One Texoma non-profit continues to make an impact on the community despite having its funding slashed in half. Communities In Schools currently serves over 500 at-risk students at Wichita Falls ISD campuses and the need is on the rise.
Communities In Schools is making a difference one student at a time, helping, motivating, and empowering at-risk students succeed. Toni Alonzo, Program Coordinator comments, "This is a safe place on campus students can come in here and vent or find a trusting adult to share or confide in. Just to relieve stress from some of these issues they are dealing with."
Students who walk through their doors are needing help on an array of issues. Anywhere from dealing with a family crisis, to needing a meal, to struggling with grades, or test scores. Alonzo says, "We have students that are having academic difficulties due to those problem because they're having to focus on helping the house hold with these other issues. Sometimes it would pose as a barrier on their academic success rate."
And to keep up with the need, the CIS Day Program serves over 500 students on five different WFISD campuses focusing on building a one on one relationship. Mary Burns, CIS Project Manager at Hirschi High School comments, "We talk about whatever the student needs so that we can get a positive result at the end of the year." Burns says her main goal is to prevent the drop out rate. Each of her 100 students are showing progress on a daily basis.
Communities In Schools does not only help with student crisis intervention they also provide monthly group programs to empower students. Their programs cover issues about peer pressure, confidence, and bullying.
Communities In Schools is holding a Youth Leadership Challenge on February 23rd. If you would like to nominate a youth leader making a difference in your community, CIS wants to hear from you. To nominate a teen making a difference they are to live in Wichita County and be between the ages of 13 to 18. You can contact Communities In Schools at (940) 264-6743. The deadline to nominate a youth leader is Friday January 13th.