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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Communities In Schools of Greater Central Texas, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, Educational Services, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy

Mission: The mission of Communities In Schools (CIS) of Greater Central Texas, Inc. is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Results: CIS exists to help at-risk students improve in academics, attendance, and/or behavior; and ultimately to stay in school and graduate. Goal 1: Increase student achievement and decrease dropout rates Objectives: Accomplished • Provide high quality training for our staff to more effectively reach and serve at-risk youth (ongoing) • Provide services utilizing the CIS Six Components (ongoing) • Cultivate relationships with current and potential school districts (ongoing) Not Yet Accomplished • Expand services (Expansion is always contingent upon district budgets and buy-in) Goal 2: Enhance collaboration Objectives: Accomplished: • Increased the number of partnerships and collaborations • Providing training for our Board of Director's on how they can help achieve CIS goals (ongoing) • Encouraging and training our Board of Director's to initiate new collaborations in local area (ongoing) Not yet accomplished: • Network with all untapped community resources to generate needed support and partnerships (ongoing) • Increase program awareness utilizing local media to our satisfaction (ongoing) Goal 3: Improve financial stability Accomplished: • Pursue grant funding from private and public sources, organizations and agencies (ongoing) • Increase financial reserve to prepare for unexpected challenges (fluctuates depending on current funding) Not yet accomplished: • Increase number of committed long-term funding sources (the most challenging obstacle) • Recruit and maintain influential and community-connected board members (also a challenge) Being a nonprofit agency, we know that funding is always a concern. We may or may not be able to have the desired number of staff to accomplish our goals. Therefore, flexibility is a must. At times, it becomes necessary to reassess goals and strategies and adjust accordingly. In doing so, we are able to accomplish our mission despite the obstacles and challenges we face.

Target demographics: surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5,328 students

Geographic areas served: Killeen, Temple, Belton, Copperas Cove, and Salado ISDs

Programs: CIS couples academic support with social service coordination to help at-risk youth overcome the most challenging obstacles to their growth and achievement. Our purpose is to improve student achievement, decrease the dropout rate, and increase the graduation rate in the school districts we serve. Students can be referred into the CIS program by teachers, school administrators, CIS staff, and parents. Once a child is referred, the CIS Site Coordinator will conduct a thorough needs assessment on the student and create an intensive individual case management plan designed to address and remove all obstacles which hinder success in school. Additionally, the Site Coordinators work diligently to establish and maintain partnerships with community service providers to coordinate the delivery of needed resources to students and families. These resource providers include social service agencies, health and mental healthcare providers, local food pantries, and vision and dental care providers. The Site Coordinators also provide students with one-on-one support and assistance in academics, social skills and self-esteem development, dealing with bullying, anger management, job search, money management, community involvement, college/career readiness, and enrichment activities. Services to the student include the following six components in the CIS Case Management Model: 1) Supportive Guidance and Counseling - CIS provides individual, group, and family guidance, as well as crisis intervention to address student needs. 2) Academic Support - Long and short term tutoring services as well as other academic support is provided for students experiencing academic difficulty, especially in core subjects. 3) Parent and Family Engagement - One important objective of Communities In Schools is to involve all parents in active participation in program activities. 4) Enrichment Activities - To enhance student development, students are offered opportunities to participate in educational and cultural events, workshops, field trips, and incentive recreational activities. 5) Health and Human Services Coordination - This component addresses health and human services as well as actual referrals to other agencies. These resources are provided at no cost to students and families. 6) College and Career Readiness – Communities In Schools provides job training skills to increase opportunities for getting and keeping a job. CIS also works with businesses and agencies to secure jobs for needy students and even parents. College and career awareness activities begin in elementary grades and continue until graduation to introduce students to as many opportunities as possible. The activities outlined above encourage academic excellence, promote positive self-esteem, stress community involvement, and provide growth opportunities for students and families. In our experience, the students in our communities are struggling to stay in school while dealing with some very adult problems: hunger, poverty, homelessness, and crisis in the home. Once these basic needs are met, students can turn their attention and energy to school. This ultimately leads to academic success and higher achievement in school and in life. CIS, with the support of the community, has worked hard to meet the needs of students and families through the implementation of our case management model. Our program is consistently a huge success, with 5,229 at-risk youth served in 2017-18 with the following outcomes: 94% improved in academics, behavior, and/or attendance, 97% were promoted 99.7% stayed in school 96.6% of eligible high school seniors graduated 97.5% received valuable social services. There are many factors which contribute to our strength, success, and ability to deliver: CIS Core Values, an evidence-based, comprehensive CIS Case Management Model, a well trained and professional staff, Board of Directors who are passionate about our program’s mission and the children we serve, governance by our CIS State Office and the Texas Education Agency (TEA), committed funding sources who know and appreciate the value of CIS, and a wide range of strategic partnerships which strengthen our ability to meet the needs of students and families.

