Amy Gordon, Executive Director/CEO, of Communities in Schools of Central Ohio, was recently interviewed on the Columbus Leadership Podcast. It is a regional podcast featuring the stories of diverse leaders in Central Ohio.

Amy leads a team that uses a unique, evidenced based model that positions site coordinators inside schools to assess students’ needs and provide resources to help them succeed in the classroom and in life.

Please watch this video which was filmed for our 2019 Community of Support Breakfast! The stories in this video share the importance of a one on one relationship with a caring adult!

We are proud of our work with students in Central Ohio! Thanks for being a part of the work we do to help kids stay in school and succeed in life!

You can be a part of our work by donating here or filling out the volunteer form on our website!

 

Communities In Schools Holds Annual Community Breakfast of Support:

On Thursday, May 9, 2019 Communities In Schools of Central Ohio held the 2019 Community of Support Breakfast! The morning was filled with inspiring speeches and special guests!

Held at the Fawcett Event Center at The Ohio State University, the room was filled with our biggest supporters, community partners, students we work with and their families!

Attendees enjoyed eating breakfast and listening to our speakers, all the while playing BINGO for Kids! Our staff and volunteers were able to secure over $2000 worth of donations to be won during our BINGO for Kids game! Local organizations such as The Ohio State University, Columbus Children’s Theatre, Kenneth’s Salon, The Columbus Clippers, Ohio State Fair, Piada, City BBQ and more donated to the cause and BINGO cards were sold for $20/card!

Our Keynote Speaker was Roy Hall, Co-Founder and President of the DRIVEN Foundation and former OSU and NFL Football player. Hall encouraged attendees to see every day as a gift and to take time to invest in the lives of the young people around them!

The emcee for the event was Matt Barnes, NBC4 Today anchor and opening comments were given by Paolo DeMaria, Superintendent of Ohio Department of Education.

Special remarks were made by Amy Gordon, Executive Director and C. Reggie Thomas, Communities In Schools of Central Ohio Board Chair. A special presentation was made by Senator Stephanie Kunze. Amy Proctor was awarded Volunteer of the Year and Frederick Parker was named Site Coordinator of the Year!

Throughout the event, we heard from students we work with as well as two principals: Sherry Edwards, Principal of Columbus Africentric Middle School (Columbus City Schools) and Stephanie Baker, Principle of Highland Park Elementary School (South-Western City Schools).

A special thank you goes out to our Empowering Sponsors: Huntington Bank and Nationwide Insurance, our Achieving Sponsors: Columbus City Schools and Steven & Yvette Williams and additional sponsors: Big Lots, Bonnie Holbein, Otterbein University, PNC Bank, Squire Patton Boggs and US Bank.

Thank you to all who attended to make this year’s event a success!

We’re so thankful for our partner, Huntington Bank! They’re committed to helping communities thrive in Central Ohio and one of those ways is by supporting our work at Communities In Schools!

The work of our Communities In Schools site coordinators is challenging, but very rewarding and we can’t do it without the support of our many partners and volunteers!

We have several opportunities to get involved such as: volunteering as a reading buddy to support the 3rd-grade reading guarantee or other students struggling academically, mentoring programs, report card conferences, adopt-a-family food and/or gift donations, monetary support to bring CIS into more schools in need, and much more.

For more information, to donate or to become a volunteer, please contact us at: 614-268-2472 or https://www.ciskids.org/join-us/ .

Communities In Schools was recently featured in an article in The Columbus Dispatch!

This quote from the article so beautifully summarizes what we do in our work inside Central Ohio schools:⁣

“Ultimately, the goal of site coordinators such as Price is to improve attendance, behavior and academic performance. But doing so requires building relationships with students and shattering barriers that often have little to do with school, she said.⁣ Some days, she helps prospective first-generation college students fill out financial-aid forms.⁣ Other days, she connects families with resources to help them overcome poverty, homelessness or medical problems. Or she provides support to students from broken families plagued by drug abuse or violence.⁣ And almost every day, she’s lending an ear with care and concern.”⁣

Click here to open the article in PDF form.

Click here to read the full article on The Columbus Dispatch Website.

 

The Communities In Schools Parent Engagement Program is a Southside prevention and early intervention service, offered as a systematic approach that promote strategies used to build Protective Factors in families:

  • healthy family relationships and mutual support
  • values
  • strengthen parenting
  • strengthen parental social
  • strengthen emotional health
  • facilitate children’s social and emotional development
  • respond to family crises
  • observe and respond to early warning signs of abuse and neglect
  • links families to services and opportunities.

The program helps families establish positive relationships with their children, their communities and their children’s schools, helping them navigate the various systems, and enabling them to be active participants in their children’s education.

We have a Site Coordinator who works with students in schools across the Southside feeder pattern, elementary through high School. Our Site Coordinator identifies the needs of not only students, but their families, and provides or connects services and interventions to address the assessed needs.

We work to empower parents by helping to meet basic needs, overall family needs and the school needs of their children, removing barriers that might prevent them from supporting and assuring the academic success of their children.

