Serving Students and Building Brighter Futures
Shampoo, toothbrushes, and deodorants are afterthought items that most of us use to start our day. It is easy to take for granted some of these essential basic needs items. However, these items can sometimes be in short supply to the students and families that Communities In Schools (CIS) serves. Oftentimes, our students are met with empty drawers and pantries at home. They are left to start the day without the nutrition or supplies they need to set themselves up for success at home and at school.
Most sites that CIS serves will have a clothing closet or food pantry available for student use. These facilities are regularly stocked with items like deodorant, shampoo, feminine products, clothing, and most importantly, food. Site coordinators will leverage relationships in the community to help assist families. CIS will connect with local food banks and community partners and will accept in-kind donations from individuals and groups in the community. In the past, CIS has received beds, bicycles, and even gift cards, all with the intention to support students in need.
The healthcare realm can be intimidating to almost anyone. Finding a primary care physician can present a challenge to those who are unaware of how to navigate the healthcare system. CIS will stand with our students to help connect them to the proper healthcare provider. Additionally, COVID-19 presented a unique and unprecedented challenge. CIS was ready to step up to the challenge and was able to help organize various vaccination clinics in the school districts that we serve. The pandemic also caused increased levels of anxiety and stress for everyone, but overwhelmingly affected the younger population. CIS was able to connect students to various mental health resources to help them cope during a very uncertain time.
During the pandemic, when connectivity was paramount, CIS was able to help secure mobile hotspots for families without internet access. This allowed the students to stay engaged while schools were implementing remote learning.
Every day presents new challenges for our students, and CIS is always thinking of new and unique ways to remove barriers to student success. CIS serves over 40 schools in Lehigh, Northampton, and Berks counties. We always welcome continued partnerships with our community members. If you would like to support a school in your area, please visit www.ciseasterpa.org for more information about how you can help!