CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- City of Promise works with school-aged children and families through what it calls pathway coaching, and with the recent events at Charlottesville High School, the nonprofit is now focusing even more on the education system. 

The program is working alongside with the Charlottesville City School system and the University of Virginia Schools of Education to provide basic needs, mental health services, and student engagement coaching to improve the conditions in the city schools. 

Executive Director Price Thomas says the nonprofit wants to focus on literacy and attendance to help with future success. 

“So, what we are seeing in the schools, is a large gap, particularly with minority and under-resourced kids of their reading proficiency and also their attendance. So, step one, we have to get them to school, but we also have to be urgent in the integrated support we can offer both in the school and the community,” Thomas said. 

He says that the program will focus on younger grades to instill better attitudes and achievements as they progress through the school systems, to hopefully minimize the problems amongst older students. 

“I am a big believer in root causes. I am a big believer that a lot of what we see as we get older and go through high school and as we become adults are artifacts of our earlier experiences,” Thomas said. 

According to the City of Promise website, roughly 300 minority city school students are reading below grade level. Similar data also shows that truancy among under-resourced and minority students is above 25 percent. These are main reasons for the nonprofit to create Launchpad.  

Thomas said the program will also provide resources to teachers and educators for them to be able to focus more energy on doing what they love, educating.