Backpack Giveaways and Finland Elementary School

 Dear Friends,

Communities In Schools is looking forward to the start of another amazing school year!

In July, CIS of Central Ohio was one of four organizations selected globally to participate in Global Impact Day 2017. Thanks to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Break A Difference for their work recruiting and coordinating employee volunteers. They provided us with a valuable in-kind donation of over 1400 filled backpacks! 

CIS coordinated the first handout of backpacks that same day in partnership with Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services to 100 students from our schools who attended their summer camp.  

CIS of Central Ohio was the only US non-profit selected as partner recipient for this effort.  

CIS also received 546 backpacks from the Fennessy/Harden Backpack Project; enabling CIS of Central Ohio to distribute 1946 total backpacks to our students this year!

According to the Huntington Backpack Index, for the 2017-2018 school year, parents can expect to pay $662-$1489 per child for school supplies and extracurricular activities; gratefully, these donations make a huge dent in the budgets of families in Central Ohio.  

Spotlight Series: Watch D.O.G.S. at Finland Elementary

Dads are getting involved at Finland Elementary School!

The Watch D.O.G.S Dad program at Finland Elementary School was a huge success thanks to the efforts of school staff and Kira Shade-Ray, Finland’s full-time CIS Site Coordinator.  The goals of the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program are:

  • To provide positive male role models for the students, demonstrating that education is important by their presence in the schools
  • To provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce bullying.

Watch D.O.G.S. are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other father-figures who volunteer for at least one day each year at an official WATCH D.O.G.S. school.

At Finland, Kira launched the program with a pizza party; inviting father-figures to the school to learn about the program, get their free t-shirts, and sign up for days to join their kids at school!

“There is so much excitement in the school when we have a Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer spending the day with us.  The volunteer starts the day in their child’s classroom, then travels around to other classrooms.  The kids LOVE seeing the dads in the lunchrooms.  The kids all want their dads to come so they can meet their friends.” 

Kira always takes a picture of the dad and student(s), who wear matching Watch D.O.G.S. t-shirts, and puts them up on the Wall of Fame to inspire other dads to join the fun.  

Our long term goal is to have a dad in school everyday.

Kira has also started a 4th Grade and 8th Grade Reading Buddies partnership with Finland Middle School this school year, and plans to reinstate and grow both programs in the 2017-2018 school year. 

Through our amazing community partnerships, we are empowering students to stay in school and achieve MORE!  Thank you so much for your continued support!
Amy Gordon,

Executive Director

Communities In Schools of Central Ohio