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Each month we spotlight a local nonprofit that's in need of help. It's a way to connect our listeners with charities that make an impact.

Get Involved Spotlight: Communities In Schools of Central Texas

From Communities In Schools of Central Texas, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:


Children cannot learn at their potential when they are in crisis or face significant non-academic needs. Most students who drop out of school are dealing with multiple problems that present barriers to their education: poverty, unattended health needs, hunger, an unemployed parent, domestic violence.

Our mission:  Communities In Schools of Central Texas surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Communities In Schools is a dropout prevention program. Through campus-based programs and special projects, Communities In Schools creates a network of volunteers, social services, businesses, and community resources that work together to break down barriers and help students succeed. Communities In Schools of Central Texas serves thousands of children and families every year, providing options where there once were none. Each year, CIS serves more than 50,000 clients. Of our more than 6,000 case managed students, 99% stay in school and 84% improve grades, attendance or behavior.


The founding principle of Communities In Schools is to establish one-on-one relationships with individual students in order to support them beyond obstacles to success in school. Communities In Schools of Central Texas has offices on 61 campuses throughout Central Texas. CIS staff connect personally with students who have been referred by teachers or administrators. They create a service plan based on each child’s needs and then make that plan happen. This may include crisis intervention, individual counseling or support groups, basic life skills, tutoring, mentoring, and/or enrichment opportunities.  


ASPIRE (Achieving Success through Parental Involvement, Reading and Education) breaks the cycle of illiteracy and poverty within families by providing comprehensive, integrated literacy services for the entire family. ASPIRE families have children 0-7 years old, parents in need of ESL and/or GED classes, and live in southeast Austin. Services are provided at our location behind Travis High School, as well as during monthly home visits. 


The Pebble Project staff present interactive role-plays to elementary school students to help prevent child assault and abuse.


SmartKids is a partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) to provide educational support and enrichment for students at Becker, Dawson, Oak Springs, and Zavala Elementary Schools, Fulmore and Kealing Middle Schools, and Travis High School. In addition to school-based services, SmartKids Coordinators provide after-school programming at four public housing properties: Bouldin Oaks, Meadowbrook, Santa Rita, and Booker T. Washington.


The XY-Zone program supports and guides adolescent males as they journey into manhood.  This leadership development and peer support program engages young men in activities focused on the Five R’s –Respect, Responsibility, Relationships, Role Modeling and Reaching Out on ten high school campuses: Travis, Crockett, LBJ, Lehman, Lanier, Reagan, Manor, Del Valle, Hays, and Eastside Memorial.

Get Involved with Communities In Schools: Most Communities In Schools’ volunteers work directly with students on a school campus for one hour each week for the full school year. Volunteer roles include Reading Buddy, Mentor, Tutor, Success Coach, After School, or Special Event Volunteer. To learn more about the volunteer opportunities or to apply to volunteer, click below:

Get Involved with Communities In Schools!

Mike is the production director at KUT, where he’s been working since his days as an English major at the University of Texas. He produces Arts Eclectic, Get Involved, and the Sonic ID project, and also produces videos and cartoons for When pressed to do so, he’ll write short paragraphs about himself in the third person, but usually prefers not to.
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