Mordecai (at left) connecting with a few alumni members in Los Angeles
Today’s blog post comes from Communities In Schools Alumni Network Specialist Mordecai Scott.
For me, the Alumni Network started out as an ambiguous body of individuals who were just in random places around the country. They were all connected by their experiences with Communities In Schools, but weren’t necessarily connected to each other.
Today, the Alumni Network is so much more. In my travels around the country to meet former students, I’ve come to know a wonderful group of down-to-earth people who know how to “keep it real.” And they’re thrilled to stay connected to Communities In Schools and give back to their communities. View full article »
Today’s blog post comes from Communities In Schools’ Distance Education Specialist Ashleigh Farrar.
National staff members and site coordinators at boot camp in Lawrence, Kansas.
Boot Camp. Two words that may intimidate most, but this summer, Communities In Schools site coordinators were up for the challenge.
Last year, the very first class of site coordinators enrolled in the Site Coordinator Certification Program. The Knowledge Management Team began this program with a strong intent to provide a very crucial service to the Communities In Schools network. This service is a prescribed set of online courses designed to increase the knowledge and professionalism of the individuals who have the most direct impact on youth: site coordinators.
A little over a year later, that first class of 46 site coordinators enrolled in the program has graduated and now the program serves a much larger group, with more than 400 individuals enrolled. This summer, to jump-start the program, the Knowledge Management Team traveled around the country to conduct Site Coordinator Certification Program Boot Camps. These training boot camps were designed to support the Site Coordinator Certification Program and were held in Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Lawrence, Kan., and Charleston, S.C. The events lasted one-and-a-half to three days each.
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Today’s post comes from Sheila Drummond, Deputy Director Diplomas Now at the Communities In Schools national office.
Earlier this month, ten national staff members joined 45 Communities In Schools staff and more than 300 additional Diplomas Now partners to participate in the Diplomas Now Summer Institute (DNSI) at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Diplomas Now is an integrated approach to comprehensive school improvement, designed to work in the nation’s most challenged middle and high schools to help students stay on track, or get them back on the path to succeed in school. The main innovation is that it leverages the work of three nationally recognized research-based organizations–Johns Hopkins University Talent Development program, City Year and of course Communities in Schools.
Diplomas Now was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Education as an Investing in Innovation (i3) recipient. It is the only secondary school transformation/turnaround model with national reach to be selected for this prestigious award. View full article »
It’s that time of year again, when the academic calendar is wrapping up and summer plans are in the works. High schools seniors are going to prom, finishing their finals and getting ready to make that wonderful walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.
For Communities In Schools’ students, the journey to graduation is often a tough one. Many of them have faced difficulties, including poverty, hunger, and family and social issues. But with the resources deployed by and relationships forged through Communities In Schools, our students have rallied, overcome obstacles, and in the next few weeks will graduate high school and head towards exciting futures. View full article »
Our nation’s young people are standing at the precipice of disaster.
Today in America, 25 percent of our children are living in poverty…and yet we expect them to go to school, when we know they’re hungry. There are all sorts of other obstacles around mental health provision, physical health provision and getting to school safely – in addition to food security. And in many cases, we are dealing with homeless kids. They’re sleeping on couches and in shelters. And yet there is the expectation that when those kids walk through the school door, they are ready to learn.
We are in the midst of a high school dropout epidemic the likes of which this country has never seen. Every year, hundreds of thousands of children are faced with cutting their educations short. They’re not receiving the resources that they need to focus on school and thrive academically, physically and socially. Dropping out is not something that affects children for a short period of time. It creates an uncertain future, putting them at greater risk of living in poverty, suffering from chronic unemployment and poor health, and being dependent on social services. In short, it creates an uncertain future for all of us. View full article »