On Giving Tuesday, November 28, Communities In Schools of Ohio (CIS of Ohio) will screen the documentary, The Push. This documentary was created by our CIS National Office to illustrate the work of our Site Coordinators who are in schools every day, helping students overcome the barriers they face. The Push follows the story of CIS of Atlanta student, Ja-Mez and his relationship with his Site Coordinator, and how his Site Coordinator impacted his social emotional development, decision making skills, and ultimately his future plans. We hope you’ll join us and members of our community to support the documentary and engage with the panel discussion that will follow. Movie theater style refreshments will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there – please sign up using Eventbrite. If you have questions, please e-mail the us at development@ciskids.org. Watch the trailer for The Push here.

The Columbus Foundation held The Big Table on Wednesday, October 11. This is an annual event where the city comes together and holds multiple community-wide conversations at various locations on various topics.

CIS of Ohio partnered with City Year Columbus to host a Big Table conversation about educational equity.  Our CEO, Amy Gordon along with City Year’s Executive Director, Adero Robinson, facilitated the discussion.

Click here to learn more about The Big Table via The Columbus Foundation.

We want to thank everyone who attended our Big Table event, and hope you enjoyed participating in the conversation.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Communities In Schools of Ohio (CIS of Ohio) has more than doubled in size, and expanded to serve students in the following six (6) regions throughout the State of Ohio: Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Youngstown and Cleveland.

This Back to School Season, Communities In Schools of Ohio is joyfully expanding into nine (9) additional schools in the Cleveland area. The new schools that our team in Northern Ohio will serve are predominantly in the Garfield Heights and Cleveland Heights-University Heights school districts in addition to Flex High School (Cleveland) and Green Inspiration Academy.

We are grateful for the leadership of Regional Director of Programs and Partnerships for Northern Ohio, Alyson Nobles, and her rapidly expanding team.

Currently, we are hiring for Program Manager and Site Coordinator roles in the Cleveland area. If either of those roles sound like you, start the application process today by visiting our Careers tab. We can’t wait to see if your skill set aligns with our program needs.

Communities In Schools of Ohio partnered with The Columbus Foundation for a Better Together project to equip our students for education. Thank you to those who helped stock our in-school resource rooms with items like uniform separates, school supplies, toiletries, and nonperishable food. Our goal was to raise funds towards stocking existing resource rooms and creating new ones. That way, our resource rooms would be fully stocked and ready to go by this time of year, when students are returning to their classrooms for the fall.Better Together projects are opportunities provided by The Columbus Foundation for all of us to improve our community, together. The needs are immediate and the solutions are smart. Let’s make the Columbus region better together. Thank you again for helping us equip our students for education. You can learn more about CIS of Ohio’s Better Together Project here, even though it has ended: https://cbusfdn.org/equipped-for-education, and please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have to: development@ciskids.org

At Emerson Academy, one of the K-8 grade schools CIS serves in the Dayton area, the Site Coordinator cultivates relationships with donors in the community. This holiday season, the Site Coordinator encouraged local donors to sponsor families at Emerson Academy for Christmas. A very generous donor fulfilled an entire wish list for a family with two children. They received clothing, toys, a remote-control truck, and many other goodies! Our CIS Site Coordinators often go the extra mile by building relationships with community partners to augment what they are able to do to support students in-schools during the day. The image below shows some of the gifts that these CIS students received.

Communities In Schools of Ohio is honored to be the Change for Charity recipient for July and August at Easton Town Center. During these two months, CIS-Ohio will receive a portion of the parking meter proceeds and ticket revenues generated at Easton. Visit Easton and park at a street meter to support work our to remove barriers that prevent students from reaching their full potential!

We are very proud of all of our students, especially since they have had to overcome unprecedented hurdles these last two years with schools closing, online learning happening and the typical school day disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to congratulate all of our graduates and wish them well in their future endeavors.

One of our students, London B., from Columbus Briggs High School, received academic support before the pandemic from CIS Coordinator, now Program Director Christina Colon. Though London missed being involved in band and track when her school district turned to online learning in 2020, she couldn’t see her friends from school in person until just recently as she participated in a BlendED option for her senior year. However, that did not stop her from excelling in the classroom. London kept in touch with Ms. Colon through email. London’s hard work during a trying time paid off as she was inducted into the National Honor Society and received so many college scholarships that she had to turn two of them down!

