CCSETConnect, Believe, Achieve 

: A caring community engaged in connecting resources and creating a culture where students believe they can achieve


Our Mission: Connecting resources to empower students to achieve personal excellence

Our project work under the Cabell County Family Resource Network began in 2000.  During this time, we have served as a “connector” or “bridge” between the schools and the community through provision of a variety of resources including adult mentors, tutors, after-school programming, health services, and career connections.  During the 2014-15 school year, we continued to connect resources that empower students in Cabell County schools under a new name – Cabell County Student Empowerment Team. We continue to focus all our efforts on the needs of students with the vision of “a caring community engaged in connecting resources and creating a culture where students believe they can achieve.”

Our mission is to “connect resources to empower students to achieve personal excellence.” Our motto Connect, Believe, Achieve, reflects the core beliefs of our mission. By connecting needed resources with students, we encourage them to believe they can achieve greater personal success

Everyone has time, talents, and treasure. We are looking for individuals, businesses, and agencies in our community who are interested in developing resilient children and youth who graduate from high school career or college ready. There are many ways YOU can join our team:

  • Volunteer as a “Classroom Champion” to provide academic assistance
  • Tutor a middle school or high school student,
  • Share your expertise by being on our speaker’s bureau,
  • Volunteer in specific long or short term projects at a particular school or class,
  • Join our Student Empowerment Team,
  • Donate funding to assist with operational costs and special needs or projects identified by the schools.


Click here to visit the Cabell County Student Empowerment Team website.

CONTACT:  Ellenda Ward,, today to become involved.


Connection Highlights

Communication.  Collaboration.  Connections. 

2017-2018 School year


CCSET connected volunteers to several initiatives to reach 463 students. During the year, we had 40 adults participate whose value of time and resources contributed $12,166. 

Examples include:

  • CCSET coordinated visits of five readers to three elementary schools (Highlawn, Salt Rock and Explorer Academy) on Read to Me Day November 16.
  • CCSET participated in Fall Festival at Highlawn Elementary on November 30 to provide oral health information to the 188 students and families attending.
  • The Young Bankers initiative through Fifth Third Bank worked with 57 Explorer Academy 5th grade students for 10 weeks of class training and then visited Marshall University for their final session on April 17.

Volunteers helped to collect items to meet basic needs.

  • CCSET assisted with promoting and collecting infant to school age pajamas for the February 14 event that River Valley Child Development Services conducted for their After School programs at Guyandotte and Explorer Academy that serves 45 preschool to elementary age students. The Brush Book, Bed materials and Healthy Smile Kits were included for all students.
  • For Spring Hill Elementary, 14 pair of underwear were donated to have on hand for needs as they arise.


The Cabell County Quick Guide developed and updated by Cabell County Family Resource Network is provided to school personnel and families at fun nights and community events and is available for download on the website.

Pathways to Summer Fun Guide

In spring 2018, Pathways to Summer Fun Guide was created. It was a compilation of over twenty fun learning experiences that listed camps, programs, and events for summer enrichment activities. The Cabell Huntington Convention Visitors Bureau partnered with us to print 15,000 copies of the guide for distribution.

Promoting healthy smiles

February was the Children’s Dental Health month campaign.  The Cabell Co. FRN and CCSET used the Brush, Book, Bed Campaign tools, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  It has a simple and clear message for parents: 1)  Each night, help your children to brush their teeth.  2)  Read a favorite book (or two)!  3) Get to bed at a regular time each night.



Spring Hill Elementary Received Captain McFinn Exploring Kindness Kit – CCSET assisted with presentation of the Captain McFinn Exploring Kindness anti-bullying kit donated by the Huntington Mall Marketing Dept. The kit is a comprehensive program designed to help Kindergarten to 3rd grade students practice positive social skills. Anti-bullying materials provide counselors important resources to support character and social development.


CCSET participated in the Girl Power Event on October 26, 2017.  The event focused on personal and cyber safety, healthy relationship and wellness.


