Dear Friends,
This has been a tough year for the kids and our Mentors. January is Mentor Month and we want to thank our PrimeTime Mentors for their continued support and willingness to adapt using technology to connect with children. 

Having a mentor can change the trajectory of a child's life. However, COVID has severed those bonds created by our mentors. Currently, we know that there is significant trauma children are experiencing and have been experiencing since March 2020, when many could no longer go to school and have those regular interactions. 

Things are continually getting worse for the children. Even as our schools are doing their best to get children back on campus. The combination of lack of food, homelessness, family violence and our inability to have in-person check-ins with children has pushed trauma to new levels.

What is different about using technology for mentoring or tutoring? An important component is a monitor who is there to ensure the conversations are appropriate. You can now mentor when you are out of town as long as you have an internet connection!

PrimeTime Mentoring has been such a positive influence for children and will continue to be so in the future. Children need you now more than ever. Please let us know if you’re ready to be a mentor!

Sincerely,

Chuck Teegarden
Executive Director
CIS Success Story


Joseph is a high school student who lacks motivation to do any school work. Even taking the privilege of playing basketball away last year didn’t motivate him to do his school work.

Remote learning due to COVID has not made this any easier. His grades were tanking and reaching out to him over online platforms wasn't working. The Communities In Schools team decided they needed to do a home visit.

The first visit was a little awkward, we dropped off a few snacks but didn’t get much engagement out of him about school. The following week our visit was better, we were able to have a discussion about school and talk about the importance of getting his grades up. Later that week we visited him again and he said he had set up after school tutoring with some teachers.

What a win! The site coordinator saw him at the tutoring session and they both learned how to screen share on TEAMS so that they can work on his homework together with him online. As a result, his grades have been improving.
CIS Superstar
January is
National Mentor Appreciation Month. Our CIS Superstar for January is our
PrimeTime Mentors.

Many of our mentors have been matched with their mentees for years, faithfully serving even when their schedules were full. Many organizations, businesses and groups have chosen to serve together, oftentimes supporting a whole school.

It has been heartwarming to watch the mentees eyes light up when they see their mentor during their mentoring time.

Even through the connection challenges brought on by COVID-19 and our distance learning models, mentors have shown a willingness to connect with their students via our newly launched, virtual PrimeTime Program.

Our students are in need of positive and encouraging support that these mentoring relationships bring, especially now more than ever. We have students waiting to be connected and would love to match you!

Spokane County’s kids needs us!

Contact Kelley Hinrichs, Director of Volunteer Services, for more information. kelley@cisspokane.org
Community Partners
elbow-children-line.jpg
Communities In Schools of Spokane County is excited to announce our partnership with Priority Spokane and Gonzaga University to provide tutoring services to students in the Spokane County!

We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging time for students and families and educational support is needed now, more than ever.

Free online tutoring sessions are available for K-12 students demonstrating financial need (students receiving free or reduced lunch or household income under $45K) within Spokane County.

Students are limited to one 45 minute session per student per week. Space is limited. We look forward to continuing to serve the students in Spokane County through this new and exciting program. Please see the link below for more information or to schedule a session. 

MEET & GREET
 
Nicole Herrera
Cheney Middle School
Site Coordinator

Nicole joined Communities In Schools of Spokane County as a site coordinator for Cheney Middle School in November of 2020. Nicole came to us from her hometown of Denver, Colorado, where she was the High Academic Coordinator for the Mile High 360.   

Nicole enjoys the unique way children have looking at the world, and thinks it is amazing when you can tap into that potential and help foster that growth.

She would like to teach what compassion, trust and honesty can be in an influential way, as children will shape and mold the world with what they are taught. 
 
When asked why she advocates for children she stated the following; 

“I advocate for kids because I know that having someone in your corner for the good days and the bad days can make the world of a difference and every child deserve a chance at becoming the best version of themselves no matter their circumstances.”

 
Ellie McIntyre
CISSC Board of Directors

Ellie has been a Communities In Schools of Spokane County board member since September of 2018. She first became aware of CISSC through PrimeTime Mentoring.
 
Ellie loved everything CISSC stands for and wanted to become more involved. She joined the event planning committee and was later invited to join the board.

Ellie is constantly learning about the many ways CISSC can serve our kids. She is in awe of the creativity our CISSC site coordinators demonstrate in finding ways to connect with kids and get them engaged with meeting their personal and academic goals.

A Few Fun Questions With Ellie

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Tough question, I love to learn and I’m constantly finding new things to learn about. I’d like to learn Spanish or another language. Being bilingual creates a unique opportunity to communicate with a wider range of people in their personal and professional lives. 

What three traits define you? Optimistic, Inquisitive, and Calm
 
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Her strengths would have been such a compliment to my growth areas.
 
Upcoming Events
3rd Annual Blue Jean Ball

Event Date changed to Saturday May1st, 2021
Break out your boots for the
3rd Annual Blue Jean Ball! 

Tickets for this years virtual and in-person event can be purchased at spokane.ciswa.org

Sponsorships are available. Contact Debra Raub at debra@cisspokane.org.
Volunteer Opportunities

We are looking for volunteers!

We are in need of support from community members like you. Please see the volunteer opportunities listed below. Please contact our Volunteer Director, Kelley Hinrichs kelley@cisspokane.org for more information.

Food Distribution Volunteers – Deliver Food Kits and/or Bite2Go bags one day each week. Delivery routes are needed in the Shaw and Garry Middle School neighborhoods. Time commitment is once a week from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.

PrimeTime Mentoring – Serve as a Virtual Mentor through our PrimeTime Mentoring Program. Do you have 30 minutes once a week? We have students waiting to be matched with you.

PrimeTime Tutoring - Serve as a Virtual Tutor for students needing educational support. Weekly sessions are 45 minutes in length. We will work to match you with your preferred student age/school subject. 

PrimeTime Mentoring Training

Returning Mentor Training- Monday January 25th, 6pm-8pm

Returning Mentor Training- Wednesday Janury 27th, 6pm-8pm