The story of Communities In Schools began in the 1970s, when Founder Bill Milliken, then a youth advocate in New York City, came up with the idea of bringing community resources inside a public school building – where they are accessible, coordinated and accountable.
In the span of a little more than 30 years, Communities In Schools has become the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization. We have a unique model that positions a coordinator inside schools to assess needs and deliver necessary resources that remove barriers to success.
Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
Our network is comprised of nearly 5,000 passionate professionals in 25 states and the District of Columbia. We serve the most vulnerable students in the most dropout-prone school districts, nearly 1.3 million young people in more than 3,400 schools.
We are actively engaged with policy makers, school staff, parents and business partners to ensure that Communities In Schools’ services are extended to as many K-12 students as possible and that those students have access to college. Independent research demonstrates that Communities In Schools is one of a very few organizations proven to keep students in school and the only one to document that it increases graduation rates. The study also shows that a higher percentage of students served by Communities In Schools reach proficiency in 4th-grade and 8th-grade reading and math.
CIS of Aurora is part of that network that includes over 260 cities and communities. Aurora’s Communities In Schools started in 1991 and was incorporated in 1994.
CIS of Aurora strives to create an environment in which all children can learn and succeed both academically and emotionally. CIS has been a driving force in bringing organizations together for the benefit of Aurora’s youth and families. CIS creates collaborative projects with community partners that lay the foundation for a strong and prosperous community by helping children do better in school. CIS engages community social and health services providers to work as a team alongside teachers, principals, volunteers and mentors to provide the resources that children need, in school where the children are.
Our youth may need the kind of help and intervention that teachers aren’t usually equipped to provide: health care, drug use prevention, counseling for emotional problems, family services, gang awareness and prevention.
Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois with nearly 175,000 residents, located along the Fox River approximately 40 miles west of Chicago in Kane County. Aurora provides education to over 22,000 public school students in four school districts and five different cities and villages.
Communities In Schools cannot succeed without its community partners, the dedicated individuals who embrace CIS and work together on behalf of the community’s children.