CIS of Atlanta students get a taste of college life

Stone Mountain High School students participated in the Atlanta University Center College Tour to visit the campuses of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College on Saturday, March 22.

The 108 high school students heard from a student panel, including a Stone Mountain High alumnus, about college life and were encouraged to pursue post-secondary education.

The field trip was facilitated through the collaboration of Communities In Schools (CIS) of Atlanta school Site Coordinator Terrell Monroe and CIS of Georgia.

Check out students on the tour in the photo gallery:

A CIS partner provides stress-relieving massages for Stone Mountain HS staff

Stone Mountain High School faculty and staff received neck and shoulder massages from Rainbow City Chiropractic as part of teacher appreciation month last week. The free massages were set up by Terrell Monroe, CIS site coordinator at Stone Mountain High School.

Staff members were able to have relaxing moment from the day's hectic schedule and receive health-related advice from Dr. Arthur Matthews. In addition to the obvious benefits for faculty and staff members, students ultimately benefit as well from having teachers who are healthy and relaxed.

Rainbow City Chiropractic's community service event is a program that provides free massages and other health and fitness related consultations for schools and offices throughout the metro-Atlanta area. Matthews also treats patients who suffer from extremity problems such as carpel tunnel and shoulder/knees issues.

Shown below are photos taken at the event.

Stone Mountain High School student progresses to the finals in Atlanta Hawks’ poetry slam contest

Stone Mountain High School 10th-grade student Davonne Nelson is named as a top 15 finalist in the Atlanta Hawks Poetry Slam Contest.

Nelson is in the running to take home the top honor and win various prizes, including a laptop computer, iPad, tablet notebook, autographed Hawks merchandise and much more.

The theme for this year’s contest is “Non-Discrimination, Acceptance and Respect for Others: Why It Matters to You.” All student finalists are encouraged to commit their poems to memory.

A Poetry Slam workshop, scheduled Monday, April 14 at Philips Arena, will feature a local poet and the National Center for Civil & Human Rights. Nelson and fellow high school poets will perform their poems during the Poetry Slam Finals, slated Tuesday, April 22 at Hard Rock Café, located at 215 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30303.

Other Stone Mountain High students that participated in the contest were Shereece Lawrence, Thomas Palmer and Randy Lewis.

Stone Mountain High School site coordinator explores social issues at M.A.L.E.S conference

Stone Mountain High School Site Coordinator Terrell Monroe attended the 2014 M.A.L.E.S. conference, hosted by the DeKalb County District, on Saturday, March 2014 at Martin Luther King High School. The conference was open to males of all ages and focused on encouraging higher levels of academic and career readiness among male students.

M.A.L.E.S (Motivated, Achievers, Leading & Empowering Successfully) consists of various lecture panels that explore social issues pertaining to black masculinity.Saturday's discussions focused on a wide array of topics, including spiritual growth and self-awareness, anger management, single parenthood and self-defense. A few highlighted sessions also focused on strategies that black men could utilize in coping with the demands and stereotypes as perpetuated from the media. These dialogues stressed education and sexuality, the role of juveniles within the judicial system, hip-hop culture and its influence on adolescents, and the biases and social expectations among black men.

CIS of Atlanta helps keep students fed over spring break

Street Grace coordinated with Metro Atlanta churches, organizations, businesses and community volunteers to contribute 1,000 bags of food items to Communities In Schools (CIS) of Atlanta at Brookhaven Christian Church Saturday, March 29.

Of the 10,000 "blessing bags" Street Grace provided, each bag consisted of breakfast, lunch and dinner items for two days, including oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, applesauce, granola bars, water and other nonperishable food items. One thousand students within Fulton and DeKalb county public school systems will be recipients of the donated bags.

“This donation provides love packages to students to let them know there are people that are concerned about them even when they’re not in school. It also is an incentive to stay encouraged, stay focused and get ready to come back after spring break to take the End-of-Course Tests and CRCT,” said Angela Williams, site coordinator at Cedar Grove High School. “More than anything, we realize there are a lot of people out there who are struggling; we don’t know how much we touch them until you give them a bag. It means a lot; it’s giving them a hug.”

CIS of Atlanta site coordinators will distribute the bags Friday, April 4 to students in need, including the following DeKalb County schools: Cedar Grove High School, Clarkston High School, McNair High School, McNair Middle School, Stone Mountain High School and Towers High School. Food items will also be distributed at Fulton County's Hamilton E. Holmes Elementary School (East Point).

UPDATE: Click here for Fox5 News coverage of the food distribution at McNair Middle School.

“It was inter-generational with young people to seniors. It was an awesome experience and I can’t express how touched I was and thankful,” Williams said. “I want to thank Street Grace for taking care of our babies.”

CIS in turn donated 30 bags to the after school program at The Kindezi School, an Atlanta public charter school.

Street Grace is a faith-based organization leading churches, community organizations and individual volunteers on a comprehensive path to end domestic minor sex trafficking in Metro Atlanta and throughout the United States.

Check out photos from Saturday's donation drive below:

Towers High School RIF Event

Tower’s High School students engage in an interactive presentation given by Colin Dube of Auburn Avenue Research Library about the correlation between education and economic prosperity. The lecture focused on comparing 18th and 19th century slave narratives to letters written by hip-hop artist “Big Meech” in order to demonstrate the connections between a lack of education, oppression and financial instability.

As part of the event, CIS Site Coordinator Derec Oby supplied each student with a “starter library” of books that were provided through CIS of Atlanta’s partnership with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s. Below are photos taken at the event.

H.E. Holmes Elementary School gets on the PATH to success

CIS of Atlanta, H.E. Holmes Elementary School and Caron have formed a partnership this semester to provide 11 third-grade students a free life skills development program for eight weeks. PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) was written to help grade-school children develop better thinking skills, more mature and responsible ways of behaving, and improved academic performance.

