Communities In Schools of Chicago

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Communities In Schools of Chicago is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that connects Chicago public school students with social, emotional, health and enrichment programs that remove barriers to learning. Founded in 1988, Communities In Schools of Chicago partners with more than 160 Chicago Public Schools and 130 service providers[citation needed] to facilitate program and service connections that address students’ basic needs – all at no cost to students or schools. Many of these services are basic but essential, from health services to arts enrichment to violence prevention. Communities In Schools of Chicago is one of nearly two hundred local affiliates of the national Communities In Schools organization.

Mission[edit]

Communities In Schools of Chicago repositions existing community resources into school sites to help young people successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life.[1]

History[edit]

Communities In Schools of Chicago was established in 1988 to help children become more successful in school and in life by connecting community-based organizations, hospitals and universities to schools. Communities In Schools of Chicago is the premier organization in Chicago that exclusively connects under-served public school students with social, emotional, health and enrichment programs that reduce barriers to learning – at no cost to schools or students. Communities In Schools of Chicago has more than quadrupled the number of students served annually during the past 15 years, from 12,000 to more than 60,000. The organization has increased the number of partner schools from 11 to more than 160 and the number of service provider partners from 24 to more than 150. This has resulted in an increase in the number of services Communities In Schools of Chicago has connected, from 38 to more than 1,300.[2]

The Need[edit]

Eighty-four percent of Chicago public school students come from low-income families.[3] Many lack access to basic support systems and are hindered academically by the challenges they face outside of the classroom. Parents often look to schools for access to social, emotional, health and enrichment services and programs, but many schools are under-resourced and stretched just to address academics. Many local organizations, corporations, and institutions are ready to help but do not know how to access or navigate schools or how to adapt their programming for the classroom setting.

The Impact[edit]

Communities In Schools of Chicago connects more than 60,000 students with needed programs and services every year. As a result of Communities In Schools of Chicago’s connections, school principals and staff report improvements in students’ knowledge about health issues, self-esteem, emotional health, and increased access to the arts. Service providers report that they have increased the number of students and schools reached since working with Communities In Schools of Chicago.

By leveraging existing community resources, Communities In Schools of Chicago ensures that for every $1 donation, more than $5 worth of services reach Chicago’s students.

The Model[edit]

How CIS of Chicago Supports Schools[edit]

• Connections to a network of more than 150 service providers throughout the city
• Guidance and support in needs assessment, program coordination, relationship building and program evaluation
• Exclusive training and networking events

How CIS of Chicago Supports Service Providers[edit]

• Assistance accessing and navigating more than 160 schools
• Techniques and tools to increase student impact
• Individualized instruction on coordination, communication and evaluation of programs
• Exclusive training and networking events
• Strategic support in expanding reach and customizing programs to school needs

Types of Programs Connected[edit]

Through the work of Communities In Schools of Chicago, students receive:
• Academic enrichment programs
• Arts enrichment programs
• Community issues education
Health education
• Mental health services
• Physical health services
• Violence prevention education
• Youth development programs

References[edit]

External links[edit]