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Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts holds school summit

mhames@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts held a summit on out-of-school time Monday morning, drawing about 350 people to Friendship Missionary Baptist Church to discuss ways to keep teenagers occupied after the school bell rings.

During the fall campaign, one of Roberts’ biggest pledges was to improve schools, even though the city has little or no role in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Roberts has said she wants to create a “clearinghouse” organization to help parents access options for middle and high school students.

On Monday, Roberts said she wanted to hear people’s biggest concerns.

“Where is the highest priority?” Roberts said. “Is it during the summer? Is it after-school? Is it enrichments?”

She said she wants to take the input from Monday’s meeting and decide on a next step. That could come in three months or so, she said.

Roberts has said she won’t ask the City Council for any funding. To hold Monday’s event, she secured help from the Foundation for the Carolinas and Charlotte Works. The biggest sponsor was Time Warner Cable, which was the host.

The event included a roundtable discussion with Roberts, police Chief Kerry Putney, and James Ford, the 2014 N.C. Teacher of the Year.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

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