Classroom Champions Help Students Improve

The mission of the Classroom Champions is two-fold:  to support students academically in their efforts to work at appropriate grade levels and to be a positive adult in their lives. Classroom Champions are volunteers at Explorer Academy who mentor students and tutor them in reading and math which helps them reach the next academic level. There were 25 Classroom Champions at Explorer Academy last year.

They include kindergarten to 6th grade level because the number of students that are on the grade level “bubble” to bump up from one level to another  maxed out with 25 volunteers to work with 50 students. Also, from the review of student 2017 school achievement levels showed that students with a Classroom Champion had faster gains than students without a       Champion.

CLICK to download the full CCSET Connection Highlights Newsletter:  2018 CCSET Newsletter Connections 11-20-18



2016-17 School year

Altizer Elementary Receives Captain McFinn SHARK Patrol Kit

On Friday, April 21, Captain McFinn and his ocean friends visited students at Altizer    Elementary.  Based on a recommendation from Cabell County Student Empowerment Team, the Marketing Department at the Huntington Mall    selected Altizer this year to be the     recipient of the Captain McFinn S.H.A.R:K. Patrol Kit (Students Help Achieve Respect & Kindness), a comprehensive program designed to help K—3rd grade students practice positive social skills.

Books were provided for each classroom, along with stickers and one set of puppets.  Principal Carrie Smith and Counselor James Wagner said the materials will be very beneficial in reiterating the message to students to be a friend and not a bully.

The Huntington Mall presented S.H.A.R.K.

Patrol kits to the following schools in Cabell County over the past several years:  Davis Creek, Cox Landing, Peyton (now Explorer Academy), and Village of  Barboursville.

Please contact, Ellenda Ward, if you would like for your school to be considered as a project this year.


Classroom Champions Continuing to Work toward Achieving Personal Excellence

The Classroom Champions are a group of community members with a common goal of helping kids.  The Classroom Champions began in 2010 through Communities In Schools under the guidance of Mrs. Marion Ward, then principal at Peyton Elementary School.  It has continued to grow over the years as Peyton has merged with Geneva Kent into Explorer Academy and (CIS)    Communities In Schools has evolved into Cabell County Student Empowerment Team.

The mission of the Classroom Champions is two-fold:  to support students academically in their efforts to work at appropriate grade levels and to be a positive adult in their lives.  Mrs. Ward felt that by surrounding students with ‘people of integrity’ the children would learn from and model the behavior of those people.  The Champions take their role very seriously and strive to live up to that challenge.   Most of the Champions, who are certified volunteers by Cabell County Schools, see their two Little Champs individually each week for approximately thirty minutes.  During the 2016-17 school year, the Champions logged in 224 hours at Explorer Academy.

During their scheduled time, the Champions work on math and reading needs identified by the teachers.  Students are selected based on academic need as indicated by test results.  The students who are working one standard deviation below grade level are most likely to benefit from the support of the Champions.

“The Classroom Champions are an example of community members who have a passion for helping students to achieve personal excellence.  Cabell County Student Empowerment Team is so fortunate to have this wonderful group of volunteers who support our mission of connecting resources to empower students to achieve personal excellence,” says Ellenda Ward, Executive Director.  “The organization’s vision is having a caring community engaged in connecting resources and creating a culture where students believe they can achieve.  The thirteen Classroom Champions have carried out that mission and vision this past school year. ”


CCSET Learns about Cabell’s Academies of Career Excellence

In June, Deborah Chapman, Academy Coordinator, presented information to the CCSET Board about the Wall to Wall Academies that will be offered at each high school  in the Fall of 2017.  An Academy is a smaller learning community within a larger high school.  In addition to the freshman academy, each school will offer three additional academies.

  • CMHS will offer Health Sciences and Wellness, Human and Public Services, and Agri-Science and Engineering.
  • Career Academies at HHS will include Health Sciences, Business and Fine Arts and Human Services.
  • The Career Tech Center offers Automotive Technology, Graphic Design, and Law and Public Safety in addition to other programs of study. Academies offer additional experiences to better prepare students for college and career.

CLICK to download full newsletter

CCSET Newsletter Connections 2016-17