UW of the Midlands Supports CIS at Omaha North High School

August 16, 2016   |   No Comments



United Way of the Midlands Awards $20,000 to Communities In Schools of Mid-America, Inc.



Grant to Fund the CIS Program at Omaha North Magnet High School


Omaha, Nebraska. Communities In Schools of Mid-America, Inc. (CISMidAM) is pleased to announce it was recently awarded a $20,000.00 grant from United Way of the Midlands. Thanks to the generosity of the United Way donors, more than 1,500 students will continue to receive CIS model services through school-based coordination in which CISMidAm connects at-risk K-12 students and their families to critical community resources, enabling teachers to teach and students to learn.


The national Communities In Schools (CIS) model addresses these needs by providing school-wide Tier I services available to all the children in the school. Simultaneously, CIS Site Coordinators work with school leaders to identify a subset of the most at-risk students, who then receive targeted and/or individualized interventions (Tiers II & III) based on their identified needs. Education is the primary vehicle by which economically children can lift themselves out of poverty; however, these children face challenges such as insecurity related to food, shelter, and transportation, as well as exposure to violence. In many communities, services students need to succeed in school are spread across social service organizations. Teachers and school administrators are inadequately equipped to address the myriad and urgent emotional, social and basic needs of these students. With so many low-income students in the classroom, our public school system is feeling the strain. In a 2015 poll, 88% of U.S. teachers surveyed reported that, “student poverty is the #1 barrier to effective learning in the classroom, and acknowledged that they spend 20% of their time and personal resources addressing these barriers” (Communities In Schools National Impact Report, Spring, 2015).


With the help of this grant, CIS of Mid-America is able to offer evidence-based supportive services which include: basic needs assistance (access to food, clothing, hygiene supplies, etc.), academic assistance (tutoring, homework help, etc.), behavioral interventions, mentoring, college/career prep, family engagement, assistance accessing mental health services, academic enrichment, community/service learning, assistance accessing physical health services, and other individual case management services. Last year, CIS of Mid-America served 37,294 students. Of students served with case management services: 99% of students tracked as potential dropouts remained in school at the end of the year; 97% of students tracked for promotion risk were promoted to the next grade; and 93% of seniors graduated.


The following is an example of just one of our many services at Omaha North Magnet High: When I (Site Coordinator) first met student, J, she never looked or smiled in my direction. She was known to have had a bad attitude and did not care who knew it. She was also a loner in school and didn’t participate in any afterschool activities; just school and home. I knew she was an artist, so I helped enroll her into the FAYD program – an art program that mentors students how to recognize their own talent and help them build confidence. CIS helped connect J to not only FAYD but a group of students who could help her continue to grow.


“The financial support from United Way of the Midlands and its donors is vitally important for the Communities In Schools students at North High School. Every time one of North’s CIS students succeeds on a test as a result of tutoring assistance, or can focus in class undistracted by hunger after receiving food assistance, or feels hope in the midst of challenge because a positive adult role model has shown care and support, the generous donors to United Way of the Midlands can know that they had a hand in those successes,” said Malissa Martin, President and CEO of CISMidAm. “And those day-by-day successes have the power to literally change the trajectory for struggling, at-risk students.”

About United Way of the Midlands:

We focus the efforts of man to help our neighbors stand strong – by addressing basic needs, and fostering success in the classroom and the workplace. www.UnitedWayMidlands.org

About Communities In Schools: Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization. Operating in more than 2,400 schools in the most challenged communities of 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves nearly 1.5 million young people and their families each year. Based directly inside schools throughout the country, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to basic and critical educational and community-based resources, tailored to each student’s specific needs. Learn more about Communities In Schools at www.CommunitiesInSchools.org.

About Communities In Schools of Mid-America: Communities In Schools of Mid-America currently provides services in 59 schools in 4 states. Communities In Schools of Mid-America currently serves more than 43,000 young people and provides case-managed services to more than 3,700 students. CIS of Mid-America has a proven track record of improving student outcomes in academic achievement and behavior patterns. Students participating in CIS of Mid-America projects have increased promotion and graduation rates, improved attendance, improved academic performance and have fewer discipline referrals. Learn more about Communities In Schools at www.cismidamerica.org.



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