting curriculum designed for pregnant and parenting young parents. Program participants will be matched with a home visitor who will complete at least five visits with the young parent and family. Each visit will provide support in the areas of family development, maternal and family health, preparing and caring for baby, and child development. The goal is to provide layered supports to help the young parent through all stages of pregnancy and early childhood.

Participants will:

  • Learn skills to be successful and confident parents
  • Get connected to resources available in the community
  • Receive an advocate to walk with them and their family through the journey of parenting
  • Join a network of young parents in the community

Tier Two is the Young Parent’s Circle Group. Young Parent’s Circle is a mutual self-help support group for young parents ages 14 to 24. The purpose of the group is to provide a place where young parents can connect with each other, learn from each other, and be a source of strength for each other. Groups will meet weekly to have dinner, complete group sessions, and engage in activities designed to strengthen families. The end goal is to build the five protective factors and decrease the instances of child abuse and neglect.

Participants will: 

  • Gain a sense of belonging and relief
  • Become resources to each other inside and outside of the group
  • Advocate for themselves and other parents as they give and receive help
  • Become more competent and confident in their parenting role 

Please email Emmy Gibson for New Hanover County information, and for Pender County, Melanie Ball.

Literacy Support

PaSS:  A 10-week tutoring program targeting 3rd grade students who have been identified by their teachers as not likely to pass their End of Grade tests and promote to the next grade. CISCF recruits and trains community volunteers to implement the program, which is offered to every public elementary school in New Hanover and Pender Counties. Email for more information.

21st Century Community Learning Centers 

The 21st CLC program supports after-school academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low-performing schools to help them meet local and state academic standards in subjects such as reading, mathematics, and science. Communities In Schools serves students at Burgaw Middle, Cape Fear Middle, West Pender Middle and Penderlea School. Anticipated outcomes of the program include increased attendance, decreased discipline referrals, increased parental involvement, improved proficiency in Reading and STEM related activities.CFMS at Raptor Center (1)







Partners and Volunteers Needed

Share your hobby, talents or interests by volunteering one hour per week, one or two days per week. Additionally, the program needs the support of businesses and organizations to help keep students on the path to academic achievement. If you are interested in volunteer and/or partnership opportunities, please contact Sally Fields, Program Director, (910) 343-1901 or

Locations and Staff:

Burgaw Middle School                                 (910) 259-0263
Keisha Cousins Robinson

Cape Fear Middle School                             (910) 602-3334
Andrew Rooney

Heide Trask High School                            (910) 602-6810
Anthony Nixon

Pender High School                                       (910) 259-0162
Sararesa Hudson

Penderlea Elementary School                   (910) 285-2761
Aariene Hansley

West Pender Middle School                       (910) 283-5626
Tyler Capps


Contact Sally Fields, Pender County Program at (910) 343-1901 or

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