Community Stories

44 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Communities in School, the place that umbrellas security, humbleness, and a direction of guidance towards success. Coming from California the schools had no structure to the finishline; you see one student in and ten students dropping out. Employed here in KISD and witnessing stability and structure to the finishline is admirably astounding, most especially with significant help from C.I.S. Communities in School a name and meaning in its own title. Thank you C.I.S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Communities In Schools for over 6 years now and I can assure anyone who reads the negative comment left, EVERYTHING stated is false! Communities In Schools falls under the United Way umbrella, therefore we are asked to please donate to United Way (a fantastic organization), if possible. The United Way pays a massive portion of our salary so what little we give (as low as $5 or as high as you wish) is paid back to us more than one-hundred fold. As a case manager I am offended at the implication that we would lie to fulfill a grant. We work and go to great lengths to serve our students and their families. Grants actually allow us to serve more students and families especially those who serve. For anyone to lie on a grant this is not only morally wrong but illegal and you WILL be caught. So if you were the one that did try to get out of helping students by lying and got fired you have no right to be disgruntled, great shame on you!

Client Served

Rating: 1

This a very corrupt agency!!! It forces it's employees to donate from payroll to United Way. It forces employees to go beg for money to hold a golf tournament which is just a lie to gain more funding. It forces it's employees to lie about grants and funding just to secure money for students who are not crime victims nor homeless. Please do not sign your children up To be in communities in schools of Greater Central Texas!!! You regret you did.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work for a company that serves several school districts. It's nice to be able to support one organization that serves all kids that need help, and not just one district's students leaving out another district. I have found the people at CIS are very easy to work with from a business in the community. There are so many ways to support education, kids and schools, but personally I feel that Communities in Schools is doing what's best for the greater good.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Communities in Schools serves a population that otherwise would fall through the cracks of education. having been an at-risk child myself, I know that having communities in schools would have made a world of difference. I appreciate the mission and goals of Communities in Schools and hope they are around for a long time.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served on the board and the executive board of the Communities In Schools of Greater Central Texas, Inc. for the past two years. It is an outstanding non-profit organization that has a life-changing impact on many of our students. I would highly recommend Communities In Schools to other school districts and to individuals that want to volunteer or donate to a non-profit organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I became a staff member for Communities in Schools in 2001. Throughout the years, I have seen tangible progress with students that have been enrolled in our program. Students come to rely on CIS staff for assistance. They learn many life skills not ordinarily taught in a classroom.

Many families who have been new to our school district, and have enrolled their students in a school with CIS, have commented how smoothly the transition for their student was with the help of CIS. Often, students enroll afraid and anxious, and CIS gives them the guidance they need to make their school transfer as painless as possible.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Communities in Schools is housed in public schools and serves students and families in many areas. School staff and administrators rely heavily on CIS and many students in the schools are involved. Students and families receive health and human services, supportive guidance, career/college awareness, educational enhancement, enrichment activities and CIS involves parents in all of their services and activities. Our school believes that CIS is as important as teachers, because CIS teachs skills and assists in ways that teacher cannot.

Board Member

Rating: 4

CIS is a great resource for meeting the basic needs of kids in the place that they spend the majority of their time......SCHOOL. I am thankful for the opportunity to assist CIS because I know firsthand that my efforts are helping children who are truly in need of basic necessities.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Serving as a Board Member to Communities in Schools - Greater Central Texas, Inc. has been an honor and privilege. The administrative staff are passionate and dedicated to the well-being of students in all of the school districts in Central Texas (Temple, Belton, Killeen, Copperas Cove, Cameron, Florence and Salado...etc.). The CIS staff in Temple ISD is second to none and give their best everyday to improve the lives of students who need an extra boost so they may succeed in school. Education, safety and improving the esteem of students is evident in the number of students served and with the positive attitudes and smiles that are shown from students when they are with CIS staff members. Thank you for your service to our children.

