Circumstances and barriers for students vary widely across communities. Our local approach allows us to identify the unique needs in our community and leverage resources to make a difference in the lives of our young people.

Across our community, the identified priority, local needs and risk factors vary for each school, family, and individual student. Communities In Schools Site Coordinators work with at-risk students, families, and schools, to provide students with the resources they need to stay in school. The services may vary somewhat from school to school, but as presented in our model, at-risk students benefit from some combination of one or more of the following services:

Our Services in Schools

School-based site coordinators empower students to stay in school through individualized access to needed resources, and ongoing encouragement and guidance to build confidence to reach their potential and achieve their dreams.

Working with existing programs at schools and volunteer tutors from the community, we direct our students into learning opportunities during and after school to help them accelerate their learning progress, catch up with their peers, meet learning standards, or generally succeed in school. Student grades are regularly monitored, so Site Coordinators are aware of each students’ particular needs.
Clothing Closets contain primarily donated items in good condition that are properly sized for students in need of clothes. We hope to receive laundered items since many children do not have laundry facilities at home. While we primarily focus on K-12 clothing, we also have a need for baby clothes at some of our high school sites. Food Pantries become very important sources of nutrition during the day and for food to be taken home at night. We are constantly in need of foods high in protein. We have a very difficult time acquiring enough food as donations to large sources like 2nd Harvest continue to decline. We are fortunate to be the beneficiaries of food drives sponsored by various organizations and sometimes food banks will provide food to children. Hygiene Supplies include brushes, combs, conditioner, deodorant, feminine products, shampoo, soap, tooth brushes, and tooth paste. Children move often and consequently lose these items. We never have an adequate supply of these items. School Supplies include back packs, crayons, markers, paper, pencils, pens, and many other things. We work with KREM 2 each year to find supplies for more than 60 schools from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene in the Tools to Schools project.
We work with school and community funded behavioral health professionals to get students the services they need. Negative Behavior undermines learning. We help kids learn how to modify behavior and make positive choices. There are not enough behavioral health staff available for children but we continue to work towards developing longer-term solutions. This year we are investigating the utilization of more groups to extend the treatment potential offered by the limited number of providers.
Getting students to think about the future involves so many people in order to be successful! Site Coordinators rely on PrimeTime Mentors, existing school staff, business leaders and others to put the idea of life after high school into the minds of our students. We sign many middle school students up for the Washington College Bound Scholarship which pays for 4 years of books and tuition if the student maintains a “C” average in high school.
We are fortunate to have a number of opportunities to provide volunteer opportunities for students on and off campus as part of their need to “give back” to the community. In the words of the National Service Learning Clearinghouse, service learning is “a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” Working with established volunteer programs like Spokane County United Way we are able to teach our students the value of volunteering, even as they benefit from volunteers helping them. CISSC also utilizes Volunteer Match to find volunteer opportunities and volunteers.
Studies have shown that participation in after-school programs can provide a measurable boost in academic performance. The availability of skilled and experienced tutors may be one of the primary reasons. Given the extra benefit of homework help and guidance, students in after-school programs feel less frustration and more confidence in their academic abilities. We offer a variety of lunch time and/or after school activities to assist students with becoming more attached to their school. We believe that such “enrichment” is very necessary to help motivate student into being academically successful. Examples include art, athletics, dancing, drama, film making, (videos) robotics,
We value the involvement of families in supporting the outcomes we are trying to achieve with students. Family engagement in schools is a shared responsibility in which schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage parents in meaningful ways, and the parents are committed to actively supporting their children's and adolescents' learning and development. Sometimes we can help with basic needs and/or get family support to assist the student in meeting their goals.
We work with a variety of our partners to provide classroom and real world experience in life skills whether that means personal finance, family issues, peer issues or a large number of other issues and concerns.
The PrimeTime Mentoring Program is a weekly program that matches community members in a one-on-one mentoring setting with a student at-risk of academic failure in Spokane County.