Las Vegas, Nev.- Today, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, joined Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), local education officials, students and Communities In Schools (CIS) coordinators at Reynaldo Martinez Elementary School to discuss the nation’s most effective dropout prevention program and how it has dramatically improved outcomes for minority students in Nevada and across the nation.
Jarrett’s meeting was designed to highlight evidence-based organizations like Communities In Schools that have a direct impact on the educational and life outcomes of our nation’s students. As part of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, the President’s senior advisor is among those helping to examine programs and practices that improve or show the potential to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.
“In America, those who work hard and play by the rules should have the opportunity to succeed,” said Congressman Horsford. “Your ability to get ahead should be determined by your ambition, not by the circumstances of your birth. That’s why initiatives like My Brother’s Keeper and organizations like Communities In Schools are so important: they lend a helping hand to those who need to be given a fighting chance. It’s clear that at Reynaldo Martinez Elementary School these efforts are making a positive difference in students’ lives.”
“For more than 30 years, Communities In Schools has worked to change the picture of education by addressing barriers to learning both inside and outside the classroom,” said Dan Fuller, Vice President of Legislative Relations for Communities In Schools. “We are honored to have had Senior Advisor Jarrett with us today and look forward to continuing discussion on the most effective My Brother’s Keeper strategies to empower our nation’s youth to stay in school and achieve in life.”
Reynaldo Martinez Elementary School is an inner-city school serving 700 Las Vegas students, all of whom qualify for free and reduced-price lunch and 95 percent of whom are minorities. In the last two years, CIS has helped propel the school to remarkable growth and helped it exceed its turnaround projections. Communities In Schools of Nevada has organized before- and after-school tutoring programs, established an on-site health clinic sponsored by Positively Kids, provided meals through the Three Square Food Bank, and connected dozens of community agencies and businesses to students and their families.
CIS is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life. In Nevada alone, the organization serves 33,000 students in 43 sites just like the Reynaldo Martinez Elementary School. Across the nation, CIS serves 1.3 million young people and their families each year and operates in more than 2,200 schools in the most challenged communities of 26 states and the District of Columbia. Among case-managed students, the CIS model has demonstrated 99 percent retention of potential dropouts, propelled 96 percent of eligible seniors to graduation and successfully helped 97 percent of our students continue to the next grade.
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Working directly in more than 2,300 schools in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization proven to keep students in school and on the path to graduation. For the 2015-2016 school year, Communities In Schools served nearly 1.5 million students and successfully helped 99 percent of our case-managed students stay in school.