A Message From Our Executive Director
Dear Partners and Friends:
It has been a challenging year for all, and yet we have been encouraged and amazed by the outpouring of support from our community partners. This year we are providing services for 23 Clear Creek and Dickinson ISD campuses, including 3 new campuses, thanks to your support. I want to thank you for checking in with us, asking about our needs, and for your flexibility.
Below are examples of our services this semester, including a student story written by a Student Support Specialist.
FREE BOOKS – The Student Support Specialist at Bay Colony Elementary started her own book fair for case managed students because so many were not able to afford books from the school book fair. She created coupons for them that they could use to "buy" the books. The books were provided to CIS by the school librarian, and now all case managed students will have books to read over the holiday break.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY - Did you know that board games help promote social and emotional learning so students can develops skills needed to work with others and succeed in life? Through game play, students learn to regulate emotions, take turns, share, and learn how to win (or lose) with dignity and respect. The Student Support Specialist at K.E. Little Elementary plays board games such as Candy Land, Checkers, Uno, and Connect Four as a way to enjoy spending quality time with her students while also building important skills. Through a community partnership, each student will be taking home their very own board game for the holidays!
STUDENT STORY - Theo is a 4th grader who was referred to CIS staff by the campus Behavior Coach for anger issues, a poor conduct, and low self-esteem. He has been known to throw himself on the ground and start crying when things do not work out in his favor or he does not want to do them. When CIS staff contacted his mother, she disclosed that during Hurricane Harvey Theo was trapped on their apartment balcony and was air lifted out due to the flooding. This traumatic experience has impacted his behavior ever since.
CIS staff worked regularly with Theo on developing coping strategies to self-regulate his emotions, including breathing exercises, focusing on the positives, maintaining his mindfulness, and establishing behavior goals. Theo had a goal to go one week without any kind of discipline referral. Once he accomplished his goal, he was able to pick a prize from the CIS office. CIS staff also had an agreement with school staff that if Theo was feeling like he was losing control he could go to the CIS office to decompress. Theo eventually got to the point where he was surpassing his goals. He is excelling academically and his teachers state that he is becoming a leader on campus!
Thank you for believing in Communities In Schools – Bay Area, and I wish you and your family health and peace this holiday season.
With sincerest gratitude,
Dr. Peter Wuenschel
Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools is the nation's leading organization that surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. By bringing caring adults into the schools to address children's unmet needs, Communities In Schools 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.