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.

WBEZ, June 25, 2019: For Chicago Schools Focused on Emotional Support, Help Goes a Long Way

“She has changed leaps and bounds.” WBEZ’s Sarah Karp profiles one of CIS of Chicago’s 2019 Tenacity Award winners, Roselyn, a student at Saucedo Elementary. Roselyn struggled at home and at school, but at the urging of the principal, she started meeting regularly with Juanita Herrera, a CIS of Chicago Student Supports Manager based at […]

NBC 5 TV, March 8, 2019: Communities In Schools Recipient of Prestigious Northwestern Dance Marathon Fundraiser

NBC 5’s LeeAnn Trotter interviews the Northwestern University students who put this amazing event together each year. The students chose CIS of Chicago as the primary recipient for its 2019 Dance Marathon fundraiser because they believed in our work of helping empower CPS students to graduate from high school and succeed in life. View the […]

Chicago Tribune, October 10, 2018: Social and Emotional Intelligence are Key for Students of Color

Editor’s Note: A new school year brings new hopes. Hope that mental and emotional growth are exponential. That test scores soar. That everything just clicks. Students of color might consider themselves lucky if just one of those items can be checked off the list. In this four-part series, we’ll look at common educational hurdles faced […]

ABC 7 TV NewsViews, August 12, 2018: CIS of Chicago Recipient of Impact 100 Grant

CIS of Chicago’s Chief Resource Officer, Marianne Woodward, joins Kristen Pettit Grube, the President of Impact Grants Chicago, to discuss how our students and school partners will benefit from CIS being named an Impact Grant recipient. Watch the interview with ABC 7’s Terrell Brown here.