Overview

Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading community-based organization helping kids succeed in school and prepare for life.  

Our Mission

CIS founders

CIS Co-founders (L-R) Neil Shorthouse, Bill Milliken and the late David Lewis.

Communities In Schools champions the connection of needed community resources with schools to help young people successfully learn, stay in school, and prepare for life.

Communities In Schools is a network of nonprofit organizations focused on improving student and school success by providing needed support and services to students and schools.  Our ultimate goal is to see that all students are successful in school and complete their education at least through high school. 

Communities In Schools believes that programs don’t change kids, relationships do.  Our philosophy is embedded in the CIS five basics for kids©, which focus on building a supportive environment for children and youth to help them thrive and be successful. The CIS five basics were adopted by America’s Promise when it started in 1997.

Our History

Communities In Schools, an independent nonprofit corporation focused on school success and dropout prevention, has its roots in Georgia.  In the early 70’s, Bill Milliken, Neil Shorthouse and David Lewis established Cities In Schools in Atlanta as a private/public partnership to help urban kids graduate from high school and plan successful futures.  Years later the name was changed to Communities In Schools (CIS). 

What started in our Great State has now grown into the nation’s largest stay-in school network, serving just over one million youth in 27 states across the United States and the District of Columbia.

Click here for more information on the Communities In Schools national office.

Click here to read a tribute to David Lewis, CIS Co-founder.

Communities In Schools of Georgia continues to be an innovator in the CIS network nationally.  The success of our Performance Learning Center® initiative has led to the program now being expanded to other CIS communities throughout the United States.

The State Office

Communities In Schools of Georgia, the state CIS organization, provides services to communities seeking to improve outcomes for students and schools in their communities. CIS provides communities with support in developing programs and services to combat the problems of school failure and dropouts in their schools. CIS of GA supports the work of local CIS affiliates, Performance Learning Centers and High School Graduation Coaches in Georgia.  Our network affiliates can call on Communities In Schools of Georgia for technical support in the following areas:

  • Communities In Schools Affiliate Program Initiation and Development
  • Community Development - building community alliances to develop CIS affiliate programs that work in the interest of our students, parents, and their schools;
  • Program Development - strengthening CIS affiliate programs by implementing proven strategies;
  • Performance Learning Center Development;
  • Training and Conferences;
  • Technical Support to the Georgia High School Graduation Coach Initiative;
  • Resource Development;  
  • Public Relations;
  • Program Evaluation.

Our Beliefs

CIS believes every child needs and deserves the five basics©:
  • A personal, one-on-one relationship with a caring adult
  • A safe place to learn and grow
  • A healthy start and a healthy future
  • A marketable skill to use upon graduation
  • A chance to give back to peers and community

Communities In Schools is the nation’s largest stay-in school network, serving just over one million youth in 27 states across the United States and the District of Columbia.

Donate to CIS

Support CIS kids in Georgia. Click Here
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