South Carolina – Communities In Schools (CIS), a leading provider of social and emotional support programs across the country and in South Carolina’s public schools, announced publicly that they have merged three previous existing state affiliates in Greenville, the Midlands, and the Charleston area to form Communities In Schools of South Carolina (CISSC).
CISSC officials announced the news Monday, highlighting that the statewide merger will allow the organization to create a greater impact across the state. “From sharing resources and best practices, to deepening our impact in existing regions while also expanding services to more rural communities, our team is committed to centering students and their families in our work throughout South Carolina,” stated Jamie Cooper, President & CEO of CISSC. “Together, through the power of one organized entity, we are prepared to provide necessary supports to thousands of South Carolina students.”
As students return to the classroom for the 2021-22 schoolyear, the organization will work with 40 site coordinators to provide programing in 34 partnering schools, supporting more than 18,000 students with critical social and emotional support programming. “Students come to school wearing two backpacks,” shared Jose Morales, CIS site coordinator at Berea Middle School in Greenville. “One contains their educational materials, and the other contains all of the life challenges and hurdles they face every day. Our job as CIS site coordinators is to help them unpack that second backpack.”
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, 16,000 students were reported missing from South Carolina schools during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. Kenton Kelley, CIS Alumni and current CISSC board member, acknowledged the critical timing of this merger and much needed supports throughout the state. “As our country, state, and communities move into the recovery phase of Covid-19, education is the new frontline of this pandemic. This is why unified educational supports and investments are needed now more than ever.”
Communities In Schools® of South Carolina ensures every student, regardless of race, zip code, or socioeconomic background has what they need to realize their potential in school and beyond. Working directly inside more than 32 Title I schools across the state of South Carolina, we connect students to caring adults and community resources that help them see, confront, and overcome the barriers that stand between them and a brighter future. Together, we build a powerful change movement made up of peers, students, and alumni committed to building an equitable path to education for future generations.
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