Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Providing Holistic Support

Chicago’s public-school students and their families have endured unprecedented challenges since the start of the decade. A global pandemic, increased violence, and rising economic insecurity have taken a significant toll on our schools. The U.S. Surgeon General recently named mental health as an area of serious concern for today’s youth and issued a call to action for all caring adults.

Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago responds to these challenges by ensuring that students have access to the supports they need to strengthen their mental health and overall wellbeing. Our team does this by providing direct services to individual students, as well as coordinating the supports provided by community partners, to bolster entire school communities. Through all this work, CIS of Chicago empowers students to feel safe and secure, unlock their potential, and ultimately achieve in school and life.

Impact In Our Community

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Chicago Public Schools students benefited from programs and services provided by or connected through CIS of Chicago.*

Intensive Team
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students in grades K-12 were served by Student Supports Managers. Together, they created a plan to develop the skills and access the resources these students need to reach their full potential.*

Graduation
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schools were served by CIS team members, who linked community partner programming that addressed student and school needs.*

*Data from the 2021-22 school year

Latest News

Success Stories

Social Media

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The end of the school year is an exciting time for students. Its a chance to celebrate all they have accomplished academically, socially, emotionally, and more. 

One of our Student Supports Managers at Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School, Simone, shared this photo of one of our CIS students preparing to run the relay. Michele Clarks girls track team made it to state sectionals this year! 

We are so proud of all of our students for their determination to succeed in school and beyond. #AllinforKids

The end of the school year is an exciting time for students. It's a chance to celebrate all they have accomplished academically, socially, emotionally, and more.

One of our Student Supports Managers at Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School, Simone, shared this photo of one of our CIS students preparing to run the relay. Michele Clark's girls track team made it to state sectionals this year!

We are so proud of all of our students for their determination to succeed in school and beyond. #AllinforKids
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Shantell began her high school career experiencing some hardships at home, which created challenges for her at school. She needed some extra support and was introduced to Mrs. Estrada, the CIS Student Supports Manager based at her school. Mrs. Estrada helped Shantell gain coping skills and strategies for academic success. Now a junior, Shantell has raised her attendance and grades, and she’s a leader on the cross country, flag football, and softball teams.

Mrs. Estrada recognized Shantell as a 2023 Tenacity Award Winner for her determination to make progress on her goals. Congrats, Shantell! 🎉

#allinforkids #tenacitySZN

Shantell began her high school career experiencing some hardships at home, which created challenges for her at school. She needed some extra support and was introduced to Mrs. Estrada, the CIS Student Supports Manager based at her school. Mrs. Estrada helped Shantell gain coping skills and strategies for academic success. Now a junior, Shantell has raised her attendance and grades, and she’s a leader on the cross country, flag football, and softball teams.

Mrs. Estrada recognized Shantell as a 2023 Tenacity Award Winner for her determination to make progress on her goals. Congrats, Shantell! 🎉

#allinforkids #tenacitySZN
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Congrats to CIS partner Visceral Dance Chicago on their 10th anniversary! 

This year alone, our Partnership Team at CIS has helped connect 728 Chicago students with Visceral Dance performances at the Harris Theatre.

Pictured here is Viscerals Executive Director Dawn Stanislaw and CISs Arts & Culture Community Partnership Specialist Katia Marzolf-Borione.

Congrats to CIS partner Visceral Dance Chicago on their 10th anniversary!

This year alone, our Partnership Team at CIS has helped connect 728 Chicago students with Visceral Dance performances at the Harris Theatre.

Pictured here is Visceral's Executive Director Dawn Stanislaw and CIS's Arts & Culture Community Partnership Specialist Katia Marzolf-Borione.
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Through experiences like the ones provided by CIS community partner CircEsteem, Chicago students build their self-esteem, strength, and resilience! CircEsteem uses the practice and performance of circus arts to teach these important skills.

Here are students at two of our partner schools -- Hefferan E.S. and Michele Clark H.S. -- who recently got to fly trapeze through CircEsteems program.

Through experiences like the ones provided by CIS community partner CircEsteem, Chicago students build their self-esteem, strength, and resilience! CircEsteem uses the practice and performance of circus arts to teach these important skills.

Here are students at two of our partner schools -- Hefferan E.S. and Michele Clark H.S. -- who recently got to fly trapeze through CircEsteem's program.
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Teacher Appreciation Week may be coming to a close, but our gratitude for Chicago Public Schools teachers is unending!

Our Student Support Manager at Saucedo E.S., Juanita, connected Chiro One Wellness Centers (one of our community partners) to her schools Staff Appreciation Week. 

Crystal at Chiro One brought healthy snacks and pizza and shared wellness tips with staff. Thanks, Crystal!

Teacher Appreciation Week may be coming to a close, but our gratitude for Chicago Public Schools teachers is unending!

Our Student Support Manager at Saucedo E.S., Juanita, connected Chiro One Wellness Centers (one of our community partners) to her school's Staff Appreciation Week.

