Our children face too many obstacles in their journeys to be grownups. Hardships like bullying, thoughts and attempts of suicide, lack of self-esteem, homelessness, untreated medical and dental issues, and being hungry are challenges kids should not have to face.
But thanks to Communities in Schools (CIS), our children don’t have to tackle their realities alone because a professional is right there with them — in our schools.
Forty years ago, the national CIS was established to bring community resources into public schools.
It was based on the principle that relationships, not programs, change children.
Young people thrive when adults care about them as individuals and when they have a sense of belonging to a caring community.
Our local CIS — Communities In Schools South Central Texas began 26 years ago to help students achieve in school, graduate, and be successful throughout their lives.
Each year, our team of more than 50 serves over 32,000 students in New Braunfels, Comal, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City and Marion Independent School Districts, Seguin ISD and Luling ISD and we just added Nixon-Smiley ISD this year. The unique CIS model places site coordinators in 48 schools within Comal, Guadalupe, Gonzales, Wilson and Caldwell Counties to assess students’ needs and provide much needed resources.
The main office is located in the historical Hinman House in downtown New Braunfels.
It is important to note that as a nonprofit 501c3 organization, CIS is not a branch of the school districts but is funded in part by contracts with the districts and fundraising efforts.
CIS provides a professional staff member in each identified school to be with kids all day everyday — where kids spend most of their time. Children would not receive these critical services if it weren’t for CIS and the unwavering support of more than 200 local businesses, social service agencies, churches and hundreds of volunteers.
One of the many volunteer opportunities is the Mentoring Program. In many cases, it’s because of the mentor connection that a child makes the decision to stay in school, says no to drugs, and avoids other risky behavior.
The annual Stuff the Bus event collects school supplies for thousands of area students to ensure that every child in our community walks into their first day of class prepared and confident.
Project Success provides college and career counseling, field trips to area colleges, assistance with SAT/ACT testing, college applications, financial aid and scholarship assistance.
Once in college, CIS alumni receive ongoing guidance, therapeutic counseling and support as needed.
The CIS Alumni Association has member expectations to support the mission and values of CIS.
Members believe so strongly in the power of giving back that they chose to pay dues which are available to alumni members to support their needs.
Another great way to support CIS is shopping at the CIS Thrift Store located on Business 35 or by donating gently used clothing, housewares, home décor, and furniture.
Several fundraising events support CIS — Dining with the Stars, Rock ‘n Roll for Kids, and the CIS Wurstfest booth.
Although state legislative funds provide a portion of program resources, CIS depends on contracts with school districts, support from CIS partners and generous donors. Your donation to CIS is an investment in our community and our children.
Whether it’s food, school supplies, health care, counseling, academic guidance, financial assistance or a positive role model, CIS is here to help and will do whatever it takes for our kids!