September, 2021
As the pandemic continues to impact our community, Communities In Schools is addressing new levels of anxiety and trauma experienced by students. We provide safe spaces on campus for students to go when they are anxious or need to talk, self-care resources, and events supporting student wellness to empower them to have a healthy outlook on their mental health. Caring adult relationships are foundational to services provided by CIS. Relationships and social-emotional competencies are key ingredients in the overall conditions for student success. Research tells us that when children have a solid relationship with a caring adult, they are significantly more likely to have positive academic, behavioral and social emotional outcomes. Thank you for your support!
CIS Events Bring Excitement to Back to School Time
The Communities In Schools SmartKids program partnered with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin to host three back to school events for students and their families. The events had food, games, raffle prizes, baby goat petting, Amy's Ice Cream, complimentary haircuts, school supply distribution, and the opportunity to meet school staff. More than 150 students and family members attended. “The SmartKids team planned socially distanced events to help families get excited about back to school during this time of uncertainty due to the pandemic," says Elvira Gutierrez, CIS SmartKids Program Manager. "We provided resources, offered support, and greeted everyone with friendly and familiar masked faces. It was great to be able to welcome families back after a challenging 18 months of virtual/hybrid learning."
Welcoming AmeriCorps Members to a Year of Service with CIS
CIS of Central Texas welcomed 46 AmeriCorps members on September 1st. CIS AmeriCorps members will mentor and tutor elementary and middle school students on 38 campuses across all 7 of the school districts we serve - Austin, Bastrop, Elgin, Hays, Lockhart, Manor, and San Marcos. The CIS AmeriCorps program strives to recruit from our local communities, and 70% of this year’s cohort is from right here in Central Texas. Amanda Miller, CIS AmeriCorps Program Director, says “I’m excited about the passion, experience, and commitment to service that our new cohort brings to our work. AmeriCorps is truly an opportunity for folks to support and uplift the communities where they live. The training, professional development, and relationships created during an AmeriCorps term of service is life-changing – both for the members and the students they serve!”
Food for Thought announces PJS as Presenting Sponsor
 
For the 6th year in a row, Professional Janitorial Service has returned as the Presenting Sponsor for Food for Thought. Austin’s premiere tasting event will take place on Monday, November 8 at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. 
 
“We are so very grateful to Professional Janitorial Service and CEO, Don Dyer, for their commitment to our work” says Carmine Salvucci, Chief Development Officer. “Year after year, PJS not only generously sponsors Food for Thought, but also introduces many other wonderful and generous people to our work. We cannot thank them enough for their partnership.”
 
Check out the restaurant list below of those who have already agreed to participate in this year’s event. Click here for sponsorship opportunities or to purchase tickets.
 
Visit our Food for Thought Restaurants!
Concordia University teams up with CIS to Beautify Campuses
Concordia University partnered with Communities In Schools as part of their Welcome Week festivities for incoming freshmen. Sixty Concordia students volunteered at five Austin ISD campuses identified for campus beautification projects - Cook, Dawson, Garza, Navarro and Walnut Creek. Concordia will provide additional supports for CIS students throughout the school year, and we look forward to expanding our partnership. Thank you Concordia for being #AllinforKids!
Ready for School Drive Update
Thank you to all our Ready for School Drive partners who together raised over $75,000 plus donated items to distribute to school campuses.
 
Congratulations to Adobe for being our top fundraising partner! Their fundraising efforts provided more than 300 students with supplies this year. Way to go Team Adobe!
 
Another special shoutout to Ascension Seton Medical Center for providing high-quality backpacks full of supplies, and to UFCU for providing dorm baskets for CIS students starting college this fall. 
Communities In Schools of Central Texas surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.