Crystal at Chiro One brought healthy snacks and pizza and shared wellness tips with staff. Thanks, Crystal!
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4 weeks ago
Communities In Schools of Chicago
Once again this year we teamed up with our friends at @lathamwatkins to help plan the Do The Write Thing Challenge in Chicago.

Students from schools across Chicago created essays, poems, and other written pieces to express their thoughts about the impact of violence in Chicago. They explored ideas like how young people can unite with their communities to reduce violence as well as dedicated tributes to classmates and family members who have experienced the trauma of loss from violence.

Congratulations to Jaylen, from Woodson E.S. on the South Side and Summer, from our Southwest Side partner Eberhart E.S. Their pieces were selected as the top 2 among hundreds of local entries. Jaylen and Summer will be traveling to D.C. this summer, where they will join winners from other cities across the country to raise awareness about the national Do The Write Thing movement and demonstrate the power of #studentvoice.

(Also pictured left, Robin Hulshizer even co-chair from Latham & Watkins) and our own COO and event cochair Dr. Judith Allen)

@dtwtofficial 
#violenceprevention 
#allinforkids

Once again this year we teamed up with our friends at @lathamwatkins to help plan the Do The Write Thing Challenge in Chicago.

Students from schools across Chicago created essays, poems, and other written pieces to express their thoughts about the impact of violence in Chicago. They explored ideas like how young people can unite with their communities to reduce violence as well as dedicated tributes to classmates and family members who have experienced the trauma of loss from violence.

Congratulations to Jaylen, from Woodson E.S. on the South Side and Summer, from our Southwest Side partner Eberhart E.S. Their pieces were selected as the top 2 among hundreds of local entries. Jaylen and Summer will be traveling to D.C. this summer, where they will join winners from other cities across the country to raise awareness about the national Do The Write Thing movement and demonstrate the power of #studentvoice.

(Also pictured left, Robin Hulshizer even co-chair from Latham & Watkins) and our own COO and event cochair Dr. Judith Allen)

@dtwtofficial
#violenceprevention
#allinforkids
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Our friends at Ignition Community Glass (ICG) have taken their program from the studio out to the schools! This spring, Ignition Community Glass team worked with three eighth-grade classes at Portage Park Elementary School. 

The students participated in ICGs digital curriculum, and then ICG came to them. Students used creativity, critical thinking, and even math and science to create their individual tiles, which will be fired up in ICGs kiln, returned to the school, and collectively installed on the first floor of the building.

Our friends at Ignition Community Glass (ICG) have taken their program from the studio out to the schools! This spring, Ignition Community Glass' team worked with three eighth-grade classes at Portage Park Elementary School.

The students participated in ICG's digital curriculum, and then ICG came to them. Students used creativity, critical thinking, and even math and science to create their individual tiles, which will be fired up in ICG's kiln, returned to the school, and collectively installed on the first floor of the building.
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One of the ways that Student Supports Manager Juanita helps students lead healthy lives is through her cooking club. Recently, Juanita showed two of her clubs most dedicated members how to make carrot cake in a mug. 

Sounds delicious, Juanita! Thanks for being #allinforkids!

One of the ways that Student Supports Manager Juanita helps students lead healthy lives is through her cooking club. Recently, Juanita showed two of her club's most dedicated members how to make carrot cake in a mug.

Sounds delicious, Juanita! Thanks for being #AllinforKids!
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Our team took time out of their busy days last week at Time Out to spend time with each other, build community, and celebrate the springtime!

Our team took time out of their busy days last week at Time Out to spend time with each other, build community, and celebrate the springtime! ... See MoreSee Less

“It’s going to be okay. You got this.”

These third graders at one of our elementary school partners on the Southwest Side are using superhero slogans to challenge themselves to be brave.

Student Supports Manager Liz works with the third graders on building their social-emotional learning and their self-esteem through fun exercises, like the Lego activity in the photo.

“It’s going to be okay. You got this.”

These third graders at one of our elementary school partners on the Southwest Side are using superhero slogans to challenge themselves to be brave.

Student Supports Manager Liz works with the third graders on building their social-emotional learning and their self-esteem through fun exercises, like the Lego activity in the photo.
... See MoreSee Less

Our Arts Partnership Specialist Katia visited Henry Elementary recently to see one of our community partners in action!

Katia watched youth motivational speaker Freddie Almazan present his Victim to Victor program at Henry. Freddie shared his journey about being a victim of gun violence, overcoming injury, and finding his voice.

Special thanks to Freddie and to Henry Elementarys site coordinator Matt Renas for bringing these important programs to students!

Our Arts Partnership Specialist Katia visited Henry Elementary recently to see one of our community partners in action!

Katia watched youth motivational speaker Freddie Almazan present his "Victim to Victor" program at Henry. Freddie shared his journey about being a victim of gun violence, overcoming injury, and finding his voice.

Special thanks to Freddie and to Henry Elementary's site coordinator Matt Renas for bringing these important programs to students!
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Our vision is that every student must graduate.