Fox 32, November 18, 2020: CIS of Chicago Connects 175 Local Schools with Virtual Field Trips

CIS of Chicago’s Arts Partnership Specialist, Emma MacLean, chatted with Fox 32 about how our Partnership Team has worked to connect 175 school partners with museums providing virtual field trips this fall. From art museums to nature museums, science and industry, and everything in between, our community partners have pivoted their field trip offerings so […]

ABC 7, November 22, 2020: Chicago Public Schools Students Take Virtual Field Trips with Help from Nonprofit

While students are learning remotely this fall, they can still explore Chicago museums and cultural institutions – virtually – thanks to the work of CIS of Chicago. Arts Partnership Specialist Emma MacLean chatted with ABC 7 about how our organization is connecting museums like the Oriental Institute, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the National […]

Chicago Tribune, November 10, 2020: Chicago Tribune, November 10, 2020: Editorial – Support Your Favorite Charity (Minus the Tuxedo)

The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board issued a call for supporting local nonprofits this year, particularly given the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time when major fundraising events have been shifted to virtual platforms, nonprofits are fighting every day to stay financially strong. Our own Chief Resource Officer at CIS of Chicago, Marianne […]

Crain’s, October 28, 2020: Nonprofits Need Help to Help Others During Pandemic

CIS of Chicago Chief Resource Officer Marianne Woodward penned an op-ed to Crain’s Chicago Business, sharing her thoughts on nonprofits and their need for financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic. “For many nonprofits operating amid tough economic times, the need for their services increases even as their revenue decreases,” she said. And while the way […]

Fox 32, September 29, 2020: Nonprofit Doubles Down to Help Chicago Students During Remote Learning

CEO Jane Mentzinger chatted with Fox 32 Chicago about the breadth of support that Communities In Schools of Chicago is providing to public-school students during remote learning this fall. From reaching out individually to students to offering social and emotional support, CIS of Chicago’s team is making sure that students stay engaged with their learning. […]

CNN, September 24, 2020: Students with Special Needs Face Virtual Learning Challenges

CNN’s Matt Villano interviewed CIS of Chicago Student Supports Manager LaDonna Curry about her important work helping neurodiverse learners navigate remote learning. With a caseload of 47 students, Ms. Curry uses her creativity to find ways to connect with students and meet their needs. Ms. Curry incorporates movement, breathing exercises, screen breaks, and intentional conversations […]

Lawndale News, September 10, 2020: CIS of Chicago Helps Students with Remote Learning

CIS of Chicago will continue to provide a range of essential supports to Chicago students and families as the 2020-21 academic year begins. Staff members will work closely with principals, teachers, and other school and community leaders to ensure that students and their families receive the range of supports they need to stay safe and […]

Chicago Tribune, September 6, 2020: From Wakeup Calls to Wellness Checks, How CPS Is Trying to Make Sure No Child Is Left Disconnected

Student Supports Manager Chavara Turner was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune’s Hannah Leone for her work supporting students during remote learning. Ms. Turner helps students at Clay Elementary stay on the path to graduation by providing everything from social and emotional support to navigating technology for e-learning. During the first week of the fall semester, […]

WGN, August 21, 2020: Support for CPS Students from Communities In Schools

CIS of Chicago CEO Jane Mentzinger joined WGN TV for a conversation on how our organization is engaging students as they prepare for fall semester and supporting their social-emotional learning! Jane also discussed our new Freshmen Rising program, which focuses on providing support to ninth graders as they transition to new schools across the city. […]

WBBM Newsradio, August 21, 2020: Nonprofit Works to Keep At-Risk CPS Students ‘Logged In’ to Remote Learning

As school communities prepare for an unprecedented fall semester, Dr. Judith Allen, Chief Operating Officer of Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago, joined WBBM’s Rob Hart for a discussion about what CIS of Chicago has learned from pivoting our work in both spring and summer. Dr. Allen also discussed how Communities In Schools of Chicago […]

Chalkbeat, July 28, 2020: Can Chicago Find Its Missing Students for Fall?

