Communities In Schools of Chicago works with 214 organizations that are based across metropolitan Chicago. These organizations are called our community partners, and they are committed to joining us into supporting the academic, social-emotional, physical and mental well-being of Chicago public school students by providing programs and services — at no cost to the students — that address the prioritized needs identified by their school leaders.  Some community partners provide short or long-term programming inside of schools, during the school day, while others offer special programs, performances and opportunities for students to explore the city and surrounding communities.

With community partnerships that focus on the arts, health and wellness, behavioral and mental health, and college and career readiness, our allies in dropout prevention are diverse, from licensed-therapists in private practice and several museums, to HEART, and Girls Who Code.

We know that our impact on schools is as strong as our partners’ impact on students, so we support our partners in many ways. Through our NAVIGATE training series, we offer training and support to our community partners, helping to strengthen their skills in curriculum development, classroom management, program assessment and more. Several networking opportunities throughout the year hosted by CIS of Chicago enhance collaboration and resource sharing among our partners. And our Community Partnership Team members work closely with our school specialists to match schools with their top program priorities.

Please scroll below to read a profile about one of our community partners and to see list of the community partners that served students during the most recent academic year.  To read the NAVIGATE blog for community partners, click here.


SitStayRead, a curriculum-based literacy program, has been a CIS of Chicago community partner since 2011.  The program works with Chicago Public Schools and uses trained volunteers and certified Reading Assistance Dogs to improve reading fluency, make reading fun, and inspire children to become lifelong readers. The organization’s curriculum was designed with the University of Illinois Chicago’s Center for Literacy. SitStayRead is connected to a total of 17 schools serving 2,694 students throughout the city, and three of those schools were through a partnership with CIS of Chicago.

SitStayRead is one of CIS of Chicago’s many classroom-based programs that form long-term relationships with our schools. Their philosophy is that when students read to a dog, their confidence increases and they are more excited about reading.  A live dog is present in the classroom and the students read dog-themed books. Writing assignments provide a real-world connection — students read about a dog, see a dog, and touch a dog.

With an understanding of SitStayRead’s requirements, CIS of Chicago serves as an initiator when connecting new schools. Kate McIlvain, program director at SitStayRead, believes CIS of Chicago’s knowledge of schools and understanding of the organization’s requirements alleviates the stress of screening new schools.

At the end of each year, students in the program get “Summer Reading Fun Packs” that include a t-shirt, two books, and writing supplies. The students get one higher-level and one lower-level book to share with their family and friends, so they can share their excitement about reading. A major donation has allowed SitStayRead to give away more than 8,000 books in 2016, sending each student off to summer with four books!

Learn more about this community partner by visiting their website.


The following community partners committed energy and resources to impacting the lives of Chicago public school students during the 2017-2018 academic year by partnering with Communities In Schools of Chicago.

