Dear Friends,

Working in Schools in a Year of Covid-19
I am at a stage between relief and worry as we end a school year unlike any other in my lifetime. Our staff worked out in the community and in the schools from day 1 of the pandemic. The first day we passed out food at North Central High School, my mask was a disposable shop towel that was duct taped to my cheeks. We were in schools when no one else was there, gathering food and supplies to make home visits and checking in on students.
We trained our staff in recognizing trauma in its various forms, and how to do facilitate small groups in person and online, to give students some skills to deal with those issues. We had staff driving large trucks belonging to 2nd Harvest to weekly food distributions where we were feeding 600-800 families a week.
When children did return to school they had enormous issues. They were scared, literally of interacting with people outside their homes. We had students who wanted to just sit in the same room with our staff rather than go to class. Some of our students are two years behind academically. 
What we do now as a community is critical. We need mentors and tutors next year more than ever. Our partners need extra support so that more services can be delivered to students. We are going to train our staff harder than ever to pay attention to the needs of students. We will continue to ask for your help and hope that we have good news for you in the coming months. Thanks.


Chuck Teegarden
Executive Director
Cheney Middle School Lunch Bunch
Cheney Middle School Students Love Lunch Bunch !
"A place where you can be and feel welcomed" - Cheney M.S. Student

"I liked the activities we did" - Cheney M.S. Student

"It was the closest I got to making friends" - Cheney M.S. Student

"It is really fun and amazing" - Cheney M.S. Student
Getting Though a Pandemic the CISSC Way
When Covid-19 Shutdown Our Schools- Communities In Schools of Spokane County Never Stopped Getting Families the Resources They Needed
2nd Harvest Food Distributions

When 2nd Harvest was in need of volunteers to ensure that families with food insecurities were fed throughout Spokane County - CISSC staff took charge of three food distribution sites and handed food out to 600-800 families per week. In total CISSC handed out a total of $2 million dollars worth of food.
Home Visits
When students were not able to be in school due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CISSC Site Coordinators visited students at homes to check in on their mental and physical well-being. CISSC also brought food, hygiene supplies and other items of need. In addition to this CISSC assisted students and families in getting connected to and discussing the importance of on line school. 
School Supplies & Headsets

Having to do school from home brought on many challenges for families and students in need. CISSC and partners where up to the challenge! CISSC gave out 1,200 headsets to students and other child serving organizations, internet, and much needed school supplies to families. 
PrimeTime Mentoring and Tutoring

Challenges brought on by COVID-19 and distance learning models did not discourage our mentors and tutors, who connect with their students with our newly launched virtual PrimeTime program.
Just a pleasant reminder of the importance of building relationships and connecting with our students, especially the ones who did not return to a building. They are lonely, but mentoring allows them time to interact with our wonderful mentors and tutoring gave them the help they needed to succeed in their online classes!

During the Covid-19 shutdown we were able to connect over 100 students virtually and in person at McDonald Elementary and Opportunity Elementary.

We continue to do all we can to make sure our students, and their families, stay supported, and all of you in Spokane County have made it possible! It's not over yet, but with all of you on our side, we're confident that we can still have a major impact on the lives of all of the students in our community!
PrimeTime Mentoring & Tutoring
As the school year has come to a close, we want to thank all of our volunteers for the time and effort you gave to our students this year. We realize many of you were unable to connect with your mentees and are we are looking forward to resuming many of our in person mentoring sessions this fall.

 I know many of you are missing your mentees and are excited to see them again. After speaking with our school supports, your mentees are missing you too and know they will need your continued support and care during the upcoming school year.

We will be working to reconnect mentors and mentees in the fall. Also, we ask for your help in sharing this volunteer opportunity with your friends, co workers and community groups. Mentoring matters and with your support, we can continue changing the lives of kids who live in our community!

If you have any questions please contact our Volunteer Director, Kelley Hinrichs
Thank you Northern Quest, Kalispel Tribe of Indians and Rise Above for including CISSC in this years Paddler Classic to raise money for the children!

Thanks to Starbucks Partners (employees) and The Starbucks Foundation for recognizing how CISSC is making our communities stronger.

We are proud to be nominated for The Starbucks Foundation Neighborhood Grants. We will use the funds to support our Prime Time Mentoring and Tutoring program to support students mental health and academic success.
Thank you United Way for the 216 packs of disinfectant wipes!

These will be used in schools to assist in keeping clean sanitary spaces.
Meet and Greet

Nakia Arquette
New 21st CCLS Program Manager

Nakia was born in Spokane, graduated from Lewis and Clark high school, and then attended the University of Utah on an athletic scholarship. In 2017 she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a minor in family studies.

While living in Salt Lake City, she worked with at risk youth as an elementary teacher, and later as a mentor at the Boys and Girls Club. Nakia most recently worked as a coach for the women’s basketball team at Eastern Washington University.

What motivated you into to working with/advocating for children? I had so many amazing people in my life growing up that helped provide me with opportunities I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. I want to give that forward to kids now. I want to help inform families about all of the opportunities our community has; and be influential in possibly creating more.

What is your favorite part of working for CISSC? Being connected with so many great people in Spokane. The network that CISSC has connected me with is more than I expected and I’m very grateful of that.

What does success look like as a 21st CCLC Program Manager, and how do you measure it? I would say success looks like students and families excited about our summer and after school programming. We want them to know there are other adults that care about them outside of the traditional school day and that we can provide another safe space for them to go and explore things our community offers. Success looks like people seeking out programming and wanting to be a part of what we’re building.

What has been your most rewarding or most exciting experience working at CISSC? It has been rewarding to be a piece of the puzzle brining more opportunities to the families and kids in the NE neighborhood.

Communities In Schools of Spokane County (CISSC) is partnering with the Coeur d’Alene Casino and KREM2Cares for our annual Tools2Schools campaign.

This is a great opportunity to provide support for students as soon as they walk through the doors on the first day of school. This Fall families will need help as COVID incentives disappear. That is why our goal is to raise $60,000 to build 2000 backpacks for the students that need them most. We want to ensure that students will start off the year with the tools they need to be confident and successful in school. Join us in our mission to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life!
Upcoming Events
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 for more information.

  • Volunteer at local Starbucks stores to put QR codes on coffee cups on Friday, August 13th. Locations and times TBD. This will be alongside KREM2 volunteers to promote Tools2Schools campaign at Starbucks which launches on 08/16-08/22.

  • Tools2Schools backpack stuffing event, Friday, August 27th from 10-4pm at the MLK Center (East Central Community Center).

  • September volunteer needs: Dozer Day, September 11&12th from 11am-4pm at Cabela’s Stateline. Needs are registration and ticket sales.

  • Wednesday, November 10th from 3-8pm at Mead High School for the Trades Career Fair, needs are registration, ushering etc.

  • On call people to help sort and deliver Christmas presents to schools for kids during Tree of Sharing 12/13-12/17 time is during the day at Northtown Mall and local schools.

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 Tutor -  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. 

Click on the link below to sign up for PrimeTime Mentoring or PrimeTime Tutoring !