Children & Youth,
Children & Youth Services,
Mission: The mission of Communities In Schools of Houston (CIS) is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS is based on the belief that programs don’t change people—relationships do! CIS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has served at-risk students in the Houston area since 1979.
CIS places a full-time social service provider on the school campus to deliver a variety of services such as supportive guidance and counseling, academic enhancement as well as connecting students and their families with community resources tailored to fit their needs. Whether a child needs someone to talk to, tutoring, a trip to the dentist, school supplies, eye glasses, or a safe place to live, CIS is there to help. Last year, CIS provided over 12,000 referrals to over 200 local agencies to meet the wide-ranging needs of CIS students and their families. CIS believes that when basic needs are met, students can concentrate on learning.
By providing students with a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, a safe place to learn and grow, a healthy start and a healthy future, a marketable skill to use upon graduation and a chance to give back to peers and the community, CIS has become the nation's leading dropout prevention organization and the only one proven to both decrease dropout rates and increase graduation rates.
Results: CIS is excited to report results from the 2011/2012 school year:
• 98 percent of caseload students in grades 7 through 12 stayed in school;
• 94 percent of eligible seniors graduated;
• 96 percent of students targeted showed marked improvement in academics, attendance, and/or behavior; and
• 92 percent of caseload students were promoted to the next grade level. (A new measure added in 2010/2011)
Almost 30,000 students were reached with over 254,000 hours of services. Additionally, 70,108 students attended 1,524 CIS-sponsored large group events such as career fairs, college awareness days, and drug awareness activities among other group activities.
Target demographics: The majority of CIS students face seemingly insurmountable economic, language, and cultural barriers that can make learning extremely difficult. A full 95 percent of CIS students receive some kind of public assistance. Nearly all CIS students are members of ethnic or racial minorities. Sixty-seven percent of CIS students are Hispanic/Latino, 28 percent are African American, one percent is Asian, and three percent are Caucasian. CIS youth are the students at greatest risk of dropping out of school (Texas Education Agency Academic Excellence Indicator System 2008/2009). CIS targets areas of the city with predominately low-income and minority populations to empower at-risk children to graduate from high school and succeed in life.
Direct beneficiaries per year: During the 2011/2012 school year, over 70,000 students were touched by CIS services, with almost 30,000 students receiving a minimum of one-time services and 4,456 receiving intensive case management services.
Geographic areas served: Aldine, Alief, Houston, and Spring Branch Independent School Districts, several charters, three Boys and Girls Clubs, and two community college campuses.
Programs: Dropout Prevention Case management services are provided to students by a caring adult to provide the support at-risk students need to graduate from high school and develop a plan for their lives.
CIS Mental Health Initiative - links at-risk students to school-based mental health counseling, which is provided by CIS mental health professionals or community partners, including DePelchin Children's Center, Family Services of Greater Houston, Houston Galveston Institute, and Montrose Counseling Center. Community Partners provide licensed mental health professionals who counsel students on the school campus.
Project MOVE (Mobile Operations Vehicle for Everybody)
CIS established Project MOVE in 1997 to help improve the health, well-being, and access to oral care of our students. During 2010-2011, Project MOVE provided free basic dental services, referrals for major restorative work, and coordination of oral health educational activities to more than 1,800 children.
CIS Summer Youth and Employment Program
CIS offers this program every year, providing CIS high school juniors and seniors with summer internships and employment at some of Houston's finest law firms, accounting firms, hospitals, banks, universities, museums, and retail establishments. In 2011, The Houston Bar Association (HBA) and Communities In Schools Houston (CIS) partnered together for the 2011 HBA/CIS Summer Legal Internship Program, giving close to 50 students the chance to partake in this experience.