At the annual Summer Engagement Conference held on August 4th & 5th in Lawrence, Kansas, the energy of the staff at Communities In Schools of Mid-America (CIS of Mid-America) was high. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the entire organization gathered in person for two days of workshops, community building, large group sessions with the Executive Team, and more. Excitement was palpable as staff, many with years of experience and others brand new, shared their hope for the coming year.
“I’m excited about the coming school year,” said Donna Richey, Program Director for Tribal Services in Anadarko, Oklahoma. “We’re become established within our school. The school administration and our students trust the work that we’re doing, and we’re looking forward to discovering how we can build on that trust together.”
Nathan “Nate” Wallace, a Program Director for schools in Lawrence, Topeka, and Parsons, Kansas, as well as Waterloo, Iowa, shared that he is ready to “see the smiles” on the kid’s faces and help however he and his team can. “What draws me to the work of Communities In Schools of Mid-America is our ability to serve students’ basic needs. Many students struggle with the basics – food, clothes, shoes – and we can step in and connect them to the resources they need.”
“I’m able to help fill a gap for the kids through programs that didn’t exist when I was in school,” said Winter Moore, Student Support Coordinator at Ft. Scott Middle School in Ft. Scott, Kansas. “We do the work of being a listener, a mentor, an educator, and at the end of the day, you try to be there as a friend, as well.”
Malissa Martin, President & CEO of Communities In Schools of Mid-America, who begins her 15th year of service to the organization, expressed her excitement about the coming year. “We are starting a year of intentionally considering our work and planning for the future. What is exciting about that is that it will lead, I believe, to delivering deeper, more effective services to more people than we have ever delivered before.”
CIS of Mid-America is part of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering underserved students to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future. We do whatever it takes to ensure that all kids – regardless of the challenges they may face – have what they need to realize their potential. We look forward to sharing stories from the coming year with you in this blog, on our social media, and through our newsletter. Stay tuned!
P.S. To kick off the new school year, you can enter to win a back-to-school backpack loaded with goodies. Click here for more information, and enter by August 31st.