New school year brings new volunteer needs
As each summer ends and students return to school, the new year brings increased student needs and demand for volunteers to assist Communities In Schools of Brunswick County (CIS) in changing student lives. The mission of CIS is to “surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.” For CIS, volunteers make all the difference, both in school-based programs and in CIS Thrift Shops.
CIS currently provides an Action for Success program in all Brunswick County middle schools, Waccamaw School, and Supply Elementary School, incorporating Success Coaches, community volunteers, club and business partnerships to support student achievement. CIS assists Brunswick County students through tutors, mentors, Teen and Peer Court programs, 21st Century Community Learning Center after school program, and parenting education, with a focus on dropout prevention services.
The unique aspect of the CIS Action for Success program is the placement of CIS Success Coaches in each school for individualized student assistance and intervention. Obstacles and challenges arise for students that can negatively influence their education. CIS Success Coaches give the students a trusting one-on-one relationship with a caring adult to help them overcome their challenges and succeed at their highest potential.
“Each and every student has the ability to succeed in and out the classroom and often barriers exist that hinder success. CIS works to reduce those barriers as well as build a strong developmental relationship with that student in order to support them,” said Mallory Wells, CIS Program Operations Officer.
The efforts of CIS making a difference in the lives of students and families are well documented. In the 2018-2019 school year, organization efforts resulted in more than 4,000 young people and families receiving services including academic tutoring, social enrichment, and evidence-based intervention services that reach far beyond the classroom.
CIS offers evidence-based, programming that helps students move toward a positive path of self-respect, opportunity, and growth. They become better students, academically and behaviorally. The relationship with a caring adult, their CIS Success Coach, and valued community volunteers that serve as mentors and tutors, provide that positive role model in their lives that helps students become more connected with their education and see opportunities for themselves.
CIS is proud of the success of each student enrolled in CIS programs. Students often face multiple risk factors for dropping out of school or not being promoted to the next grade. CIS Success Coaches are embedded at assigned schools and work to recruit volunteers that work with students through individualized Student Support Plans for case managed students that help reduce the effects of risk factors present in their lives. Every middle and elementary school where CIS offers programming is always in need of community volunteers serving as mentors and tutors to students.
During the 2018-2019 school year, 403 students received individualized case management and intervention services in the CIS Action for Success program.
- 83% of students referred for low performance in core subject areas improved, based on report card grades.
- 86% of students referred for behavior issues showed a measurable change in behavior, based on school disciplinary records.
- 77% of students referred for truancy issues improved attendance, based on school attendance records.
- 99% of students provided with CIS case managed services were promoted to the next grade.
Another way to support CIS Action for Success programs in schools is volunteering in CIS Thrift Shops. Proceeds from CIS Shops go to support CIS programs in schools. CIS Thrift Shops have four locations in Brunswick County—Boiling Spring Lakes, Leland, Southport, and Sunset Beach. The shops are open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with donations welcome during those hours. Boiling Spring Lakes and Southport CIS Thrift Shop are also open Sundays from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Helping more students succeed and preparing them for a strong future is important. It is easy to join the many individuals, community organizations, and businesses that are CIS partners and engaged in helping to change lives. For more information about CIS of Brunswick County programs and to start volunteering, please contact the CIS office at (910) 351-8007. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates.