October 2016

Tri-Cities HS standout athlete finds his path to success
With CIS of Atlanta support, Damari is determined to stay on track

Damari started the school year off like so many ninth grade athletes, believing this was going to be his world. Damari had classes that he found more difficult than he ever experienced before.

He struggled to make good grades. As his classroom performance declined, a pattern of negative behavior began to show -  talking back to teachers and spending time in in-school suspension while narrowly escaping out-of-school suspension several times. With the added pressure from his basketball coach for him to stay on track, Damari quit the team that he loved so much.

CIS of Atlanta Site Coordinator La'Vonna Taylor counseled Damari, provided encouragement and constructive feedback, involved his parents and offered incentives to push him to try harder.

Damari humbled himself to apologize for his behavior, began attending tutorials, and even asked to come back to the team. His efforts took him from failing four core classes to passing three classes, and he has been promoted to the 10th grade.

He continues to stay on track with a positive attitude for his future. Damari has his mind set on attending the University of Georgia in 2018 to play basketball. Click here to read more about his story.
Announcing our 2017 Choose Success Award honoree!
Wells Fargo Atlanta regional president to be distinguished for his philanthropy

CIS of Atlanta will honor Wells Fargo & Company Atlanta Regional President Mike Donnelly for his significant contributions to education and the community during the 13th Annual Choose Success Awards Dinner in April 2017!

Donnelly will be presented with the Anne Cox Chambers Champion for Kids Award for his philanthropy, and going above and beyond to support students and the entire community.

Donnelly was named Most Admired CEO in the finance category by the Atlanta Business Chronicle this past year. He is the senior leader for Wells Fargo Atlanta, one of the company's top three markets in total consumer households served.

Wells Fargo Foundation also supports CIS of Atlanta's programmatic work to close the achievement gap for those students at risk of dropping out of school. The Foundation has recently approved an additional $50,000 grant for CIS of Atlanta this year!

"At Wells Fargo, our commitment to our communities goes beyond proudly serving customers in our stores," Donnelly said. "Helping families, and the children in those families, have a more stable future is vital to the overall strength of the Atlanta communities where we do business, so I am honored that Communities In Schools of Atlanta considers me, and Wells Fargo, an ally in that important work."

Click here to learn more about the Choose Success program.
The Choice Bus gives students a reality check
Students learn the value of finishing their education, making good decisions

The Choice Bus stopped at several Atlanta Public Schools to show students the power of educ ation, and realize the consequences of dropping out of school and making poor life decisions. 

Upon entering the bus, a four-minute video quizzed students on the earning potential of a dropout versus a high school and college graduate. The film also featured several powerful testimonials from prison inmates who regret dropping out of school. A full scale replica of a prison cell, which is hidden behind a curtain and flat screen television, was then revealed to
 demonstrate the stark reality experienced by many dropouts. Students were invited into the prison cell to briefly experience the uncomfortable living conditions.

As students exited the bus, they each received a pledge card and were asked to make a commitment to finish school and make good choices.

The Choice Bus is created by the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, an education institution that targets the nation's dropout rate. The bus is able to visit schools through a grant provided by State Farm.
Parents, schools want more meaningful relationships
CIS affiliates are bridging the gap between families, schools through positive relationships

As the nation's leading dropout prevention organization, CIS recognizes the effect that caring people with access to timely information can have on the lives of students across the country. We believe that continuous evaluation and learning will help us support families across the United States.

Recent results of the PDK Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools found that parents want to be more involved in the process of their students' success. A full 40% of parents said the school only occasionally gives them opportunities to visit, and fewer than half of parents said schools have given them a chance to provide insight into how things are done at their school.

According to multiple sources, when parents are intentionally engaged in their school, the performance of all children at the school tends to improve. One of the best ways to engage parents is to ensure that they have positive relationships with the school - in other words, they trust school staff, feel that they are welcome in the school, and have positive experiences interacting with school staff members.

According to recent internal research by Communities In Schools, though 85% of principals in our network indicate that a lack of parent involvement has been a serious or moderate problem in their community, CIS affiliates are addressing the problem by working creatively to involve parents.

Click here to read more from CIS National's Director of Research Megan Grimaldi.
Volunteer Opportunities
Click here to complete our online volunteer application!

If your company would like to create an Employee Volunteer Program (EVP), OR if you have an existing EVP and would like to partner with CIS of Atlanta, please contact Partnerships Manager Dedra Cochran at dcochran@cisatlanta.org.


To view volunteer opportunities currently available at specific schools, click here!