Communities In Schools believes that every child should have a positive start to life, including preschool. Our partnership with the GBC’s Mark H. Dawson Child and Family Center in Northeastern Nevada helps us to manage the Little Red Caboose Preschool in Carlin, a community with no private or public preschool services. The preschool is now in its fourth year with children from the community thriving as they prepare for kindergarten.
Communities In Schools partners with the Clark and Elko County School District to operate our CIS Academy (known as Fellows Academy in Northeastern Nevada). The CIS Academy is an in-school, dropout prevention program that assists at-risk youth at targeted schools with successfully starting and completing high school.
CIS Academy students learn behavioral strategies and life skills that are key to success. CIS Academy teachers use tutoring and credit redemption programs to help students catch up academically. Career exploration and service-learning experiences help students to develop real-life skills and start planning for the future.
CIS Academy students enrolled in the fully scaled program in 2011-12 made the following gains:
- 97% of students decreased the number of out-of-school suspension days.
- 94% of students decreased the number of days they spent in in-school suspension.
- 62% of students decreased their total number of absences, by an average of 20 days per student.
- 67% of students increased their GPA.
- 78% of students maintained or increased the number of credits earned.
In Southern and Northeastern Nevada, food-insecure children are sent home every Friday afternoon with backpacks full of nutritious food to help them make it through the weekend. There is no charge for this food, which is purchased with grant funding or donated by generous people, churches, service groups and businesses throughout our community. Additionally, breakfasts and after-school snacks are offered to students in Northeastern Nevada, and Resource Centers throughout Southern Nevada offer food-insecure students snacks and emergent food pantries.
In 2011-12, our Northeastern Nevada affiliate distributed 36,876 breakfast meals and 5,454 weekend backpacks.
Resource Centers have been placed in all of our Southern Nevada schools to provide families with food, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene packs. Students and families may also receive vouchers for clothing and shoes, transportation, and other services through our Resource Centers.
Mental Health & Counseling
Some youth need a little more than mentoring to overcome their challenges. Communities In Schools offers counseling services to students in Northeastern Nevada via video telehealth network managed by the Office of Rural Health. Students in Clark County receive counseling services directly in their schools. Proctored UNLV counseling and social work students provide services to ensure that at-risk children receive the extra support they need to be successful in school.
In 2011-12, 93% of Southern Nevada students who participated in ongoing counseling for 1 semester and 100% of students who participated for 2 semesters improved in at least one target area. In Northeastern Nevada, 56% of surveyed students reported feeling less angry or sad, 56% reported an improved ability to control their own behavior, and 89% reported that they felt better prepared to make positive choices in the future.
Pediatric Medical Services
Immunizations save lives. Yet many families cannot afford immunizations, flu shots or other preventive medicine, so they go without. Communities In Schools partners with organizations in both Northeastern and Southern Nevada to ensure that children receive the immunizations they need to stay healthy.
In Southern Nevada, Communities In Schools refers students to free pediatric medical services including sick child visits, well child visits, sports physicals, and dental services to children ages 0-18. Southern Nevada also has a vision program that helps connect children with eye exams and glasses.
Partnerships with community organizations including Walmart and Office Depot have enabled us to provide our schools with the supplies – including paper, pencils, and crayons – that children need to do their schoolwork at the start of each school year.