Monday, September 29, 2014

CIS of Georgia recommends new Parent Toolkit App

Communities In Schools of Georgia has just recommended the Parent Toolkit App, a new mobile app designed to help parents navigate their child's growth and development from grades Pre-K through 12.

For each grade the app lists benchmarks of what the child will be learning in school, as well as recommendations for diet, sleep and physical activity. According to, "The academic information will help you ensure your child is on the path to success. It also provides helpful advice on homework, parent-teacher conferences and supporting learning at home."

To download the app, parents may simply text TOOLKIT to 33733 to get the app on their mobile device, and it may also be downloaded through the App Store. For more information and to see some of the app's features, click here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Radio program features CIS National President

Daniel Cardinali, National President of Communities In Schools, was recently interviewed for WNYC's Radio Rookies program, and here's some of what he had to say:

"When you think about kids who are living in extremely difficult situations that poverty imposes on young people, one of the most important things is that there's an adult who is able to kind of manage not just their academic needs but their whole story. What's going on in their family? What's going on in their neighborhood? Does this kid have an adult who thinks only about them and not managing the other effects of poverty that many of these kids' parents are trying to deal with? And so once that adult is in their lives, and they can build a trusting relationship, kids open up. They begin to believe that there are possibilities. And when you provide sets of resources that enable them to really focus in on learning, their horizons open up. And they begin to really see a possibility of going on to post-secondary attainment and really being able to get a job that will break the cycle of poverty and enable them to be self-sufficient as well as support their family and their kids."

If you'd like to hear the interview yourself, just click on the audio link below.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Middle School Matters!

Communities In Schools empowers students of all ages to stay in school and achieve in life. For the student transitioning from elementary school to middle school, this is an important time of change which can help them succeed in school. Five areas are especially important to the middle school student, and these are:

• Social and emotional changes

• Organizational and environmental factors

• Academics

• Developmental growth

• College and career readiness

There are a number of things families can do to make sure students are prepared for these changes. For instance, teaching the child to plan for each day and keep up with homework will motivate the child to be more accountable and self-reliant. For more ideas on ways to help middle school students succeed in school, download this free brochure from the Communities In Schools of Georgia website!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cargill named "Founding Partner" of CIS of Coweta County

Communities In Schools of Coweta County has received a generous financial gift thanks to a partnership between Cargill Meat Solutions and United Way of Metro Atlanta. Celebrating the donation are Ryan Brooks, United Way in Coweta County Advisory Board member; Tim Glenn, Cargill; Bradley Down, Cargill; Dennis McEntire, Newnan Utilities; Jennifer L. Young, United Way, Regional Director; Gina Weathersby, Executive Director of CIS of Coweta County; Paula Hasburger: United Way in Coweta County Advisory Board member, Andy Dunn: United Way in Coweta County Advisory Board member; Sheryl Singletary: United Way, County Engagement Director; Zack Wood, Cargill; Jill Webb, Cargill; and Travis Boyd, Cargill.

“We can’t say how proud and thankful we are for the tremendous support we received from both Cargill and the United Way,” said CIS Executive Director Gina Weathersby. “Both organizations have always been supportive of CIS, and this recent contribution will enable us to do so much more in our efforts to keep local high school students in school until they graduate and move on to higher education or well-paying jobs.”

“Helping this community is a big part of what we do,” said Bradley Down, of Cargill. “Communities In Schools has a great track record of helping our Coweta County students and that made it a natural for us. We support causes that support the community, and CIS is one of the best.” For its support, Cargill has been named a “Founding Partner” of CIS of Coweta County. Cargill employees have the opportunity each year to pledge donations to the United Way, and the Cargill home office then matches a percentage of the Newnan employees’ contributions and sends that matching money to United Way with the stipulation that the funds be directed to a particular charity or non-profit supported by United Way. This year, CIS of Coweta County was one of the organizations designated by Cargill as the recipient of their corporate contributions. “It’s a great program,” Down said. “It really amplifies our local United Way contributions and makes it possible for us to do more than we could by ourselves here in Newnan.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Students start school with supplies from CIS

At the beginning of the school year, CIS of Coweta County received donations of school supplies from Walmart as well as individuals, and the donations have already made a difference for some students.

East Coweta Site Coordinator Denise Buchanan has helped several students with supplies, and she was able to fill a backpack for one student whose parent had just changed jobs and didn't yet have the funds for basic school supplies. Thanks to CIS, the student received a backpack filled with everything needed for a successful start to school.

"Things like that remind you that even here in Coweta County, some people struggle with poverty," Buchanan said.

Friday, September 12, 2014

How to help parents get involved in education

Communities In Schools of Georgia suggests several ways to help a reluctant parent get more involved in their child's education:

 -- Read one chapter of a book to your child.

 -- Play a board game as a family.

 -- Help your child write a letter to a family member or friend.

 For more simple ideas to help encourage parent involvement, check out this tip sheet from CIS of Georgia here!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CIS of Georgia releases Spring 2014 report

If you want to know what Communities In Schools of Georgia is accomplishing, be sure to check out the Communities In Schools Spring 2014 report. This report shares the accomplishments of CIS of Georgia during the 2012-2013 school year and includes data on promotions, graduations, improved performance and how the success stories happened. Some of the findings:

 • Communities In Schools of Georgia is serving more than 135,710 students at 227 school and community-based sites.

 • 77 elementary schools, 67 middle schools and 69 high schools were served.

 • 97 percent of the students in grades K-11 who received targeted and sustained services (and for whom data were available) were promoted to the next grade.

 • Communities In Schools is the only dropout prevention organization proven to both lower dropout rates and increase graduation rates. To read the full report and learn more, click here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Buddy Curry visits East Coweta to support CIS

Former college football All American and Atlanta Falcons All Pro linebacker Buddy Curry spoke to the ninth grade class at East Coweta High on Aug. 28, 2014. Curry appeared in support of CIS of Coweta County and is shown here with East Coweta Site Coordinator Denise Buchanan, at left, and Executive Director Gina Weathersby, right.

Curry is one of the founders of Kids & Pros, a non-profit character-based youth sports organization that engages retired NFL Players to teach football fundamental skills and character lessons to young people. Curry was introduced by Steve Allen, EC Vice-Principal for the 9th grade, shown here. Addressing close to 900 members of the EC class of 2018, Curry told of his troubled beginning in sports, and how he achieved athletic stardom through hard work and by learning the value of listening to good teachers, coaches and role models.

He said he considered giving up sports when times were tough, but stuck it out because “I wanted to have options. I knew if I stuck it out football was still an option. And we all want to have options.” Curry said the best lesson he learned in sports — and in life — is “don’t quit. Whether it’s your marriage, your family or your career, anything worth having requires a struggle.”

Curry told the students to figure out what they needed to do to be successful, and do it. He reminded the students that they would wind up being like the people they associated with and said, “Don’t hang around people who can’t help you be a success.”