826CHICollege and Career Readiness
A Silver Lining FoundationHealth and Wellness
AARP Experience CorpsCollege and Career Readiness
About Face TheatreArts
Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence TrainingBehavioral and Mental Health
Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)Health and Wellness
Advocate Children’s HospitalHealth and Wellness
Alice Stanley Jr.Arts
All For KIDZBehavioral and Mental Health
Alphawood GalleryArts
American Blues TheaterArts
American Red Cross of Greater ChicagoHealth and Wellness
Ancestors UnKnownCollege and Career Readiness
Art EncounterArts
Art Institute of ChicagoArts
Auditorium TheatreArts
Automotive Mentoring GroupCollege and Career Readiness
Ballet LegereArts
Barr-Harris Children's Grief CenterBehavioral and Mental Health
Better Together Educator CollaborativeBehavioral and Mental Health
Between FriendsBehavioral and Mental Health
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan ChicagoCollege and Career Readiness
Big GreenBehavioral and Mental Health
Bronzeville Children's MuseumCollege and Career Readiness
Bulldog Solution, Inc.Behavioral and Mental Health
Byrd's ParadiseBehavioral and Mental Health
Capital OneCollege and Career Readiness
Catholic CharitiesBehavioral and Mental Health
CDPH – Immunization ProgramHealth and Wellness
CDPH – Tropical Optical/Ageless Eye CareHealth and Wellness
Chicago Alliance Against Sexual ExploitationBehavioral and Mental Health
Chicago CaresCollege and Career Readiness
Chicago Children's Advocacy CenterHealth and Wellness
Chicago Children’s Center for Behavioral HealthBehavioral and Mental Health
Chicago Children’s MuseumCollege and Career Readiness
Chicago Children’s TheatreArts
Chicago Dance InstituteArts
Chicago FireCollege and Career Readiness
Chicago Fire DepartmentCollege and Career Readiness; Health and Wellness
Chicago Jazz PhilharmonicArts
Chicago LightsCollege and Career Readiness
Chicago Opera PlayhouseArts
Chicago Partnership for Health PromotionHealth and Wellness
Chicago Police DepartmentBehavioral and Mental Health
Chicago SkyCollege and Career Readiness
Chicago Women’s Health CenterBehavioral and Mental Health;Health and Wellness
Chicago Youth Symphony OrchestraArts
ChickTechCollege and Career Readiness
Chill FoundationHealth and Wellness
Christopher HouseBehavioral and Mental Health
Cinema/Chicago – Chicago International Film FestivalArts
City Colleges of ChicagoCollege and Career Readiness
Classical Kids Music EducationArts
Classroom, Inc.College and Career Readiness
Collins Oldham Clinical GroupBehavioral and Mental Health
Common ThreadsHealth and Wellness
CommunityHealthHealth and Wellness
Congressional Hispanic Caucus InstituteCollege and Career Readiness
Cook County Farm BureauCollege and Career Readiness; Health and Wellness
CPS LivesArts
Crisis Center for South SuburbiaBehavioral and Mental Health
David L Hoyt FoundationCollege and Career Readiness
Dawn Shaw SpeaksBehavioral and Mental Health
Delta Dental of IllinoisHealth and Wellness
Design DanceArts; Health and Wellness
Detective Lester RogersBehavioral and Mental Health
DuSable Museum of African American HistoryCollege and Career Readiness
East Village Youth ProgramCollege and Career Readiness
Economic Awareness CouncilCollege and Career Readiness
Emerald City TheatreArts
Ensemble EspañolArts
Epilepsy Foundation of Greater ChicagoHealth and Wellness
Escape ArtistryBehavioral and Mental Health
Fehinty African Theatre EnsembleArts
Field MuseumCollege and Career Readiness
Field Trip FactoryCollege and Career Readiness; Health and Wellness
First Defense Legal AidCollege and Career Readiness
Forest Preserve of Cook CountyCollege and Career Readiness
Foundations of MusicArts
Free Lunch AcademyBehavioral and Mental Health
Future Founders FoundationCollege and Career Readiness
Gads Hill CenterBehavioral and Mental Health; Health and Wellness
Gilder LehmanArts
Girls Who CodeCollege and Career Readiness
Green City Market and the Lincoln Park ZooHealth and Wellness
Growing HomeHealth and Wellness
Guitars Over GunsArts
Harmonic Heart LivingBehavioral and Mental Health
Haymarket CenterHealth and Wellness
HEARTCollege and Career Readiness
Heartland Alliance Human CareBehavioral and Mental Health
House of Blues Music Forward FoundationCollege and Career Readiness
Howard Brown Health CenterHealth and Wellness
I Am A Gentleman, Inc.College and Career Readiness
Ignition Community GlassArts
Illinois Council Against Handgun ViolenceCollege and Career Readiness
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education CenterBehavioral and Mental Health
