Communities In Schools of the Midlands is constantly expanding the schools with site coordinators. Site coordinators provide a valuable role as the single point of contact working inside schools to coordinate and provide integrated student support. They work with school leadership and staff to connect students and families with community resources that help to address both academic, social, emotional, and physical needs, allowing students to show up healthy, safe, and prepared to learn.

We believe that when the right staff and volunteers are put inside a school, we are able to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.


W.S. Sandel Elementary School

Site Coordinator: Kizzie Mabry

School-Wide PBIS Focus Stations – A school-wide presentation of the expected behaviors students are encouraged to display while in attendance at school. The objectives are to provide and promote a positive and productive school climate and to increase recognition for positive student behaviors. Classes will rotate to stations.

Brooks Bucks Store – A weekly school-wide “store” whereas students are able to use the CIS-created school money to purchase incentives that are academic in nature (i.e. ribbons, certificates, pencils, etc.). The Brooks Bucks are earned by the students displaying positive behavior, making good choices, helping, achieving core content, attendance, and or behavior goals. CIS focus on the school store has been to recruit parents/guardians to operate the store as a way to encourage Parent Engagement.

Monthly Celebration – A monthly celebration whereas 30 random students are drawn each month and are invited to come down at that moment to be celebrated. The students must be exhibiting positive or “good” behaviors at the time their name is called.

Happy Friday – A bi-weekly celebration whereas teachers nominate two students from their classroom who exhibited the character trait of the month and all of the nominated students (60 different students a month) participate in a recognition celebration and purchase items at the Brooks Bucks School Store.

Men of Distinction – A day where men from within the community, parents, uncles, etc. spend the morning reading to the students. Readers will be assigned to a classroom or classrooms to read books to children.

Family Bingo – Family Academic Bingo is a collaboration with William S. Sandel Elementary School to implement the evidence-based Strengthening Families Program (SFP) focus. Initiating the SFP: Be Strong Families focus is a way to ensure access to opportunities for parents, families, and the community to be actively engaged in the school and our students’ learning processes.

Small Groups – The Site Coordinator and CIS volunteers meet and work with students during individual work times or allotted intervention blocks on academics, behaviors, and to discuss attendance. Volunteers and the Site Coordinator work with the students both in class and out of class. Groups are generally held every day except Fridays.

St. Andrews Middle School

Site Coordinator: Claudia Aldamuy

BCA Walk –  A tier-1 whole-school initiative in collaboration with the Richland One Breast Cancer Support for Palmetto Health.  The purpose of the event is to help the students understand the importance of supporting a charitable cause.  Students participate in several events that culuminate in an whole-school walk through the neighborhood to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

SpeakOut! Against Bullying – A tier-1 initiative that focuses on creating a climate of goodwill within the building while effectively aligning with the school’s emphasis on literacy.  Students are challenged to write a one-page literacy piece (poem, rap, or essay) that expresses their concerns about bullying. 

Overcoming Obstacles – These groups are tier-2 initiatives that focus on building good character.  The students in each grade meet weekly to complete lessions in developing good character.  Lessons include: trust, responsibility, diversity, respect, good citizenship, caring, etc.  The students must also complete a service learning project during their time in the group.  The groups are also gender specific.

Saints -vs- Heroes : A  tier -1 collaborative initiative between CIS and Richland County Sherif’s department.  The purpose is to build positive relations between the police and community youth.  The event starts with a fun basketball game between local police officers and the students on the  St. Andrew’s Middle School boys and girls basketball teams. After the game, the students and officers continue to bond over a catered lunch.

Transition to High School – A tier -2 initiative for 8th grade casemanaged students only.  Students have several group sessions devoted to the successful transition from middle to high school.  they eventually meet the CIS coordinator at the high school who helps in the transition.

Character Word Challenge – Using the list of character words outlined by the District (attached); students are challenged daily to show the character of the month.  Student’s can complete a short form telling us how they exhibited that character and at the end of  the month, one (sometimes more than one) student is selected to receive a $5 McDonald’s gift card.  CIS staff surprises the student in class with the gift card, and the student’s name and entry are announced over the PA system.

Columbia High School

Site Coordinator: Jamila Green

Dress it UP and Make it REAL College and Career Readiness Series- A tier one initiative with CIS juniors/seniors as well as AVID students that focuses on the importance of goal setting and preparation following high school graduation. Students will partake in various activities throughout the year to better understand the processes associated with reaching their career or college goals. Activities include character inventories, admissions counselor presentations, scholarship writing sessions, as well as school application days.

Small Girl/Boy Group Discussions – Small group sessions focused on school/community climate and the part students can play when becoming change agents. Students will explore various aspects of violence and how it impacts them. The small groups will be reading snippets of books (Code of the Streets, The New Jim Crow) as well as clips to help center the discussion of related topics. All activities will culminate in a presentation to school admin and staff focused on positive initiatives that can be instituted to create a better school environment.

Mentorship Meetup –Senior and freshman mentorship sessions that work to acclimate freshman into life at Columbia High School. Activities include group discussions on common issues facing new students and bonding games among mentees and mentors.


Herbert A. Wood Elementary School

Site Coordinator: Amie Cooper

Book Clubs – CISM Mentors tell their students, “Friendship + Books = Book Club!”. Within small reading groups (10 or less) students each have a copy of the same book and they take turns reading aloud. These books are carefully selected for high-interest and life-lessons.

Reading Buddies –Partnering with Heart4Schools, Airport High School and United Way, 40 volunteers meet weekly with 2nd and 3rd grade students as a Reading Buddy.

Pine Ridge Middle School

Site Coordinator: Susan Key

Chess Club –Learn the fundamentals of chess, developing strategies and prepare students to compete in school and state tournaments. Chess improves concentration and memory, enhances reading and math skills, fosters logic, critical thinking, and creativity. Chess is also great to encourage students to work hard. Through clubs, like Chess Club, students build a sense of belonging to school and make new friends.:

Smart Girls Program –CIS Girls that have had more than two behavior write ups in first semester For young women to establish healthy interpersonal relationships. Therefore, adult mentoring is integrated throughout the curriculum to foster self-confidence and enhance participants’ communication skills. A direct result of the mentoring component will be positive character development that contributes to the maturation process and overall well-being of girls. Finally, SMART Girls provides opportunities for Club staff to emphasize and reinforce virtues on an ongoing basis. It provides the benefit of rich experiential activities designed to build girls and young women of strong character, healthy self-concept and great potential.

Tutoring and Homework Pull Outs –Tier III CIS students are scheduled to come to the CIS office to get tutoring and homework assistance to help improve grades and provide additional learning strategies.

Birchwood School – South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice 

Site Coordinator: Beverly Jackson

Student Incentive Programs at Birchwood School South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) P. V. C Club P=Personal Power, V=Vision, C=Courage

Located at the Broad River Road Complex in Columbia, this is a comprehensive high school offering male and female students in grades 9 through 12 a variety of CATE and academic courses. This school has the nation’s first Army JROTC located inside a correctional setting. Birchwood may offer dual credit through the Technical College System and consistently offers a variety of CATE classes.

DJJ’s school district also offers students 10 CATE courses, extensive special education services, the nation’s first Army JROTC and Communities in Schools (CIS) programs in a juvenile correctional facility setting, media centers, career development centers, and guidance counselors.

We teach them that the power to change is already inside of them. They must visualize themselves in a change state. They must have the courage to make the right choice among their peers. It’s a time for affirmation, motivation & inspiration, themselves in a change state. They must have the courage to make the right choice among their peers. It’s a time for affirmation, motivation & inspiration.