Support Campus Programming for a Year
Sponsor a Child for a Year
Clothing, socks and underwear fund for students
College Field Trip Expenses for High School Students
Campus Chats for a year (6 Chats per year)
Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive
COVID Relief Fund
Food fund for students and families
Fund the gap for CIS at a specified school (50 schools)
Mental Health Support and Suicide Prevention
Project Success & Alumni Programming
Sponsorship Opportunity Descriptions
Support Campus Programming for a Year Now more than ever, our campus based professional Site Coordinators are focused on the significance of relationship building with students in kindergarten through high school. They are standing in the gap by providing kids the encouragement, love and resources they need to face their challenges and change the course of their lives. They are there to help eliminate the barriers to good mental and physical health which in turn contributes to a student’s success. Establishing rapport and creating trusted relationships is crucial every single day on campus. Whether providing services to keep kids in school, improve academic or personal success, providing food or basic needs, intervening to identify and treat depression and mental illness, or helping high school graduates to set and achieve career or educational goals, Communities In Schools does whatever it takes.
Sponsor a Child for a Year CIS addresses the barriers in overall health and well-being to address and meet basic needs of food, safety, love, and self-esteem. CIS staff ensures students and their families have clothing, food, school supplies, transportation, and covered dental and doctor visit fees.
Clothing, socks and underwear fund for students Kids having clean socks and underwear are basic and incredibly necessary. Imagine going to school every day with dirty socks and underwear. We make sure our kids have the necessities to be comfortable at school and ready to learn. Many times, our kids are in sports and band and can’t afford the required uniform to participate. CIS gets them suited up for the game and for life.
College Field Trip Expense Trips to local colleges are led by CIS alumni who can speak directly to students about what college is really like and how to be successful. If a student decides to go into the work force, training is provided around interview skills, interpersonal skills and job etiquette. Once in college or in a career, CIS alumni receive ongoing guidance, therapeutic counseling and support as needed to continue personal growth and success.
Campus Chats Campus Chats are a unique experience — to hear from the consumers of CIS services, the student’s themselves, and what CIS means to them. During a campus chat, guests are treated to lunch while a panel of students shares their personal stories and how CIS is an integral part of their life. It’s an amazing experience getting to hear stories from our CIS kids. We have 6 Campus Chats per year.
Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive CIS provides new school supplies to thousands of students throughout the school year. In the wake of COVID-19, students need your help now more than ever. CIS ensures that every child in our community starts their school year prepared and confident. Items most needed: face masks, 1″, 2” & 3″ binders,water bottles, large and small backpacks, string backpacks, padlocks, poster board, flash drives, calculators, earbuds, stylus, wide ruled composition books, primary composition books, low-odor dry erase markers, plastic folders with brads and pockets binder divider tabs, washable markers, water colors, Fiskars scissors, colored (map) pencils, pencil bags and boxes.
Mentoring Program This is a supportive, enriching program that matches at-risk youth with adult volunteers. Mentors provide guidance, and most importantly, instills hope in our students. CIS has a strong community mentor program with between 200 and 400 adult mentors who volunteer with children in need of an adult role model and children who benefit from one-on-one relationships. Mentoring is one of the strongest volunteer efforts within the CIS organization. Currently, in person mentoring is mostly on hold and mentors are continuing to support their mentees via Zoom virtual meetings or exchanging letters as a pen pal.
COVID Relief Fund CIS is working to ensure our communities’ most vulnerable members have the support they need to make it through this extremely difficult time. This health crisis is having a disproportionate effect on income-challenged children and families. The impact for many students goes far beyond challenges in providing educational instruction. They face challenges such as lack of food, access to medical care, loss of income and shelter, transportation and other necessities just to name a few. And, the toll this crisis is taking on mental health cannot be overstated. Maintaining communication with students and their families is the top priority of Communities In Schools. Social distancing doesn’t mean isolation so we must stay in touch and support not only the students, but the parents through this unprecedented time. Connecting virtually with our families to ensure they are ok warms our hearts and reinvigorates our efforts to make sure they have what they need. We have become more creative using technology to reach families to ensure they have the necessary basic needs and also the tools to continue their education online. This can even mean delivery of school supplies, academic packets and district issued technology devices to help students be successful. The CIS staff are answering the call to help address these challenges.
Food fund for students and families Food insecurities is very real for many of our CIS kids and families. We partner with churches who provide food in backpacks for kids to take home on weekends so they have food to eat when they are not at school. But the need is greater – especially now with COVID and families truly struggling to put food on the table.
Fund the gap for CIS at a School Professional CIS Site Coordinators are in 50 schools all day everyday-where kids spend most of their time. Children would not receive critical services if it weren’t for CIS and the unwavering support of 301 local businesses, social service agencies, churches and hundreds of volunteers. CIS works hand-in-hand with schools to help students and their families by connecting them to critical community resources, tailored to their specific needs. CIS has an unparalleled relationship with children and their families. In most cases, CIS staff is the front line in identifying health, behavioral and family crisis issues in a troubled child and then providing and/or seeking out the best services to address the needs. Many of the youth we serve are from families with issues of poverty, substance abuse, and poor mental health–a home environment that is not conducive to healthy living and a good moral compass. All CIS services and programs support the goal of providing safe and healthy environments for students both at school and at home for the good of our community.
Life Bootcamp Life Bootcamp is an intensive eight-week summer program led by CIS staff and alumni. It’s an adventure wilderness program providing the necessary skills to help our young people be accomplished and productive citizens in our community. Boot campers learn leadership skills, participate in team building activities, and receive GRIT training (persistence, determination and resilience). They go on field trips to local businesses and colleges to discover insider tips on career opportunities, industry expectations, college resources, resume building and interviewing skills. University professors and community business leaders teach study and time management skills, professor expectations, dressing for business success, banking skills, interviewing skills, and business expectations. And they help with community projects — food distribution, volunteering at local churches, and working on service projects at Texas parks.
Mental Health Support and Suicide Prevention Youth with physical and mental health disorders are at an increased risk of not graduating from high school, at an increased risk for suicide, and can carry the disorders into adulthood, creating lifelong issues for themselves and their families. Mental health issues can include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations. Physical issues can include eating disorders, physical abuse, self-harm, and obesity. We are seeing suicidal thoughts and even completed suicides at rates we should not have.
Project Success & Alumni Programming Most at-risk youth do not see higher education or a career as something that is available to them. Many are the first in their families to graduate from high school. Project Success is designed to remove barriers to college access and careers by providing individual/group counseling, crisis intervention, field trips to area colleges/universities to experience real college campuses, visits to businesses and industries, and assistance with SAT/ACT testing, college applications, financial aid and scholarship application. CIS alumni and trained alumni leaders participate in a leadership program that includes camping in the Texas wilderness with the goal of mentoring incoming CIS college freshmen. With 6 in 10 Texas students economically disadvantaged (www.idra.org) post-secondary education and/or workforce readiness skills are the ticket to a brighter future. CIS and Project Success gives kids who have had no hope…hope. We strive to understand the at-risk student, their barriers to success, the uncertainty they face, and what is working in the field that propels them into marketable careers.