1 Cyd W.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a founding board member of the local Communities in Schools I have seen the program grow from infancy to a thriving organization. The positive effect on the lives of children, educational professionals, the community and our staff has been amazing. The program is a staple in the school districts we serve and the community as a whole counts on Communities in Schools to be the "stop gap" wherever and whenever needed. The wholistic approach toward helping at-risk youth has led to partnerships with other non-profits, local businesses and volunteer organizations. CIS is vital to not only the educational piece of our community, but to quality of life for many chldren and families throughout the districts our program serves.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I was a CIS student during my JR high years. Through the years I've seen the program expand and help students and their families. I've personally been fortuante to work with this organization closely and everyone is great. They really have a heart for there students and the students really rely on them.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was a member of CIS in Jr. High, and I can truly say that being apart of an organization that cared about me and my well being was very special. At that age it is so easy to drift into groups or clicks that are negative. CIS was a place where I could go and involve myself with different activities, before, during, and even afterschool. It gave me a place in school where I felt I belonged. Now I have the opportunity to work for CIS and I strive everyday to make another young person feel the same way. Donate to CIS! It truly changes lives!

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a former elementary principal and a current CIS board member, I am well aware of the importance of having a one-on-one student-to-adult relationship at the campus level. One of my elementary teachers credits CIS with getting her high school son to graduate by providing an adult who ensured that her son made it to class and was not tardy as often as he had been previously.

More recently, I have worked as a Technical Assistance Provider at high schools which have not made Adequate Yearly Progress. Each of the two schools has exited AYP; CIS was one of many components of the safety net for students that helped these schools succeed in another city.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Communities in Schools has been an anchor for struggling children in the Bell - Coryell Counties for many years. This program has given many At Risk students a positive role model to immulate. The counselors are very adept to help kids under their caseloads succeed and improve in academics/behavior/ and attendance. The program gives children a CHANCE to be successful not only now, but as adults. I've had the pleasure of watching this program change students' lives as a principal and now as a board member. They are the "wick" of each child's candle to shine!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Communities In School (CIS) wears many hats within the specific school. Not only does CIS provide guidance to students who do not have someone with a listening ear, but they also provide basic needs to the students, including food, clothes, and hygiene products. CIS works with students individually in determining attainable and realistic goals for their lives that will enable them to become productive members of society. Whether the goals are to attend college or enter the workforce, CIS is there to assist the students achieve their goals and help the students understand their fullest potential.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Communities in Schools is a wonderful organization that helps children and their families every day. The roles they fill in the schools and communities are roles that can be filled by no other. They go above and beyond when there is a child in need and they do so with a loving, caring heart.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I have been employed with CIS for 14 years now and have seen the program grow and flourush within the public school sector!
The program is very instrumental and effective in meeting and bridging the gaps our students deal with on a daily basis. CIS has proudly become the "meat and potatoes" for the families we service. The program, for many, is the lifeline of hope that culminates with graduaiton from High School and preparedness for their futures!
I am proud to say that CIS has made a major differnce in the lives of many children! I am proud to say that God has blessed us all who call CIS their job. He has blessed us with the chance to make a difference!!!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Communities in Schools is a wonderful organization that fills a real void in our school. We have approximately 600 students and only two guidance counselors. Kelly Brooks from CIS is always available to help counsel kids, provide needed school supplies, and to listen to students when they just need someone to show they care. Kelly always seems to have the time and the patience needed to give children a chance to truly open up to her. She is closest to our kids who need her the most - the kids who can slip into the cracks or those who only see failure in their future. She knows all her students by name and truly cares about them and their future. We have a great working relationship. I was here one year without CIS and 8 years with it. The difference was night and day. We can now serve many more emotionally and physically needy students because we have CIS.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Communities in Schools is a valuable program which provides supportive guidance for at risk students and their families. The program allows the students a positive, caring on campus role model. The staff ensures the students learn valuable life lessons which help them succeed and stay in school.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Communities In Schools is a program like no other. It provides students an opportunity to succeed and live life to its full potential. Communities In Schools provides an array of positive life lesson(s) activities such as Boys and Girls Lunch Groups, Friendship Groups, Anger Management and Problem Solving Skills, Expressions through Arts/Crafts and Book Club; all to help teach and enhance student's self esteem, giving them confidence to bloom freely. Moreover, making each day their masterpiece and becoming a good citizen/ member of the communitiy. Giving a kid a chance is what Communities In Schools acheives and exceeds!