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Community in Schools continues to provide services

Even though students are not physically in school, Communities in Schools is still actively playing a role in helping students.

“We provide wraparound services to students and families to make sure that each student is successful in the classroom and at home,” said Site Coordinator Nick Griffin. “A lot of times a lot of students won’t show up to school or have attendance issues because of how their clothes look or how they smell, so we’ve done anything from obviously providing families with clothing to even washing students close at school.”

CIS helps with academic assistance, behavior intervention, mental health and more.

“I’ve sat with parents at the hospital all day because they don’t have any family there to help them,” Griffin said. “We do it all. There is really no gray area of something we provide for them, and if we can’t provide a service, we will know someone in the community that can.”

On Thursday, the community will have a chance to help CIS continue its mission of helping students and families who are in need.

Executive Director Tabitha Lewis-Coverson said it is imperative the community gives Thursday for CIS Giving Day to help keep its services going.

“We are using those funds to make sure the kids and their families are able to make it through these next couple of months,” Coverson said. “We are doing more than normal things right now, since they are home all day now. They aren’t getting breakfast and lunch at school anymore. In addition to that, we are still making referrals for mental health services.”

CIS is currently working on a virtual summit program to help keep students engaged as well.

“We are asking the community to please give and help support these initiatives,” Coverson said.

There will be a link to give on the Communities in Schools of Georgia in Troup County Facebook page and at cistroup.org.

CIS covers all of Troup County and is physically in Callaway Middle School, Long Cane Middle School, Gardner Newman Middle School, Berta Weathersbee Elementary and Callaway High School.

“Even though we are not in every school, we will end up getting call about someone maybe at LaGrange High or in the LaGrange zone,” Griffin said. “It doesn’t matter, everyone at every site helps out as far as all of Troup County.”

Griffin said without CIS, more than 2,000 students that they serve could be in a difficult position right now.

“A lot of times you will have families going through really rough times,” Griffin said. “Families may have a house fire, and we will provide clothing and food for them or help them with other assistance. We will make sure that students are staying in school or even helping them find a way to school. Some students move in and out of zone, some students are homeless, and its really just endless of what we do for families and students.”

Communities In Schools of Georgia in Troup County follows its mission of “surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and succeed in life.”

Coverson said that the funding will help tremendously with making sure students are still being fed right now.

“We have a lot of kids who are being raised by other individuals who are not their parents,” Coverson said. “We have a lot of grandparents raising the kids, and they do not get any type of assistance since they are not technically foster children. We try to provide for those families.”

Coverson said since March, CIS has made several deliveries of food, hygiene items, and even basic items like socks and underwear for their students.

During the year, Griffin said site coordinators have a caseload of students  they work with that struggling in different areas of life.

“Anybody who comes in my room and they want to talk, we’ll talk,” Griffin said. “Each school has small groups where we counsel. You’re going to hear a lot of issues throughout the day. I may catch up with a student who said they were having a good day then their dad got locked up.”

Griffin said he will work with those students, and then talk with the teachers and social worker to make sure everyone is up to date on the situation.

“I hope the community reaches out and gives because you never know who you are helping,” Griffin said. “It could be your neighbor.”