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National Journal Shines Spotlight on CIS Afterschool Program

By Steve Majors Dec. 4, 2014

As Fawn Johnson writes in the National Journal, Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo is one of hundreds of CIS programs embedded in public schools throughout the country, each with the goal of filling gaps in the education of disadvantaged students. That may take the form of finding winter coats for poor kids so they don't miss school on cold days. Or, in Kalamazoo's case, it means giving extra help to struggling kids when the regular school day is over. In the case of their afterschool programs, it means that kids are tutored, fed a hot meal and then bused home, with their homework already done.

Johnson asks, should schools provide this type of "child care' for low-income parents? 

According to Pam Kingery, executive director of CIS of Kalamazoo, the program meets a critical need for many families today. "Our fantasy is the parent who is waiting for their children to walk in the door after school to have milk and cookies," Kingery says. "That left a very long time ago."

Read more about this innovative program, online at the