Towers High School students enjoy time at The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Towers High School ninth-graders had the opportunity to visit the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on March 15, 2014. Coordinated by Derec Oby, the event was a reward to students for completing research as part of their community service, as well as an opportunity for a cultural, enrichment activity.

Shown below are photos taken at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra event.

Westlake High School students peg away on computer parts

Westlake High School students worked with local computer technicians to learn the fundamentals of computers and build a desktop computer from scratch. As part of the Community Engagement Opportunities –Tech (CEO-Tech) Pilot program organized by Communities In Schools of Atlanta, students installed each computer component, hardware and software to get the computer up and running. Students were also able to troubleshoot and upgrade the memory and operating system of the computer to Windows 8.

During the final week, students were able to identify potential recipients of the computer and reflect on their accomplishments. Jacques A. Montemoiño, founder of Gideon Games, Inc. also spoke with the students about career opportunities in computer programming and video game development.

The CEO-Tech pilot project was established by two former Westlake Alumni, Monique Stevenson and computer engineer, Troy Nunnally to expose students to computer technology career pathways through a service learning project. The project also benefited from technology support and volunteer time from IT Resurrection Cafe, Gideon Games, Tech Genius and Brain Rain Solutions. Thank you all!

CEFGA Career Expo event provides Tri-Cities High School students hands-on experience

Communities In Schools (CIS) of Atlanta provided Tri-Cities High School ninth grade students the opportunity to learn different aspects of the architecture and construction industry during the 2014 Career Expo held on March 13, 2014 in the Georgia International Convention Center.

Sponsored by CEFGA, the program identifies existing resources and provides a comprehensive workforce initiative by training individuals within the construction field.

As the largest event in CEFGA history, more than 5,000 students received training from skilled craftsmen, engineers and contractors within the construction and architecture industry.

Through hands-on training and personal mentoring, the students were immersed in the various demands and requirements of working within their chosen field, including carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical wiring, welding and tile-setting. Within the interactive learning environment, students were not only indoctrinated with the various opportunities presented to them at the Career Expo, but they also learned different aspects within each field and demands and skills required to work within their chosen specialty.

According to CIS of Atlanta Site Coordinator La’Vonna Taylor, the students were eager to learn. Tri-Cities student Fatai Owens-Etiko was able to operate heavy machinery from an expert excavationist after only 15 minutes of instruction.

Tri-Cities were among several schools within metro-Atlanta that participated in this event.

Overall, the 2014 Career Expo was a successful experience for the students and provided new career possibilities within the construction and engineering industry.

Included below are photos taken at the event, along with a video of some of the students operating the construction equipment.

Please visit to learn more about the event.

Students at Redan High School Beautify Their Campus

CIS students at Redan High School spent a few hours planting flowers, removing weeds and cleaning up their school grounds. The group's community service was part of CIS of Atlanta's Choose Success, which provides mini-grants to student groups so they can enhance their communities. Three service projects will receive awards at this year's Choose Success Awards Dinner Gala. Will the Redan High School project take one of the prizes? Come join us and find out!

2014 Choose Success Awards Dinner

The 2014 Choose Success Awards

Communities In Schools (CIS) of Atlanta hosted a memorable celebration to distinguish academic and life accomplishments of students. The students' stories touched the hearts of more than 240 family, friends, educators, elected officials and special guests during the 10th Annual Choose Success Awards Dinner Gala at the Carlos Community Center Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Event emcee Monica Pearson of Kiss 104.1FM lead the program while Freddie Falcon and Captain Planet made special appearances to energize the crowd. The gala recognized elementary, middle and high school students from its Atlanta, DeKalb and Fulton county partner schools for making significant improvements in their attendance, behavior and attendance, and for engaging in service projects that positively impacted their communities.

The videos below provide an opportunity for you to hear some of their stories in their own words.

Videos Featured at the Event

Elementary and Middle Schools Winners

High School Winners

Community Service Projects


Photo Gallery

To view photos from the event,click here. Photos courtesy of

Choose Success Awards Dinner Videos- 2015 Student Winners

Videos Featured at the 2015 Event

Five students received awards for Individual Student Achievement. The videos below provide an opportunity for you to hear some of their stories in their own words. The service project video provides an overview of some of the outstanding community service projects implemented by our students.

Elementary and Middle Schools Winners

High School Winners

Community Service Projects


Photo Gallery

To view photos from the 2015 event,click here. Photos courtesy of

Bowling For Hunger Tournament

On March 1, 2014, Communities In Schools (CIS) of Atlanta staff members teamed up with DJ Reec of HOT 107.9, Morgan and Morgan Law Firm and others for the “Bowling 4 Hunger Event,” a charitable bowling tournament sponsored by Positive American Youth (PAYUSA). The purpose was to raise money and to collect canned goods in an effort to fight hunger. During the bowling tournament, CIS of Atlanta site coordinators educated the community about the services that CIS provides for students and their family members.

AT&T Aspire Mentorship, Tri-Cities High School, Feb. 2014

Communities In Schools of Atlanta and students from Tri-Cities High School participated in the Aspire Mentoring Academy, a program sponsored by AT&T that prepares high school students for graduation and college/career readiness. The event gives the students a first-hand look at career opportunities, as well as knowledge and skills to help them succeed in the nation’s workforce.

La'Vonna Taylor, CIS Site Coordinator at Tri-Cities High School, organized the student visit, during which the group had the opportunity to learn about the telecommunications industry. The students also visited the AT&T Drive Studio, a working lab where AT&T conducts research on innovative ways to infuse automobiles with telecommunications technology and "infotainment" systems.

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