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Communities In Schools

Together, we surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Volunteers of America North Louisiana has partnered with Communities In Schools, the nation’s largest and most effective organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life. We start with the belief that caring adults can change a child’s life.

 Why It’s Important

In Shreveport- Bossier City, more than 25,000 children live in poverty. Without community support, they are at risk for missing school, falling behind academically, and dropping out of school altogether. By helping our most vulnerable students stay in school and succeed in life, we are building stronger, healthier and more economically stable communities where every person is capable of reaching his or her greatest potential. After all, each child is our child, and our collective future.

 

How We Do What We Do

The Communities In Schools model trains and places highly qualified site coordinators directly into schools. Once there, our job is to connect students and their families to basic and critical community resources that are tailored to each student’s specific needs. By providing students with a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, we create a safe place to learn and grow, a strong start to a healthy future, a path toward marketable skills upon graduation and a chance to give back to peers and the community.

In each school, the site coordinator becomes part of the staff and are responsible for understanding the culture and needs of their school as well as building relationships in the school and community. Services are provided in a three-tiered approach. Tier 1 services are available to the entire student body and include uniform closets, food programs, health fairs and parent education nights.

Tier 2 and 3 services are targeted to a maximum of 50-70 students at each school. They are selected by the teachers and administration based on their need for intensive services. Each of these students (and, when possible, their guardians) meet with the site coordinator regularly to create an improvement plan. Tier 2 services are provided in a group setting such as anger management classes or support groups. Tier 3 services are the most intense and might include grief counseling, tutoring or mentoring.

Who We Serve

For the 2018-19 school year, seven Communities In Schools site coordinators are working in six Caddo Parish Schools:

Booker T. Washington High School Oak Park Elementary School
Fair Park Middle School Creswell Elementary School
Broadmoor Middle School J.S. Clark Elementary School

More than 90 percent of the students in each of these schools lives in poverty.

Making A Difference

For the 2017-18 school year, Volunteers of America North Louisiana operated the Communities In Schools model in four Caddo Parish schools.

  • more than 1,800 were served with school-wide services, such as a clothing closet, food pantry and tutors.
  • 252 children received intensive case management services. Of those:
    • 55% met their attendance goal.
    • 57% met their behavior goal.
    • 67% met their academic goal.
    • 100% stayed in school.

Get Involved

If you would like to learn more about working with Communities In Schools, please contact Shelby McCarty, Community Engagement Coordinator, at shelby.mccarty@voanorthla.org or CLICK HERE to fill out an online volunteer application. For questions about our Communities In Schools partnership or model, contact Director of Children and Family Services Carolyn Hammond at carolyn.hammond@voanorthla.org

 CLICK HERE TO SEE THE COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS PROGRAM WISH LIST

2018-19 Advisory Council Members

John Dean Bonnie Moore
Lamar Goree  Shannon Smith
Kristin Gustavson Carl Stewart
Bernard Kimble

 

The Communities In Schools program is funded in part by The Community Foundation of North Louisiana and The United Way of Northwest Louisiana.

Community Foundation

 

 

 

 

Visit The Communities In Schools National Website

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