Chalkbeat reporter Yana Kunichoff shares the district’s efforts to engage students after schools closed in March — and what organizations like Communities In Schools of Chicago are doing to reach out to students and make sure they have the resources and supports they need to stay in school. From strong relationships with parents to extended […]

WLS-AM 890, July 26, 2020: Connected to Chicago

John Dempsey of WLS interviews Jane Mentzinger, CEO of Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago, about our organization’s extended student support during the summer months. CIS of Chicago is focused on providing ongoing support to students, Jane said, particularly given the uncertainty and challenges many of our students are facing in the midst of a […]

A Statement from CIS of Chicago

Communities In Schools of Chicago is an asset-based organization. We believe in the inherent goodness and potential of all people. It is an ethos we share with CIS affiliates across America. Racism and brutalism in any form is antithetical to who we aspire to be as a nation and as a people. We join the […]

Comcast, June 2020: Community Expressions with CIS of Chicago

CEO Jane Mentzinger joined Comcast for their Community Expressions segment to share how Communities In Schools of Chicago is supporting students, families, and schools during this pandemic. High school graduation remains our organization’s True North, Jane said, and CIS of Chicago has focused on our adaptability and creativity to continue driving the mission. This includes […]

WBBM Newsradio, June 25, 2020: CPS Students Honored For Hanging In There

Each spring, CIS of Chicago honors students who have overcome challenges and persevered to meet their goals with our annual Tenacity Awards! And this year, our Student Supports Managers are recognizing the winners with virtual celebrations. The team mailed each winner a certificate of achievement, gift card, and “tenacious” T-shirt. Bernie Tafoya from WBBM Newsradio […]

Daily Herald Business Ledger, June 2020: How You Can Support Young People in These Trying Times

Bart St. John, our Chief Innovation and Communications Officer, shares with the Daily Herald Business Ledger the role of the business community in ensuring that our young people receive the supports they need during this challenging time. We have learned the hard way that the coronavirus outbreak is not an equal opportunity pandemic. It is […]

Chicago Tribune, June 14, 2020: Editorial Chicago Forward — Your Proposals, and Hope for Our Youth

Robin Koelsch, Director of Partnerships for Communities In Schools of Chicago, proposes the idea of window stickers as a very simple way for businesses and organizations to show they are “student allies” interested in creating welcoming spaces for young people. “Instead of being met with an eye roll,” she wrote, young people would see that […]

Comcast Newsmakers, June 4, 2020: Pivoting with Students

Judith Allen, Chief Operating Officer of Communities In Schools of Chicago, speaks with Comcast Newsmakers’ Ellee Pai Hong about how our organization has pivoted services in the midst of a pandemic, as well as other challenges this school year. This pivot includes shifting to virtual student services, increasing outreach to parents and teachers, and helping […]

Fox News Chicago, May 21, 2020: Communities In Schools Empowering At-Risk Students

It’s not something most people will think about, but the reality is that for millions of students, losing access to school buildings can also mean losing a community of support. Communities In Schools is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering at-risk students to stay in school. President and CEO of Communities In Schools Rey […]

Hyde Park Herald, May 19, 2020: At Virtual Town Hall, Education Advocates Share Advice and Resources for Dealing with Mental Health During a Pandemic

During a town hall, community advocates and public officials highlighted some of the ways that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted the mental health of Chicago students and parents, and they suggested strategies and resources for helping navigate life under a pandemic. Adenia Linker, Field Supervisor with Communities In Schools of Chicago, spoke about how to […]

WGN News, May 16, 2020: CEO of Communities In Schools Discusses Impact of Losing Access to School Buildings

For many students, losing access to school buildings during the coronavirus pandemic can mean losing a community of support. Communities In Schools is dedicated to keeping at-risk students on the path to graduation. Although schools are closed, we are still providing much needed support. Rey Saldaña, CEO of our national organization, discussed the imperative of […]

WBBM Newsradio, April 18, 2020: CIS TeleSupport Program Helps Families During COVID Pandemic

Our Chief Program Officer Celia Lozano discusses with WBBM’s Keith Johnson how our TeleSupport system is helping families at our partner schools stay resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic and navigate remote learning. Read the full story here.  