Evidenced Based Models Used: The program utilizes the Communities In Schools evidenced based model, the SAMSHA community based model and the SEARCH Institutes Parents Further model utilizing the 40 Developmental Assets for a healthy family and the 40 Developmental Assets for kid’s k-12.

This program is a collaboration and partnership focused on Columbus’ Southside and is funded by the ADAMH Board.

3rd Annual Community of Support Breakfast

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
8:00am – 10:00am
OSU Fawcett Center
2400 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, OH 43210

The CIS Community of Support Breakfast is
more than just an annual fundraiser;
it is an opportunity to RAISE AWARENESS of the needs of struggling students in Central Ohio and to
PROMOTE COLLABORATION within our community
to ensure that
STUDENTS STAY IN SCHOOL AND ACHIEVE IN LIFE

Invite your colleagues, family, friends, and neighbors!
Table and individual seats are available!
Can’t make it that day?
Sponsor another individual to attend this signature
fundraising event!

Help us make a difference in the lives
of Central Ohio youth and their families

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:
Breakfast Buffet
Networking
Keynote Address
Student and Principal Testimonials
and new this year…….
BINGO FOR KIDS!

Communities In Schools of Central Ohio is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your contribution is tax deductible as provided by the law.

Please save the date for our 
3rd Annual Community of Support Breakfast
Tuesday, May 15, 8:00am – 10:00am at the 
OSU Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road 

REGISTER HERE

The Community of Support Breakfast is more than just an annual fundraiser event, it is an opportunity to RAISE AWARENESS of the needs of students in Central Ohio and to PROMOTE COLLABORATION within our community to ensure that every student stays in school and achieves more in life.

The Program highlights include:

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Networking
  • Keynote Address
  • Student Testimonials
  • Video Presentation

Can’t make it that day? Sponsor another individual to attend this signature fundraising event! Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues! Table and individual seats are available!
 
Spotlight Series: Mifflin High School
 
Mifflin High School significantly increases graduation rates!

Mifflin High School, in the 2015-2016 school year, had a graduation rate of around 58%. That school year, Communities In Schools and Site Coordinator Darren Carrington entered the school. The results were staggering; the graduation rate soared to 73% over three years! Darren attributes this success to working as a team and focusing on reaching to achieve their goals in the site plan. 

Now, in his 4th year at Mifflin HS, Darren has taken over 500 students on college visits in Ohio to University of Cincinnati, University of Akron, Ohio Dominican University, Capital University, The Ohio State University, Wright State University, Columbus State, Central State, Otterbein University, and Columbus College of Art and Design. They have averaged 8-10 college visits per year giving the students the opportunity to be exposed to a different culture/climate, and gaining college and career prep experience. 

Darren has created an incentive based College Visit program, in which eligible students must show good attendance, good grades, and no suspensions. It is working! 
Attendance has increased to 86% from 72% over the past three years, and more kids are going to college upon graduation!!! 20 kids from Darren’s caseload have gone to college!

Additionally, Darren has taken advantage of the Columbus City Schools Office of Student Mentoring Initiatives (OSMI), a program that prioritizes mentoring resources and programs. In his time at Mifflin HS, Darren has added several mentoring services that were not there before.

The newest mentoring collaboration is with Doug Williams, former Ohio State Buckeye, who reached out to Darren to focus on freshman boys who have been identified as “at risk” due to maturity and behavioral issues. Mr. Williams meets with these boys on a bi-weekly basis and plans to continue working with these same students for all 4 years of high school.

In the beginning of this school year, a new non-profit, At the Table, brought their T.H.R.I.V.E. mentoring program to Mifflin and it quickly became their largest mentoring group, supporting 29 female students and focusing on empowering young women. For the past 2 years, many students have benefitted from the program offered by Starfish Alliance, which is a trauma informed mentoring group that also has a focus on entrepreneurship.

We are very excited about the impact Communities In Schools has had on attendance and graduation rates at South High School. Thank you so much for your continued support!

Amy Gordon, LSW

Executive Director
Communities In Schools of Central Ohio

Happy Spring,

Please save the date for our annual Community of Support Breakfast, Tuesday, May 15, 8:00am – 10:00am at the OSU Fawcett Center. 
More details to follow soon.

Having just completed my first full year as the Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Central Ohio, I am humbled and amazed at the work our school Site Coordinators do every day to serve their schools and students! They are in the trenches working with homeless studentspregnant and parenting middle and high school students (yes, middle school!), students who have lost one or both parents to drug overdoses, students sleeping on the floor every night because there are no beds in the house, and students who regularly experience trauma – seeing their mom beat up by a boyfriend, watching their best friend being shot, or even just the trauma of not knowing where their next meal will come from when they’re not at school. The challenges so many of our students face is daunting and sometimes hard to believe, yet it is the reality for many young people today. Communities In Schools works to address non-academic barriers, barriers like those mentioned above. The barriers that make it difficult to come to school or to be able to focus on school once they are there. 

In the 2017-2018 school year, CIS of Central Ohio expanded into ten additional schools and two new districts. We increased from serving nine schools with nine full-time Site Coordinators in the 2015-2016 school year to serving twenty-one schools with twenty-two full-time Site Coordinators this school year, that is 144% growth in just two years! While we celebrate our growth, we are also very aware of the reality – the needs of our schools and students are immense and they are struggling! 

