Communities in Schools Nevada is an affiliate nonprofit of the larger Communities in Schools (CIS) organization that exists around the nation. They currently have programs in 11 schools in the Washoe County District, with a twelfth opening up soon.
CIS has caseworkers who examine the needs of the partner schools and then work to find solutions for them. Some issues that the organization works to fix are low attendance issues, low grades, low academic performance, and behavioral issues. They then create a school-wide support plan to help address these problems. Along with this, the organization can also provide individualized case management services directly to the students.
In order to accomplish their goals, Communities in Schools must establish good relationships with not only the students but also faculty, families, and school administrators.
“We understand it’s not just the student that may need services, but it is the family as a whole. It takes a community,” said Brandon Morale, administrative development coordinator for Communities in Schools in Nevada.
Once the needs of a school are identified, CIS finds a community partner who can help them work on the problem. They try to find what may be underlying issues that are causing problems within the schools. Once they identify the situation, they provide individualized assistance to help meet the needs of every school and student.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Communities in Schools has seen a need for technology to support those students learning from home. In years past, they have requested school supply donations, but this year the donations they need are laptops and tablets.
“Emergencies and challenges can come up at any time. Our program is there to help fill in the gaps because we do not want barriers to come in the way of student success,” said Salina Villegas, program director for Communities in Schools in Nevada. She would like people to feel welcomed to reach out when they need help.
Their slogan is “All in for kids.” They are flexible to the needs of the schools and students and ultimately want to provide support to the students who need it in order to give them a better chance at success.
To help Communities in Schools:
- Monetary Donations: https://www.cisnevada.org/donate/
- Volunteers and school supply donations: Contact Brandon Morales at email@example.com
Article written by Esmeralda Rosales, a senior in political science and Spanish at the University of Nevada, Reno.