The mission of Communities In Schools (CIS) is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life by reducing non-academic barriers to academic success.
CIS's unique model places a full-time School Site Coordinator inside elementary, middle, and high schools to assess whole school needs and indvidual student needs. The site coordinator then connects and provides numerous resources and supports to assist in overcoming non-academic barriers to success in the classroom.
We work with students in the most economically challenged schools by serving as a single point of contact to serve the needs of the whole child.
Our core belief is that all children and teens need and deserve a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, a safe place to learn and grow, a healthy start and future, a marketable skill to use upon graduation, and a chance to give back.
The schools we serve are typically located in low-income neighborhoods and serve students and families living in poverty. Many students face daily challenges such as food insecurity, homelessness, lack of appropriate clothing, teen pregnancy, or lack critical medical and dental care.
Many students have been impacted by the opioid epidemic and have lost parents to an overdose or incarceration. The lasting effects of violence in a student’s neighborhood or home, or among loved ones and friends can be overwhelming. These are all non-academic barriers that affect children and teens daily and often keep them from attending school regularly or being able to focus on their academics when they are at school.
Communities In Schools exists to help overcome non-academic barriers so students can be at school on time and ready to learn every day.
CIS uses a proven, evidence-based model of coordinating a comprehensive range of community and customized services to help students and families, and support schools overall. Year-long services provide critical help to schools and students at risk of not promoting to the next grade, dropping out or not graduating.
Students needing targeted interventions are assessed individually and receive holistic, coordinated wraparound services (i.e. food, clothing, counseling, mentoring, free/low-cost health/dental care, finding a safe place to live). Social-emotional supports are also a key component of our work to help students deal with anger, low self- esteem, anxiety, and many other stresses that impact a students well-being and ability to focus on academics. CIS monitors and evaluates attendance, behavior, grades, and other data to regularly assess the impact for students and the school.
The work of our Communities In Schools site coordinators is challenging, but very rewarding and we can’t do it without the support of our many partners and volunteers!
We have several opportunities to get involved such as: volunteering as a reading buddy to support the 3rd-grade reading guarantee or other students struggling academically, mentoring programs, report card conferences, adopt-a-family food and/or gift donations, monetary support to bring CIS into more schools in need, and much more.
For more information, to donate or to become a volunteer, please contact us at: 614-268-2472 or ciskids.org