CIS celebrates 25 years of serving Northeast Texas students
Communities In Schools of Northeast Texas (CIS) is proud to announce its 25th anniversary as Northeast Texas’ leading dropout prevention program. At a time when one in three high school freshmen are at risk of not graduating, Communities In Schools has achieved 25 years of success in helping students stay in school and prepare for a successful future. CIS will commemorate the occasion with a number of public education and promotional events throughout the next week.
The week of celebration will kick off with a Community Appreciation Luncheon with keynote speaker Representative Bryan Hughes. In addition, Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe will present Cultivating a Passion for Excellence for area high school aged young men. CIS will also host the annual SMART Girls event for sixth-eighth grade young women interested in SMART (Science, Math And Related Technologies) careers. There will be an open community forum for area educators, parents and others interested in our students’ success. A Matter of Degree will take place at Chapel Hill ISD April 10from 4:30-5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this informative discussion about the state of education in our modern world.
In Texas, CIS is administered by the Texas Education Agency and is the largest dropout prevention program in the state. On a local level, CIS of Northeast Texas provides intensive, case-managed services to more than 3,000 students in at-risk situations throughout the Northeast Texas Community College (NTCC) service district annually.
“My family can’t say thank you enough for all CIS has done for us. We tried for eight years to get our papers and then CIS stepped in and helped us through the process,” Paola Zuniga, a student at Chapel Hill High School, said. “After all those years of waiting and waiting I am a citizen of the USA!”
In addition, CIS provides activities and events that reach approximately 8,000 more students in the districts served. These activities include college readiness workshops, career fairs, drug/substance abuse awareness activities, Veterans’ Day celebrations and other intergenerational activities, service learning, and much more.
Donna Echols, CIS Coordinator at Pittsburg Primary School, noted that one of her favorite CIS moments involved taking a student to the eye doctor.
“As we rode back to the school after he received his glasses he was looking around excitedly and said ‘wow, I can see the leaves on the trees’,” Echols said.
The CIS program is an in-school, multi-disciplinary approach to increase each student participant’s opportunity to be successful in school by increasing the stay in school rate and improving attendance, academic performance, and behavior. The program encompasses and encourages partnerships with federal, state and local social service agencies, as well as private and community based organizations, colleges, the private business sector, the community, churches, and public schools. CIS programs promote and facilitate the coordinated delivery of existing health, social, education, community, and other support services on elementary, middle school, and secondary campuses for the benefit of young people and their families.
For more information about Communities In Schools and how you can get involved, please contact Melody Henry at 903-434-8148.