Welcome to the Communities In Schools of Southwest Pennsylvania's brand new website! It is our hope that this easy-to-use design, up-to-date information and interactive elements will keep you coming back every day to see what’s new with CIS of SWPA.
Communities In Schools is the nation's largest dropout prevention organization. For more than 30 years, CIS has championed the connection of needed community resources with schools. By bringing caring adults into the schools to address children's unmet needs, CIS provides the link between educators and the community. The result: Teachers are free to teach, and students -- many in jeopardy of dropping out -- have the opportunity to focus on learning.
Communities In Schools of Southwest Pennsylvania is one of 27 state affiliates, plus the District of Columbia, that comprises the CIS national network. Established in 1994, CISPA currently encompasses five local CIS affiliates in 119 program sites serving over 18,350 students throughout Pennsylvania.
Communities In Schools helps students stay in school and make the right choices by connecting schools with needed community resources. By bringing resources, services, parents, and volunteers into schools, we create a community of caring adults who work hand in hand with educators.
The resources and people that CIS connects with the school are often already in the community. More often than not, these vital resources and people are located outside of the school building, across town, or are only open during business and school hours. Communities In Schools is the connector, bringing this team of caring adults right into the school building where the children are and where the need is the greatest.
Communities In Schools helps communities and schools assess the needs of their youth. We then design plans for meeting those needs, using existing resources. This coordinated, individualized approach is what makes us an effective organization and why we are so successful.
Shreen Edmondson grew up in foster care after having lost her mother when she was 9 years
old. Shreen, a young mother of four, spent several years in our program striving to earn her
high school diploma after dropping out of Peabody. CIS was able to be flexible with her schedule
so that she could be a responsible mother while completing her high school education. Of
course, this took a lot of time, but Shreen remained focused and completed all of her required
coursework. While she was a student, she attended our week long BIZ CAMP, where she
competed in a business plan competition. She shared first place, for developing an innovative
plan to create a housing program for young mothers and fathers. After completing our program,
she successfully completed Job Corps certification program for registered nursing assistants;
at the Job Corps graduation, Shreen was selected as the one student speaker on behalf
of her class of over 50 students. She is now working as a nursing assistant and is enrolled in
Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) with an ultimate goal of becoming a registered
Please click here for more success stories.
Communities in Schools believes every child needs and deserves these "Five Basics."