Anastasia is the oldest of five children. Growing up, she had very adult responsibilities caring for her four younger siblings while her mom worked long hours to support the family. Anastasia’s challenges at home made it difficult to stay focused on school work. She often missed classes, failed to turn in assignments, and she was unsure about her future. But learn how CIS of Central Texas helped empowered her to achieve her dreams in this first installment of our All In for Kids blog series.
Tres’Rionna Whitlock is an alumna from CIS of Mid-America who will graduate this December from Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma. She also serves on the Alumni Leadership Advisory Committee. Tres'Rionna's project for the fellowship will focus on developing a curriculum to engage school resource officers in creating safe, inviting and supportive environments for students. We asked Tres'Rionna a few questions so she could share who she is, what she believes in and why the Milliken Fellowship is important to her.
Rosaura "Rosie" Martinez is an alumna from CIS of Houston and a recent graduate of the University of Houston. She also serves as a member of the national Communities In Schools Alumni Leadership Advisory Committee, which serves as ambassadors, advocates and advisors to the national office. We asked Rosie a few questions so she could share who she is, what she believes in and why the Milliken Fellowship is important to her.
As students and teachers returned to school this year, they had more on their mind than the academic challenges that await them. Many returned to schools newly hardened or exercising increased safety measures, as governors and legislators across the nation have taken steps to improve school safety.
Ibanka mạch máuCommunities In Schools of Central Texas site coordinator Jordan Chaplik works in Zavala Elementary School in Austin, Texas, where she leads the Zavala 4th Grade Girls Empowerment Group. Jordan reflected on the need for and impact of groups like hers and asked her young ladies to talk about what they’re made of and what they think are the greatest challenges young women face today in celebration of International Women’s Day 2019.
When I was told by my Communities In Schools coordinator, Ms. Luna, that I would be traveling to Washington, D.C. for the unveiling of my mosaic art piece, I couldn't believe it! I was so excited to travel somewhere I had never been before. When I arrived at D.C. I first felt out of my comfort zone; I was far away from Los Angeles, on a different coast, with different people. Having my mom and mentor there with me gave me the strength I needed to face all these new experiences.
Ibanka mạch máuMonique has found that the practices have helped her and her colleagues navigate repairing relationships between the harmer and the harmed. “With relationships come understanding, and when you really understand each other, bullying stops,” she says.
Both communities face similar challenges related to poverty: kids who drop out because they need to work; kids who must take care of younger siblings or sick family members; kids who have untreated health problems of their own that keep them out of school; or kids who are afraid to walk through their neighborhoods due to violence. Despite these challenges, Chanute’s graduation rate clocks in at 95 percent and Wake County at 89.1 percent. Both higher than the Kansas and North Carolina graduation rates, 90 percent and 87.9 percent, respectively.
There is no one solution for the problems as varied as the students who have them. But at the heart of every initiative is often a caring adult who take the time to find out why a student isn’t in class, then empowers the student to address their obstacle to attendance.
On September 12 The New York Times* reported that the detention of migrant children had skyrocketed to highest-ever levels. At 90% capacity, shelters like Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas, are straining to meet the legal requirements for detained youth, including those surrounding education. Any child living in the US, regardless of immigration status, is legally required to attend school. For the children still in detention centers, Southwest Key*--an immigration non-profit--has partnered with Brownsville Independent School District to bring teachers into their centers until sponsors—usually family members—have been identified for each detained child. But the children who have already been released to sponsors and who will start their local public schools, a different set of challenges lie ahead.