- Communities In Schools is a registered nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization located on the campus of Aurora University at 1433 Prairie St. in Aurora and partners with East Aurora School District 131, West Aurora School District 129, Indian Prairie School District 204 and Oswego School District 308 to deliver daytime and afterschool programs to children. It is the mission of Communities In Schools to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
- Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization, and the only organization proven to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rate. For 40 years, Communities In Schools has empowered students to achieve in school, graduate and go on to bright futures. Through partnerships with school districts, local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers, volunteers, and dedicated staff, CIS’ unique model provides resources to help students succeed in the classroom and in life. Nationally, in 2017, 93% students connected to CIS in grades K-11 were promoted to the next grade and 91% of seniors graduated or received their GED. In Illinois, the home of our Aurora CIS affiliate, the numbers were even higher with a 98% promotion rate for students in K-11 and 100% promotion for graduating seniors.
- By harnessing available resources in communities and matching them with each student’s needs, CIS helps vulnerable students overcome academic and non-academic barriers to achievement.
- Communities in Schools of Aurora provides mental health counseling and case management services to identified students in multiple districts in Aurora. During the 2016-17 academic year, CIS provided counseling to over 270 students, translating to over 2,650 hours of one-on-one support for the most at-risk students.
- Our afterschool program helps keep students motivated to stay in school. By extending the learning day and providing wrap-around academic support and enrichment opportunities, CIS builds confidence in students and keeps them inspired and empowered to do their best in school. The “MyTime” afterschool program, now in its 12th year and in multiple schools in Aurora acts as the vehicle for local resources to bring in additional learning opportunities to the students. These include tutoring and homework support, art exploration, sports and recreation, nature appreciation, STEM and social and emotional growth programs. Combined resources from The Fox Valley Park District, The City of Aurora, Aurora University, District 129, District 131, District 204, District 308, local agencies and CIS create a win-win situation for each student and for our community.
- Communities in Schools of Aurora provides different levels of support to students. Tier 1 supports are available to all of the students. Some of the Tier 1 initiatives in 2017 include the Back to School Fair which provided backpacks with school supplies to over 2,200 children, the “MyTime” afterschool program which served 1.900 students in 2017, The Coats for Kids Program which provided new coats to over 1,700 students, the Holiday Cheer Program which provided holiday gifts and support to over 280 students and the free six week summer camps which served over 1,700 students. Tier 2 services are targeted programs such as therapy groups. The goal of Tier 2 services is improved academic performance. Tier 3 services impact the most at-risk children. These students receive individualized supports such as the daytime counseling services. By differentiating our supports, we are able to serve most students in a school and also focus attention on targeted students that have significant needs.
For additional information about CIS programs contact Karen Harkness at (630)692-9524