Illinois Liquor Control CommissionHealth and Wellness
Illinois Safe Schools AllianceBehavioral and Mental Health
Imagination TheaterBehavioral and Mental Health
Insight Project for KidsBehavioral and Mental Health
Inspire Girls AcademyCollege and Career Readiness
International Children's Media CenterCollege and Career Readiness
International Museum of Surgical ScienceCollege and Career Readiness
International Music FoundationArts
Jane Addams Hull House MuseumCollege and Career Readiness
Jazz at Lincoln CenterArts
Jeannie McQueenieArts
Jess GodwinArts
Junior AchievementCollege and Career Readiness
Kids First ChicagoCollege and Career Readiness
KWOE Hope FoundationBehavioral and Mental Health
Lakeview Psychology GroupBehavioral and Mental Health
LensCraftersHealth and Wellness
Literacy WorksCollege and Career Readiness
Lookingglass Theatre CompanyArts
Loyola University Medical Center-Pediatric Mobile Health UnitHealth and Wellness
Lyric Opera of ChicagoArts
MagnetarCollege and Career Readiness
Male Mogul InitiativeCollege and Career Readiness
Megan Reedy-McGovern, LCPCBehavioral and Mental Health
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater ChicagoCollege and Career Readiness
Mikva ChallengeCollege and Career Readiness
Mobile Care ChicagoHealth and Wellness
MoneythinkCollege and Career Readiness
Museum of Contemporary ArtArts
Museum of Science and IndustryCollege and Career Readiness
Nancy Gardner, LCSWBehavioral and Mental Health
National Museum of Mexican ArtArts
National Veterans Art MuseumArts
Natya Dance TheatreArts
Navy PierCollege and Career Readiness
North Park Nature CenterCollege and Career Readiness
Northerly IslandCollege and Career Readiness
Northlight TheatreArts
Norwegian American HospitalHealth and Wellness
Old Town School of Folk MusicArts
OneSightHealth and Wellness
Open BooksCollege and Career Readiness
Operation HOPE, Inc.College and Career Readiness
Peace on Earth Film FestivalBehavioral and Mental Health
Peggy Notebaert Nature MuseumCollege and Career Readiness
People ChurchBehavioral and Mental Health
Poetry FoundationArts
Porchlight Music TheatreArts
Princeton Vision ClinicHealth and Wellness
Project VisionCollege and Career Readiness
RAINBOWSBehavioral and Mental Health
Reading in MotionHealth and Wellness
Respiratory Health Association of Metro ChicagoHealth and Wellness
ResilienceBehavior and Mental Health
ResponseBehavioral and Mental Health
Reva and David Logan Center for the ArtsArts
Rincon Family ServicesHealth and Wellness
Rise Through LearningBehavioral and Mental Health
Roadtrip NationCollege and Career Readiness
Robert Crown Centers for Health EducationBehavioral and Mental Health; Health and Wellness
Ronald McDonald School ShowBehavioral and Mental Health
Rush University Medical CenterHealth and Wellness
Sandie Johnson, LCSWBehavioral and Mental Health
SelfMindBehavioral and Mental Health
Shedd AquariumCollege and Career Readiness
Shift Englewood Youth OrchestraArts
Silk Road RisingArts
SitStayReadCollege and Career Readiness
Smart Museum of ArtArts
St. Bernard HospitalHealth and Wellness
StoryBusCollege and Career Readiness
Storycatchers TheatreArts
The Anti-Cruelty SocietyCollege and Career Readiness
The Anti-Defamation LeagueBehavioral and Mental Health
The First Tee of Greater ChicagoBehavioral and Mental Health
The Kedzie CenterBehavioral and Mental Health
The Neguanee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony OrchestraArts
The Peace ExchangeBehavioral and Mental Health
The Schools GroupBehavioral and Mental Health
The Simple GoodArts
The Viola ProjectArts
Treat Your SpaceBehavioral and Mental Health
TynkerCollege and Career Readiness
UChicago PresentsArts
UNICEFCollege and Career Readiness
University of Illinois ExtensionBehavioral and Mental Health
Urban Partnership BankCollege and Career Readiness
Vision Service PlanHealth and Wellness
VisionworksHealth and Wellness
WEBehavioral and Mental Health; College and Career Readiness
Wellness for EveryoneArts
Westside Media ProjectArts
White SoxCollege and Career Readiness
Willow HouseBehavioral and Mental Health
Working In The Schools (WITS)College and Career Readiness
Writers TheatreArts
Yes, You Can!Behavioral and Mental Health
Youth Outreach ServicesHealth and Wellness
YWCA Metropolitan ChicagoBehavioral and Mental Health

A rigorous impact evaluation of CIS of Chicago found that linking support services to schools had an educationally and statistically significant positive impact on elementary school students’ math and reading ability — both leading indicators for high-school graduation.