Success Stories

Summer Camp 2012 was a huge success! Take a look at what some of the parents and grandparents said about the programs;

Summer camp has been real good for my boys they love all the teachers and always have fun things to do and have lots of stories to tell us when they get home.  We love camp! J Victoria Z.
My son Joseph, he loves it.  He talks about the field trips that they were awesome.  He also enjoyed meeting new friends.  Thank you to the staff and the program.
This was a wonderful experience for my son.  He had a great time and looked forward to camp each day.  The staff did a fantastic job keeping the kids engaged.  I am pleased.
My granddaughter looks forward to going to your Summer Camp Program, wants to attend before its time to go.  Great program!

Praise God for CIS
Emilio Miguel Mancilla Fischer, Aurora University Student, CIS Intern

Last year as a transfer student at Aurora University my goal was to graduate in 2012 as a well-rounded person. I am earning a 4.0 in my major to date and continue to strive for good grades. As a student, I was involved in many student organizations. An advisor from one of those organizations told me about Communities In Schools’ after-school programs and showed me where to apply. I remember the day I applied to be a Student Leader for CIS’s after-school program like it was yesterday. On that day CIS left a lasting impression on me that continues today in my role as a BSW intern for CIS. Crystal Rodriguez took my application and told me that I would need to get finger printed before I start working. Her kindness did not stop there. She drove me to the police station herself so I could get finger printed immediately. My first semester working with CIS as a Student Leader I was a substitute. Crystal inspired me to repay the kindness she showed me and I subbed everyday of the week. I would even show up in the office right before the buses would leave and ask her if any school needed someone even if I was not scheduled to work that day.  My work ethic earned me a concrete schedule my second semester with CIS. In addition I earned Student Leader of the Year at Brady Elementary.

As a Student Leader I loved my role as a mentor. However, something was missing. I found myself struggling to hold back. I wanted to help talk with the students about the underlying issues that bothered them. I never thought that I would get an opportunity to explore these issues until the day Aurora University had an agency fair for social work students. The purpose of the agency fair was to connect BSW and MSW students with potential internship placements. At the fair, I felt confused and scared that I did not choose the right major for myself. As I was about to leave disappointed, I noticed that CIS was one of agencies present. I thought to myself I love working for them now and would like to see what this internship is all about. Fortunately, I was blessed with an opportunity to join the Communities In Schools of Aurora team in a new capacity, as a BSW intern. I accepted their invitation with high hopes. Currently, I feel very supported and thankful to have a great field supervisor, Joanna Carroll, who challenges me to learn and supports me on my journey to become a professional in the field of social work. Thank you Communities In Schools of Aurora for allowing me to follow my passion and surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

“Learning from a MyTime Field Trip”
Jefferson Middle School

Jesus is a very special person. When he went to visit a friend that lives near Hesed House, he noticed the many people that rely on the resources Hesed House offers.

In December, Jesus attended the MyTime City Wide After School Program field trip to the FVPD Prisco Center and listened to a presentation by Mrs. Marilyn Weisner, Director of the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry. Students learned how to sort donated food and heard of the services and volunteer opportunities provided by the Food Pantry,

He now volunteers on his days off school. He helps put together bags of food for needy families and assists with unloading deliveries of donations. We’re very proud of you Jesus.

Fischer Middle School
“7th Grade”

A. Petty

“I like to come to MY TIME to do homework and interact with my friends. The activity that I enjoy the most is dodge ball. I told my friends that they should join MY TIME because of the field trips, it is fun, and you can do your homework. The program helps me when I do not understand my homework and my grades improved.”

M. Rogers

“I like to come to MY TIME because I like to be with my friends. I like to play computer games. I told my friends that we could do our homework, hang out and play games, and it is a good learning experience. The program helped me to do well and stay on the honor roll.”

B. Hughes

“I like to do my homework and the activities are fun. I like when breaking free comes, and playing basketball and kickball. I tell people they should join so they can get help with their homework and hang out with their friends. The program helped me to finish my homework on time and keep my grades up.”

“8th Grade”

K. Banks

“I like MY TIME because it’s fun. I like it because I like helping the other students with homework and get better grades. The activities that I like most are having open gym and going to the sports games. I tell my fiends they should join because it’s fun, they can get their homework done, and the people that are there like to help you. The program helps me because the staff makes sure our homework is done. They make sure we get the help we need and our grades are good.”

R. Llaguno

“I like to come to MY TIME because home is distracting and I get more time to do homework and focus. I enjoy playing in the gym, going outside, and having computer time. I tell my friends that we have actual teachers to help better than your parents can. I actually get homework done, I have no missing assignments, and my grades are good. “

R. DeLeon-Gonzales

“I like MY TIME because I get help with my homework and I don’t get help at home. I like the field trips and the talent slam at the end of the year. You should join because you get help with homework, you can improve your grades, and you have fun. I understand the homework given and I am able to turn it in on time.”

Community Coat Drive – January 14, 2011

Here is the final report for the 2010 school based coat drive that CIS, Wayside Ministries and The City of Aurora coordinated. I am happy to report that this is the largest distribution we have ever done. Sincere thanks to all the donors who made this possible. It is wonderful when a community comes together, especially when the need is so great, to ensure that all of our area children have the basic necessity of a warm coat during winter. Thanks again!

These are the totals for the coats that were distributed to the schools from November 4, 2010 to January 14, 2011

Allen 15
Bardwell 24
Beaupre 12
Brady 14
Dieterich 25
Fearn 5
Gates 7
Hermes 7
Hill 37
Jefferson 9
Johnson and East Aurora Early Childhood Center 60 (36 new; 24 used)
McCleery 3
Nicholson 11
O’ Donnell 16
Rollins 22
Washington 20
Oak Park 5
Other: Therapist Silvia Calvo for clients and United Way Clients 16
Total Distribution to 1/4/11 308

The majority of the coats were new and came from donations from The City of Aurora, Wayside Cross Ministries, Communities In Schools, Aurora University, The Elssy Fabela Foundation, District 204, Junior League of Kane and DuPage Counties, Inc. and the Fox Valley Park District.

Laura Ramirez-Nunez-
CIS coat drive coordinator

Toys For Tots

For the 13th year, CIS has partnered with The Aurora Fire Department to identify families for the annual “Toys For Tots” program. CIS is instrumental in obtaining the referrals of families in need of some “holiday cheer,” for the program. CIS service coordinators reach out to the area schools and the social workers nominate 5 families from each school. The nominations are then forwarded to AFD staff that has an army of volunteers ready to sort and wrap the gifts for the deserving families. Right before Christmas, the firefighters and Santa hop on the shiny red engines and drive through the Aurora neighborhoods delivering the gifts to the children. Despite the economy, the community pulls together and toys are collected at the various drop off points. All of the nominated children and teens receive at least one gift. This year 257 children were nominated through this effort. A special Thanks to Lieutenant Chuck Wonderling and the Aurora Firefighters who continue to bring joy to so many Aurora children during the holiday season. It is a privilege to work with them on this project.