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Communities In Schools of Houston, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, Educational 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.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've worked for Communities in Schools for two years are and the agency has a awesome reputation because of the amazing superheros that work within it! I have learned and challenge myself daily to try and do more to help the youth and families I serve at my school. Its a great opportunity to still feel cared about even though it continues to grow!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have served on the CIS Houston Board for 10 years. Yesterday I happened to visit one of the high school sites and spoke to the project manager. Just in the past 24 hours she had met with and assisted dozens of youth. She had been at a mental health agency at 7 a.m. yesterday to meet with a 19 year old former drop out to try to assist her in getting medication for her on going depression. The staff of CIS have a deep passion for what they are doing. I am always amazed at how each and every one of them can continue this very difficult work. CIS Houston has a management staff that is excellent and I know that every monetary contribution that we give is used wisely. When the office receptionist gives a monetary contribution to the organization, you know the commitment of each and every employee.

16 AllisonGower

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Communities in Schools Houston for about five years. I serve on the Marketing committee, working with staff to help raise awareness for the program. In that role I have been able to participate in many outreach programs at the schools served by CISH and to interact with students and staff in the greater Houston area. At every event it is apparent that the organization is truly a safety net and lifeline for students and their families. The staff works tirelessly to make sure that the needs of children are addressed so they can focus on school work, and the outcomes are amazing. I have been at events where students who were homeless or sometimes even worse have outlined how the CIS case-worker helped them with solutions and provided all types of support with the result that he or she was able to study, graduate and apply successfully to college. This organization works behind the scenes to make sure that children get support so they can stay in school and therefore be prepared for a successful life.