Who We Are
Founded on the national-level more than 30 years ago, Communities In School is the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization. Twice voted by Worth Magazine as “one of the 100 top charities most likely to save the country” and recognized by Time magazine in its 2010 Annual National Service issue, Communities In Schools provides "wrap-around" services in an affordable, sustainable way. By bringing caring adults into public schools to address children’s unmet needs, teachers are free to teach and students – many in jeopardy of dropping out – are free to focus on learning. In Washington, DC, Communities In Schools of the Nation’s Capital was recognized in the 2008-09 Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington as "one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington region."
Communities In Schools, also known as CIS, is built on the concept that students can and will achieve academically when resources to address their academic and social service needs are tailored, coordinated, and accessible at the school. CIS believes that every child will flourish if five basic needs are met. At CIS of the Nation’s Capital, we do this by:
- Providing a personal relationship with a caring adult by coordinating mentors from the community, tutors, and parental involvement programs;
- Providing a safe place to learn and grow by partnering with programs like Boys and Girls Club, connecting conflict resolution programs and anger management, and connecting neighborhood policing efforts at schools
- Providing a healthy start and a healthy future by coordinating mental health, volunteer medical, dental and vision care, drug and alcohol education, and support for teen parents programs;
- Brokering tools to build marketable skills to use upon graduation like tech training programs, career counseling and employment skills, and college prep and scholarship information;
- Offering a chance to give back to peers and community by groups like Youth Service America and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
CIS of the Nation’s Capital delivers, through a school-based resource coordinator, interventions that improve student achievement by connecting students with community resources to meet their academic and social service needs.
Nationally, CIS works with approximately 3,200 public schools through 193 local affiliates and 14 state offices. Annually, CIS mobilizes 65,000 volunteers who donate more than 3 million hours of volunteer service. Additionally, more than 2 million young people in 26 states and the District of Columbia have access to integrated student support services through CIS.
CIS of the Nation’s Capital partners with 5 schools in Ward 8, Ferebee-Hope Elementary, Garfield Elementary, Hart Middle, Johnson Middle, and Kramer Middle. The organization’s work at these three schools is funded by District of Columbia Public Schools and corporations.
The organization is also contracted by the District of Columbia Public Schools to partner with Cardozo High School at Meyer and Shaw Middle at Garnet-Patterson in Ward 1.
As Bill Milliken, founder of CIS has said, “The long-term sustainability of this city – and our nation – is tied to the success of the public school system. We all have a stake in this."