$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.

Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for people around the world to stand together in unity⁠—to use their individual power of generosity to remain connected and heal. People can show their generosity in a variety of ways during GivingTuesday⁠—whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes, every act of generosity counts. At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone the power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on.

This Giving Tuesday, we invite you to give a moment of your time and send a note of encouragement to a student. Our students and families need us now more than ever. The pandemic is constantly changing how our students learn and they need our help and support now more than ever. Please send a note of encouragement to social@ciskids.org and we will make sure your note is delivered to a student.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Tori Simmons
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Communities In Schools Expands Services for Schools Statewide
The expansion follows the nonprofit seeing increased demand for schools and students

 

COLUMBUS, OHIO (October 15, 2020) — Today, Communities In Schools of Central Ohio announced that it will be expanding to provide services and programs to schools across the state of Ohio. As a result, the nonprofit is rebranding its name to Communities In Schools of Ohio (CIS) to better align with the expansion.

CIS is a nonprofit organization that works with public schools and charter schools to help students remain in school and achieve academic success. The expansion follows an increased demand for the nonprofit’s services to reduce non-academic barriers, address inequities, and support social-emotional needs. These challenges have been significantly underscored by increased needs as the state navigates the pandemic.

“Nationally, K-12 students are disengaged and dropping out of school at alarming rates, which has been exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic” said Amy Gordon, Executive Director at CIS. “By expanding to reach students outside of Central Ohio, we’re helping Ohio’s students find the resources to stay in school and increase their chances for long-term success.”

The expansion includes a presence in communities such as Dayton and the Cleveland area. In the 2020-2021 school year, CIS will serve 37 schools across five communities in Ohio. This is a 185% increase from (serving 13 schools in one community in) the 2016-2017 school year.

In the 2019-2020 school year, CIS served more than 13,000 students and 4,500 parents in 27 schools across the state. The nonprofit, with its team of 41 full-time school site coordinators, has seen 83% of its focus students improve in academics, 71% improve in attendance, and 99% of CIS students stay in school.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, CIS has seen an increase in needs including access to technology for online school, basic “necessities such as food, housing and daily supplies, as well as a significant increase in social-emotional and mental health supports.

For more information about Communities In Schools of Ohio, visit ciskids.org.