London will be attending Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, in the fall. She plans to major in psychology and Spanish while participating in the marching band! London overcame many obstacles in high school and is an excellent example of the positive impact Communities in Schools Ohio has on students.

London is featured in a June 3 article in The Columbus Dispatch about seniors reflecting on their high school experiences during the pandemic. You can read her section of the article below.


$2 Million Donation from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Will Deepen Organization’s Impact in Ohio Schools

Columbus, OH (February 3, 2022) – Communities In Schools of Ohio (CIS), the local affiliate of the national organization, working to ensure every student, regardless of race, zip code or history of marginalization has what they need to succeed in school and beyond, today announced it has received an unprecedented gift of $2 million.

This gift is part of a transformative $133.5 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to the Communities In Schools Network and National Office. In addition to the CIS National Office, 40 affiliates of the 110 organizations in the CIS Network were also direct recipients of the MacKenzie Scott donation.

In a time when the global pandemic has created unparalleled challenges for students and families, including experiences of social isolation, economic crisis, stress, and trauma, this investment will help CIS of Ohio to carry out its cause to build sustainable systems of support for the students and families that would otherwise be left behind. An investment in CIS to use its model and evidence base to help students overcome obstacles to learning is tremendous fuel for impact, infrastructure and the people working inside schools. However, it does not change the reality of the continued work ahead and the public and private partnership that must remain true.

“This donation will allow us to expand our much-needed services to more students in our state,” said Amy Gordon, CEO of CIS Ohio, which currently serves 21,873 students in 34 schools across Ohio. “As we continue to see the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and their families, the funds could not have come at a better time.”

For almost 30 years, CIS of Ohio has demonstrated measurable success in student outcomes. In the 2019-2020 school year, 79% of the students showed improved attendance, with 92% percent of K-11 students being promoted to the next grade and 93% of seniors graduating or receiving a GED.

“CIS Ohio will appoint a board committee to ensure that all existing and new programming added through the donation will be sustainable and deliver targeted outcomes,” said Gordon. “There are many more students to serve and effective, expanded services to provide. We must be able to serve students now and in the future.”

CIS believes that transformative relationships are crucial to unlocking a student’s potential. The school-based staff works inside schools in partnership with teachers and parents to help address the non-academic needs of students. CIS coordinates with schools and local service providers to meet the needs of students and families and provide critical resources, like food, housing, health care, counseling, access to remote technology and more so that students (and educators) can focus on academics. By identifying the points of a challenge for students in their personal lives, CIS staff helps to empower students to move beyond the barriers they face in the school building and the community.

“Today is an important day for students who are underserved, under-resourced, and in need of supports to build a brighter future,” said Rey Saldaña, President and CEO of Communities In Schools. “This unrestricted gift allows us to combat the inequities in public education and reimagine the way schools operate and show up for all students. Our national goal is to bring our model inside of every one of the 70,000 Title I-eligible schools in the country; currently, we operate in 3,000 schools – so we still have a long way to go, and we will need ongoing support to get there.”

Welcoming Stambaugh Charter Academy to CIS

We are pleased to announce the addition of Stambaugh Charter Academy – a National Heritage Academy school – to Communities In Schools of Ohio.  Stambaugh, located in Youngstown, Ohio, joins the growing network of schools partnering with CIS of Ohio.  Since 1993, CIS of Ohio has provided a proven, evidence-based model of coordinating a comprehensive range of community services. CIS works in tandem with schools to establish an integrated student supports model, surrounding students and their families with a system of caring adults that keep students on the path to graduation.

National Heritage Academies is a network of 90+ public charter schools serving more than 60,000 students in 9 states. Their early childhood, elementary, and middle school programs are designed to put children on a solid path to success in high school, college, and beyond. As a network, all National Heritage Academies schools share a common vision, while each individual school enjoys the flexibility of tailoring their program to meet the needs of their specific community.

Click here to learn more about who we serve and our partner schools.

This holiday season, you can help support students beyond the classroom. Here’s how you can help:

Make A Donation

Your financial donations get to work right away for students in Ohio who are struggling.

Donate Items
CIS is collecting toys, holiday meal items, shelf-stable foods, and clothing.

We are also planning to collect and distribute academic and enrichment activity bags to students at all grade levels to help keep them academically engaged and learning while schools are remote and shut down.

Contact us to make a physical donation of items.