Last year our Site Coordinators impacted over 7,300 students and our recent growth has doubled our efforts, expanding our outreach to more than 15,000 students being impacted by the work of CIS. Our Site Coordinators are extremely energetic and caring, and they are passionately engaging services and resources that support the students and families in their schools. 

Consider the following statistics:
·        A high-school dropout is ineligible for 90% of jobs in America.
·        Kids who don’t read proficiently by 4th grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of school.
·        75% of US crimes are committed by a high school dropout
 
99% of our CIS case managed students stayed in school last year!
 
Please join us in supporting students and empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life- we can’t do it without you!
 

Warm Regards,
Amy Gordon, Executive Director, LSW
 
Spotlight Series: “Extraordinary” things are happening at Hamilton Township HS

Communities In Schools is very excited to start partnering with a new district this year, Hamilton Township, and new Site Coordinator Brittany Price is off to an excellent start!

Brittany began by putting together educational information for students and parents at the Parent Teacher Conference nights. This exposed the community to CIS in general and provided families an understanding of what resources are available to them. She also joined the Attendance Committee so she could recognize, firsthand, which students might need assistance with home issues preventing them from being in school.

Brittany also jumped right into providing one-on-one mentoring and resource support for students and families. Brittany collaborated with 2 teachers at Hamilton Township HS and Ohio State Representative Alicia ReeceOhio State Representative Hearcel Craig, and US Congresswoman Joyce Beatty to bring young black males employed in government/legal positions into Hamilton Township to speak to and mentor the students.

“Bringing these legal aides, all who are college grads, 
into the school to speak with our 
students was powerful. These professional had similar lives 
growing up and they really inspired our students to think about what 
their futures could look like.”

Communities in Schools strongly promotes collaboration among our Site Coordinators. As a result, veteran Site Coordinator Darren Carrington, at Mifflin High School, introduced Brittany to a program called “King Me”, within The Extraordinary Gentlemenorganization. A representative from the program, Traci Blaylock comes to the school to meet with and mentor young African American males 4-5 times a month. Other collaboration within the CIS Site Coordinator team has allowed Brittany to easily bring in the LASER program, an initiative at OSU that is a community of students and scholars engaged in expanding the presence of Latinos in higher education. The LASER program is also fully utilized by veteran Site Coordinator Christopher Whiteside at Columbus Global Academy.

In January, Brittany also took students to a career fair at Milo Grogan Community Center sponsored by CareSource. This has empowered students by exposing them to good career choices now and for the future.

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

Dear Friends,

First and foremost, thank you so much for your support during 2017! It has been an exciting year of growth and impact at CIS of Central Ohio. As we continue to support students facing numerous challenges and barriers to their academic and personal success, I am so encouraged by the tremendous impact the CIS Site Coordinators have on the students and schools they support every day! We could not do this work without YOU!

Have a wonderful and peace filled holiday season!

Warm Regards,
Amy Gordon, Executive Director, LSW

Spotlight Series: Stiles Elementary School

Stiles Elementary School celebrates Awesomeness

At Stiles Elementary School, a South-Western City School, students are encouraged, celebrated, and supported through grassroots activities and programs developed by seasoned CIS Site Coordinator Shannon Wealther. Shannon has invested heavily in getting to know the needs of students and families at Stiles, studying research briefs, and working with staff and parents to develop many initiatives that are building kids up at Stiles.

The Awesome Awards were born out of the desire to recognize every student in the school for their growth.

“For many students, the only time their parents were contacted by the 
school was when they were having a problem. We wanted to change
the culture at Stiles so that every parent could come into the school to
celebrate their child’s successes.”

The Awesome Awards happen four times a year, and recognize every single student at Stiles Elementary in two ways. First, each student, encouraged by a growth mindset, fills out an “I am Awesome because………” card which is posted on the school walls. Then, one of the student’s teachers completes a “You’re Awesome because……….” card, which highlights something the student doesn’t see in himself/herself. Parents are invited into the school to celebrate these awards with their child and teacher in the classrooms.

Parents and Teachers United (Padres y Maestros Unidos) is a series of parent education workshops Shannon developed after surveying parents, meeting with staff, and analyzing research briefs. Workshop topics have included

  • Bullying,
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),
  • Internet Safety,
  • Assessment and Grades,
  • Immigration and Citizenship, and
  • Math and Literacy.

These programs have been very well attended, and have touched on many of the areas of stress and hardship for students and parents, giving them the education and support they need to succeed.

Kindness Week became a successful collaboration between Stiles, Youth to Youth and The Ronald McDonald Adventures in which all students were challenged to kindnessgoals and initiatives for an entire week. This week put kindness in the forefront of students’ minds as they practiced giving and receiving kindness from fellow classmates.

In addition to her many grassroots initiatives, Shannon works very closely with students and families in need at Stiles while collaborating with resource partnerships in the central Ohio area, such as providing food at the Fresh Produce Markets, weekly Buddy Bags, and household resources to families in need.

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