Dear Friends,
Our partners are the most valuable resource in our effort to help at-risk children and families. Schools provide us with the platform from which to find children, engage them and plan for goods and services. Schools also have great teams who work alongside us to make change possible!

During COVID, we have seen our partnerships become stronger because the needs for families have become so huge that no one entity can address them alone. 2nd Harvest had food, but not enough people. CISSC had people, but no food. Now we’re driving 2nd Harvest trucks like it is second nature for our folks! The Zone Project got food from all kinds of restaurants and other places and then Shaw Middle School let us use their place like a warehouse!

We received trauma training money from Providence, then partnered with Lutheran Community Services to create a more seamless process to help students. We received funding from multiple sources to buy food, hygiene supplies, and school supplies this year in a way that we never expected. We went out every day since March 16th, to serve in person, kids and families and did so because of the support of our partners.

We have begun to make inroads into the technology issue facing low income families at the moment and have new partnerships with West Central Community Center and Northeast Youth Center to broadcast wireless internet through another partner, Lockett.

Our list of partners is very long and the above are just a few examples. Communities In Schools is all about bringing resources from the Community Into the Schools. We are grateful for all our past and current partners and if you do not currently partner with us and would like to, let us know! We’re going to make it through this pandemic together.

Sincerely,
Chuck Teegarden
Executive Director
Community Partners
Office Depot Provides $uport and Supplies!
Office Depot’s philanthropic philosophy is simple, they focus on school communities k-12. So far, $1.3 million dollars has been given out to help schools.
Jeff and Darren are Office Depot superheroes! If I planned our interview better I would have brought them capes to wear in the photo.

It all started 3 years ago when Darren, who is the GM of the Valley store, collected school supplies for their Back to School Program and took an unsolicited donation to McDonald Elementary school where we had a CISSC site.
Jenni, the site coordinator at the time, was surprised and extremely thankful. She took photos of the benevolent gift which filled the entire floor in her room and after filling McDonalds supply closets offered the remaining supplies to other CIS schools. Since then, it has been an easy partnership.

When I asked Darren, why do you support CISSC he said “Once you understand what CIS does and where the need is, it’s an easy decision. We are here to work for the community because they are our lifeblood.”

It wasn’t hard for Jeff, GM of the 3rd Ave. store, to get on board and utilize what the company offers to help the community. They know that CISSC will get the donations and supplies to students that need them the most. When I asked Jeff why he chooses to support CISSC he said without hesitation “It’s 100% for the kids.”

If you think it doesn’t matter where you buy your office or school supplies you are wrong! By supporting Office Depot you are supporting CISSC! There are 3 ways you can support Office Depot and Communities In Schools of Spokane County: 1. shop there and let them know at the register that you want to support CISSC, 5% of your eligible purchase will go back to CISSC, 2. donate at the keypad when you pay! 3. Private businesses can participate also by selecting CISSC as the organization to receive 5% of their eligible purchase. 
Spotlight on Success
Internet Inequities:
Logging In to Learn
SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED, BUT WE ARE NOT!

Nestled in the heart of Washington’s most impoverished zip code is the Northeast Youth Center. It is now acting as a learning center for students living in the Hillyard and Whitman neighborhoods. Every day, staff sit with young students as they navigate their virtual classrooms. They came here because they don’t have internet access at home. If they want to keep up with their peers, they need to find a place to login and learn!

There are many reasons families end up on wrong side of what is being called the ‘digital gap’. This phenomenon is defined as the gap that exits between individuals who have access to modern information and technology and those who lack access. In America, the most formidable obstacle putting families on the wrong side of the digital gap is money. Rising internet costs, and the hefty price tag found on most devices can stop a family’s advancement in its tracks. According to the Digital Divide Council, only half of the U.S. households earning less that $35K a year have a home internet connection. Even if school districts can provide students with devices, it’s all in vain when there’s no way to connect. These students have already started to lag behind. It’s believed that many students have been unenrolled from school simply because of their failure to log in.

