LUBBOCK, Texas — Communities In Schools of the South Plains announced Thursday it will donate $3.3 million to help students overcome learning obstacles. The donation, given by Philanthropist MacKenzie Scot was meant to deepen the organization’s impact in schools across the South Plains.

“The goal of Communities In Schools of the South Plains is to have a CIS Site Coordinator on every local campus to ensure every student has access to the resources and support they need to be successful in school and beyond,” a news release from the Communities In Schools of the South Plains said.

(Photo provided by Communities in Schools of the South Plains)

The following is a news release from Communities In Schools of the South Plains.

Communities In Schools of the South Plains, a local nonprofit working in schools to ensure every student has what they need to succeed in school, [Thursday] announced it is part of an unprecedented gift.

In a time when the global pandemic has created unparalleled challenges for students and families, including experiences of social isolation, economic crisis, stress, and trauma, this donation from Mackenzie Scott will help CIS of the South Plains to carry out its cause to build sustainable systems of support for the students and families that would otherwise be left behind.

“This investment in CIS is actually an investment in our students and the future of our community! We are very grateful and plan to use this unprecedented gift to further the mission we are all so passionate about- to support and serve our most vulnerable at-risk students. The need is great, we are set to serve nearly 10,000 students this year alone. We will continue…striving to do whatever it takes to help empower these students and the families we work with.” said Kenna West, CEO of Communities In Schools of the South Plains.

Since 1999, CIS of the South Plains has demonstrated measurable success in student outcomes. In the 2020- 2021 school year, 100% percent of students enrolled in the CIS program remained in school, with 97% percent of students being promoted to the next grade, and 92% percent of seniors graduating or receiving a GED.

The goal of Communities In Schools of the South Plains is to have a CIS Site Coordinator on every local campus to ensure every student has access to the resources and support they need to be successful in school and beyond. We accomplish this through our ‘Five Basics’ that we believe every student needs and deserves which include: 1) a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, 2) a safe place to learn and grow, 3) a healthy start and a healthy future, 4) developing marketable skills with our students, and 5) providing a way to give back to their peers and the community.

CIS believes that transformative relationships are key to unlocking a student’s potential. Our school-based staff works inside schools in partnership with teachers and parents to help address the non-academic needs of students. CIS coordinates with schools and local service providers to meet the needs of students and families, as well as providing critical resources like food, housing, healthcare, counseling, access to remote technology, and more so that students (and educators) can focus on academics. By identifying the points of challenge for students in their personal lives, CIS staff can provide specific resources and support to ensure each child overcomes those barriers to success.