CIS bridges the gap for Banneker HS student

on .

CIS Site Coordinator Deon Harrison catapulted Tatyana into a new direction, one that would end in success.

Deon worked with Tatyana to develop study plans and support through various incentives, field trips, small group sessions, parental communication and advocacy with her teachers during the 2014-2015 school year. He also met with teachers to assist Tatyana in receiving extra credit assignments and make up work. CIS also bridged the gap of communication between Tatyana’s family and the school by holding phone conferences and facilitating face-to-face meetings with the counselor.

By the end of the school year, Tatyana passed her classes, passed the ninth grade, and without even attending summer school, she has earned enough credits to start the 2015-2016 year in the 11th grade. Her confidence has increased tremendously and her family feels more connected to her educational journey. She is now on track to graduate with her class of 2017.



Program Highlights: Why CIS works!

Site coordinators work with each caseload student, their parents and teachers to develop individual student plans. The plans outline specific goals for students to make improvements in critical areas including attendance, academics and behavior. In addition to developing and monitoring these plans, the list below includes other case management services:

  • Site Coordinator Mentorship
  • Attendance Incentives
  • Behavior Incentives
  • Academic Incentives and Support (grades, tutorial participation, tutors, advocacy)
  • College Access and Career Exploration Opportunities
  • Life Skills (workshops, field trips, mentors, etc.)
  • Home Visits

Spelman College develops mentoring program for McNair High School CIS students

on .

CIS Atlanta partnered with Spelman College to develop a bridge mentoring program with the female students at McNair High School.

CIS site coordinator Pam Hurst identified case load students who would benefit from being mentored by students who chose to attend college and thrive in a space that has had a history of being male dominated by majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) based curriculum.

Students had the opportunity to engage with future doctors, scientists, engineers, technology and robotic leaders of the Spelman College community.

An additional partnership included the technology developers of the communication platform Prizm. All of the students were given a tutorial on how to engage on the app and have a safe space for communication and virtual mentoring.

By the end of the inaugural meeting, students found their matches and began to discuss their goals for the remainder of the year. The organic connections fostered an atmosphere of excitement and positive energy. The pilot mentoring program will continue throughout the 2015-1206 school year.

Check out photos from the event below:

Rising Costs + Greater Student Poverty = Empty Backpacks

on .



According to the latest “backpack index” released by Huntington Bank on July 29, the cost of equipping students to head back to school for the 2015-2016 school year will increase nearly 10 percent for high school students and could cost families with more than one child in elementary, middle or high school as much as $3,000 for school supplies and activity fees.

On average, parents can expect to pay:

  • $649 for elementary school children, a 1 percent increase compared to 2014
  • $941 for middle school children, a 2.5 percent jump compared to 2014
  • $1,402 for high school students, a more than 9 percent increase compared to 2014
The rising costs are expected to create a financial hardship for many of nation’s public school children, according to Communities In Schools of Atlanta, part of the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization. CIS cited new federal data indicating that 51 percent of the students across the nation’s public schools are low income.

“Low-income students are now the majority of kids in American public schools,” said Communities In Schools of Atlanta Executive Director Frank Brown, Esq. “We work closely with and in public schools and see that many students cannot afford a backpack or the list of supplies they need to learn. While teachers and many school districts do what they can to help students obtain supplies, we need do to more. By donating to nonprofit organizations like Communities in Schools or giving to churches and civic groups that hold supply drives each year, we can ensure all our students have the tools and support they need to succeed in school.”

This summer, many of the CIS affiliates serving 1.5 million students across the country are holding school supply drives or partnering with businesses to collect donations of supplies from customers. CIS of Atlanta is partnering with two Walmart locations to collect school supplies for economically-disadvantaged students through the annual Build a Backpack Back-to-School Supply Drive. The Walmart stores where donations will benefit CIS of Atlanta are located at 1105 Research Center, Atlanta, GA 30331 (Cascade area) and 844 Cleveland Ave, East Point, GA 30344. Donations of school supplies can be dropped off in designated bins through Aug. 31.

“Huntington Bank issues its annual Backpack Index each year to help families budget and save for the school year,” said George Mokrzan, director of economics for Huntington Bank. “With the ongoing slow growth in wages, it is difficult for many families to meet the rising costs of sending children to school.” Since Huntington Bank first introduced its Backpack Index in 2007, the cost of supplies and extracurricular activities has increased 85 percent for elementary school students, 78 percent for middle school students and 57 percent for high school students.

* For tips on how to save money this school year, click here.

Contact Us

  • 260 Peachtree Street, Suite 750
    Atlanta, GA 30303

    404-897-2390
  • Write to us.
    info@cisatlanta.org
  • Follow us.
We are a proud United Way Partner Agency!