For children and families living in poverty, the world is consistently inconsistent. It’s estimated that in Spokane County 1 in 6 children under the age of 18 lives in poverty. Traditionally, schools and their staff have provided the support students need for learning. For these kids, virtual learning is just not realistic.

This has been a growing issue for years, but COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order are making us face it head on, and forcing community leaders to come up with new solutions using new tools. It was this need that brought Communities In Schools of Spokane County, local community centers, and Lokket, Inc. together in an effort to provide the hardest hit areas with an affordable connection. It is becoming more and more evident that internet access is no longer a luxury, but a necessary utility like water and electricity.

Students need a community of support now more than ever. Supporting community centers like Northeast Youth Center is our way of making sure students can succeed in school and in life.
CIS Super-Stars
Chuck Richardson &
John Ammann
Chuck Richardson and John Ammann have been driving food to the Airway Heights community where CISSC distributes it to families in need.

How long have you been volunteering with a driver for Second Harvest?
John - 2 years
Chuck - I have been volunteering for 7 years. I started by delivering Bites2Go
Why do you choose to volunteer on a regular basis like you do?
It’s just what I do

It’s awesome to see the two of you volunteering together. Why do you like partnering in this volunteer effort?
It’s fun to do this with a friend. It is better than volunteering alone. You get something to do together and I enjoy talking in the truck as we drive back and forth.

Why do you think it’s important to provide this weekly service to the people in our community?
Being the way things are there are a lot of hungry people out there. For some people, they have to make a choice between rent and food. We want to help people so they don’t have to choose. 
Meet & Greet
Josh Bergman is the Chair for Communities In Schools of Spokane County. He works at WSECU and is in charge of Community Relations in Central and Eastern WA.

Josh first learned about CISSC through his wife who is a teacher at a Title I school with a CISSC site in it. She loves the program and often asked Josh to give money to help fill food pantries at the schools that help feed hungry students.
“I enjoy being a part of something that changes lives.” It was through this giving that Josh decided to join the Board. “We fill a need in the community that no one else is filling and is much needed.”

At each board meeting we have a CISSC site coordinator come in and tell a story about the impact of the program. “I like to hear the stories about what we are doing in schools with students and how we are changing lives. That gets me excited about the next project we are working on to help kids”

Josh loves the program so much he wants to be a part of every committee! “Many hands make light work. If we all band together and give a little of our time and resources collectively, we can change the trajectory of someone’s life. Why wouldn’t you want to change someone’s life?”

We are thankful to have such an active participant leading our Board. He freely gives his time and resources whenever asked. He is an advocate for our program and helps spread the word about our work. His jovial personality makes him easy to work with and his wisdom helps our program be more successful. Josh’s final words “We can’t all be employees of CISSC but we can all help support the mission.” 
Volunteer Opportunities
Our kids need you! During this time, it is more important than ever to stay connected by reaching out a helping hand to students in need. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Kelley Hinrichs, Director of Volunteer Services. 509-342-0747
Here are some simple ways to support Communities In Schools of Spokane County as we work to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life:
Operation Warm
Help Us Reach Our Goal of Raising $5,000 to Provide Brand New Coats to Local Children in Need.
In our communities, nearly one in five children live in need. For their families, paying for food, housing, heat and healthcare takes priority. Many children may have to go without a warm coat throughout the winter season.
Your gift could make this kind of impact on a child near you.
Just $20 provides one coat for a child in need.
2nd Harvest Food Distributions: We work with 2nd Harvest in Airway Height and North Spokane to provide families staple food items. For details and sign-up please CLICK HERE
Round Up at Office Depot: When you shop at Office Depot stores remember that you can choose to round up your total, donating the difference, or choose an amount to tack on as a donation!
Help from Home! All you need to do is shop through AMAZON SMILE and list us as your charity of choice.