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We Got Spirit Yes We Do, We Got Spirit How ‘Bout You??

Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to surround the city’s public-school students with a community of support, empowering them to learn, stay in school, and succeed in life. CIS of Chicago carries out this work by providing direct support like counseling to students who are off track in their school attendance, conduct, and/or grades. It also works with more than 150 community partner organizations who provide a range of support programs and resources to tens of thousands of students and families each year.

Pre-pandemic, a highlight for CIS of Chicago’s school partners was attending the organization’s Resource Fair. Modeled after classic health and career fairs, CIS Resource Fairs featured dozens of community partner organizations sharing everything from free theater tickets to no-cost prevention education courses with representatives of CPS schools from across the city.

With the COVID-19 pandemic making large-group gatherings temporarily untenable, CIS of Chicago’s Partnership Team has developed many innovative approaches to helping schools stay connected to community partner resources. These strategies have included hosting regular virtual gatherings on Zoom and Google Hangouts; developing an online guide for Covid Resources; and leveraging e-communications tools like newsletters and social media to spread the word to schools about new opportunities for students and families.

This week, CIS of Chicago adds another strategy to the mix by launching its first-ever Partner Spirit Week. The purpose of Spirit Week is to provide CPS schools opportunities to directly connect with an array of community organizations and access services and programs that will benefit CPS students throughout the remainder of the 2020–21 school year.

Themes for Spirit Week include:

  • Minorities in STEAM: Celebrating Black History Month and Women & Girls in Science
  • Kindness, Counseling and Self-Care
  • Children’s Literacy and Developing Youth Leadership
  • Health and Wellness: Taking Care During Covid
  • Artistic Engagement and Experiential Opportunities

CIS of Chicago’s goal is to spark at least 100 program and resource connections between Chicago schools and community partners by the end of February. Less than a week to go! Everybody, let’s catch the spirit!!!

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