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Bins for the Win

Every new school year ushers in changes that require students and faculty to readjust. Students change classrooms, teachers welcome a new cohort of pupils, and everyone worries about forgetting to set their morning alarm clocks! At Easton Area Middle School (EAMS), site coordinator Nicole Brodt is making some of those changes more manageable for everyone. 

woman in black sweatshirt sits at brown table packing a purple box

At the beginning of the 2023-24 academic year, EAMS helped its 2,000 students feel more tight-knit by creating grade-level centers. The centers were formed by consolidating grade-level principals, school counselors, and CIS site professionals, and each individual center acts as a resource hub for the grade level.

Nicole had an idea: set up a station for student needs at each grade level center. Bins full of items that students may need throughout the day are now at every center. All bins include feminine hygiene products, hair ties, combs, deodorant, snacks, folders, notebooks, pencils, and backpacks. These items are open to all students, not just the ones working with CIS. 

For over a decade, Nicole has been serving the Easton community on behalf of CIS of Eastern PA and has learned it’s impossible to anticipate the needs that will arise on any given day. She is one of five CIS site professionals working at EAMS, and each site professional is assigned a different grade level center.

“We work as a team to collaborate with their supports and teachers to allow the students to be successful and get what they need,” said Nicole.

In addition to the student needs’ bins, each grade level center has a “fidget bin” containing items to help students relax and de-escalate if they become angry or frustrated. These break stations allow the adolescent students to manage their emotions in a healthy way. Placing these stations inside the grade-level centers also allows for a point of contact by a staff member or CIS professional. 

Sometimes, change comes with adversity and stress, but CIS of Eastern PA’s team at EAMS meets students at their own levels. These examples of being proactive and understanding the school’s needs help improve students' daily lives. 



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