Founder Bill Milliken began Communities In Schools in New York City in the 1970’s. He came up with the idea of bringing community resources inside public schools-where they are accessible, coordinated and accountable. “It’s relationships, not programs, that change children,” Bill once said. “A great program simply creates the environment for healthy relationships to form between adults and children. Young people thrive when adults care about them on a one-to-one level, and when they also have a sense of belonging to a caring community.”
Over forty years into our mission of surrounding students with communities of support, Bill’s principle continues to guide our work and serves as a beacon for the next chapter in our history.
CIS of Mid-America celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020. It was established as CIS of Kansas in 1995 and, in 2014, became the first CIS state office to establish regional affiliates embedded in our 501(c)3. What began as a statewide network in 1995 serving communities across the state of Kansas now also serves communities in Iowa, Oklahoma, and Missouri. As an affiliate of the national non-profit Communities In Schools, this regional approach allows us to streamline the services we provide to struggling students and their families.
The CIS of Mid-America network currently provides services in 70 schools to more than 39,000 students each year by placing individuals directly inside the schools to work with students. Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS of Mid-America staff help lessen the burden on teachers by working with at-risk students so that teachers can focus on teaching. We are able to do this because we’re in schools all day every day and see the unique needs of each student so we partner with teachers and the community to address them. We also do not charge a fee for our services/support to students and their families.