Chalkbeat, April 16, 2020: Helping Students and Families Adapt to Learning from Home

Dr. Judith Allen, Chief Operating Officer of Communities In Schools of Chicago, shares her thoughts on how keeping parents engaged in remote learning will help schools boost participation rates in the short term — and could forge more enduring connections between homes and schools in the long term. Read the full article here.

WBEZ, April 16, 2020: School-Based Mentors Become Virtual Guides

In the print story accompanying the audio piece, reporter Sarah Karp highlights how our Director of Integrated Supports, Aisha Robinson, has helped support one of our many CIS families navigate learning from home during the COVID pandemic. Read the full article here.

WGN Radio, April 1, 2020: Managing the Balance of Work and Home Schooling

Our Chief Operating Officer Dr. Judith Allen joins WGN Radio’s live broadcast to discuss the impact of school closures on life at home. “One of the things we’re finding right now is that kids are pretty isolated because they don’t have the social network of school, so the ecosystem has completely changed,” she said. “Now […]

WGN News, March 31, 2020: Juggling the Stress of Work and e-Learning from Home

WGN News, March 31, 2020: Juggling the Stress of Work and e-Learning from Home Our Chief Operating Officer, Judith Allen, was on WGN News to talk about how parents can balance working and raising kids from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. Check her out here, talking with Micah Materre and Joe Donlon.

Our Response to COVID-19

A Message from Our CEO: During this unprecedented time in our community and nation, we want to update you on how Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago is responding to the COVID-19 threat. We want to assure you that the safety and welfare of our students, families, and team members are our top priorities. During […]

WBBM Newsradio, March 18, 2020: Navigating a World with No School

Dr. Judith Allen, our Chief Operating Officer, participated in an interview with WBBM Newsradio, where she shared her mental health expertise and offered tips on how to support children’s well-being during this extended period of everyone being home. Listen to the audio recording here, and navigate to the 7:22 timestamp.

Daily Herald Business Ledger, March 12, 2020: Tips for Nonprofits to Learn-By-Doing and Create a Strategic Plan

Bart St. John, our Chief Innovation and Communications Officer, shares with the Daily Herald Business Ledger how we leveraged resources in-house and leaned on guidance from our board of directors to create Strategic Plan 2020-23. Sometimes the richest learning experiences happen on the job, through collaboration with colleagues, to accomplish major organizational projects. The executive […]

Chicago Tribune, January 31, 2020: Chicago Forward – The Crucial, But Limited, Role of Schools in Keeping Our Youth on Track

At the beginning of the year, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board launched a six-month initiative aimed at addressing the challenge of reaching Chicagoland’s disconnected youth. According to Thrive Chicago, about 47,000 youth ages 16 to 24 were neither working nor going to school in 2019. That’s 15 percent. The Editorial Board took a closer look […]

WGN News, January 30, 2020: Stickers for Good Campaign

CIS of Chicago’s Robin Koelsch, Director of Partnerships, talks with WGN’s Social Media Producer Tom Barnas about the “Stickers for Good” campaign, a CarMax initiative which allowed customers to select a nonprofit they’d like to donate to when they purchased a CarMax vehicle. CarMax raised awareness of many local causes to support, and CIS of […]

The Daily Herald, December 13, 2019: Engaging Millennial Employees with Philanthropic Volunteer Opportunities

Engaging Millennial Employees with Philanthropic Volunteer Opportunities  Our Chief Executive Officer, Jane Mentzinger, shares insights into how the organization is helping provide meaningful – and convenient – volunteer opportunities to Chicago businesses. Read her thought piece here.

Comcast Newsmakers, December 12, 2019: All In For Kids

Our CEO, Jane Mentzinger, joins Ellee Pai Hong to discuss how CIS of Chicago is helping ensure that Chicago Public School students stay on track to graduate from high school and succeed in life. Watch full video here.