Communities in Schools of Tennessee at Memphis

“It’s relationships, not programs that change children.”- Bill Milliken, CIS Founder

Communities In Schools of Tennessee (CISTN) is part of the national network of Communities In Schools (CIS), which serves nearly 1.5 million students in 2,400 sites nationwide. CIS is widely known as the country’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization, dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life.

CISTN is working to change the picture of education for more than 8,000 of Memphis’ most vulnerable students. Students with unmet needs have a hard time learning. They may be hungry, lack parental involvement, be at-risk of losing their housing, go without proper clothing and live in neighborhoods where there is violence, drugs and gangs. CISTN knows that poverty is the number one factor preventing students from being successful in school. Now more than ever, schools need coordinated community services to address the complex issues of poverty that prevent student success in the classroom. Through the work of a school-based site coordinator, CISTN is able to address those needs and help more kids stay in school.

In the 2014-2015 school year, CISTN expanded into Memphis with partnerships at Martin Luther King Jr. Preparatory High School and Westside Achievement Middle School. Since then, CISTN at Memphis has expanded to serving 13 schools in order to meet the increasing needs of the community. Currently, CISTN is serving students in 4 elementary, 5 middle and 4 high schools in Memphis, the majority (93%) of whom are economically disadvantaged.

CISTN’s evidence-based approach, adapted to meet each community's unique needs, is the basis for its success. Last year in Memphis, 96% of the students served were promoted/graduated. With the support from CISTN at Memphis interventions, students are making progress and staying in school.

Visit the website to learn more the work of Communities In Schools of Tennessee at Memphis and how you can help.