My heart is heavy these days. I worry about my students academic gains and especially their mental and emotional drive. For the past few months, I’ve noticed families who already are marginalized and or live below the poverty level feel less empowered or motivated to push through daily life struggles.
Unfortunately, this directly impacts the students I serve who are enrolled in Communities In Schools.
We often worry about students during the after school hours, but now students are left alone at home 10 or more hours which can cause other issues to occur. I feel it is critical now more than ever to keep our eyes on these students and be more nurturing and patient with them and their families.
SC HUMANITIES AWARDS COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS OF THE MIDLANDS GRANT FOR LITERACY WRITING PROJECT
COLUMBIA, SC – SC Humanities a state program of the National Endowment of the Humanities Awards Communities In Schools of the Midlands (CISM) grant entitled “Social Emotional Learning Initiative: The Literacy Writing Project” in the outright Fast Track Grant amount of $2,500.
The Social Emotional Learning Initiative is a new program aimed to improve behavior, academic performance, and emotional well-being of students with critical needs enrolled in Communities In Schools of the Midlands intervention services. The Literacy Writing Project is a creative writing activity focused on increasing children and youth’s access to positive social and racial justice practices. Communities In Schools Site Coordinators, also known as student advocates for high risk students will collaborate with local published authors, poets, and artists to further engage students by increasing their knowledge of racial equality, social, and economic justice reforms within their communities.
“Racial inequity has a persistent effect on the social and emotional well-being of students,” said Program Director Dr. Claudia Aldamuy. “It is a priority for students in today’s society to be equipped with the appropriate support to address the multiple barriers they may face.” “From the contributions of SC Humanities, we are able to further develop interventions that help students build resilience, social-emotional skills, and self-regulate their behavior through literary writing and expression.”
“Communities In Schools of the Midlands is a new partner organization for SC Humanities, and we are pleased to be supporting their new ‘Literacy Writing Project’ that will serve at-risk youth through literacy and cultural mentorship”, said TJ Wallace, SC Humanities Assistant Director.
“It will be a meaningful effort to bring the inspiring, engaging, and enriching power of the humanities to Midlands students, their school communities, and their families.”
This program is sponsored by SC Humanities a state program of the National Endowment of the Humanities; Inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage. Visit the website at www.schumanities.org. For more information, contact T.J. Wallace at (803) 771-2477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About SC Humanities
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.
About Communities in Schools of the Midlands
Communities In Schools of the Midlands is a part of the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization, dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help students succeed in school and achieve in life. The program provides supports to seven schools within Lexington and Richland Counties and the South Carolina Juvenile Justice Department serving nearly 3,000 young people and families each year. Based directly inside of schools throughout the Midlands, Communities In Schools of the Midlands connects students and their families to basic and critical educational and community-based resources, tailored to each student’s specific needs. Learn more about Communities In Schools of the Midlands at www.cism.org.
Schools are the heart of every community. When they closed, it disrupted student learning and cut kids off from basic supports like meals, clothing, housing assistance, and medical care. It also separated students from the caring adults inside schools who supported their emotional well-being.
But while schools were out of session, Communities In Schools remained hard at work.
Throughout the summer, our CIS affiliates have been connecting our students with resources, reengaging them in learning, and helping them recover from the emotional trauma over the last several months.
Now as schools begin to reopen – whether in person or virtual – we’ll still be there, by their side, helping them realize their full potential.
All Summer Long
We’ve Been All In For Kids
This summer, CIS of Jacksonville helped their GEAR UP Virtual Camp students learn about app development.They brainstormed ideas, designed, and built their creative mobile apps virtually.
This summer, CIS of Chicago students looked forward to getting their art supply drop off and art club packet of “Color Outside of the Lines” workshop materials.
Mobile Market Drive-Thru
CIS of Benton-Franklin partnered with a local business to host four Mobile Market drive-thru events for transit riders throughout the summer.
CIS of Henry County partnered with Gewel Richardson and Friends to provide 168 backpacks for students in need of school supplies.
CIS of San Antonio is currently hosting a Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive to raise $300,000 to purchase school supplies, uniforms, and technology for students this school year.
CIS of Nevada partnered with the Deliver with Dignity program to provide 100,000 free meals to numerous CIS families in Las Vegas and Reno.
CIS of Spokane County partnered with several local businesses and the police department to distribute food to students and their families.
To learn more about the CIS network visit our affiliate page at www.cism.org.
For 32 years Communities In Schools of the Midlands (CISM) has supported students and families through hardships and uncertainty. During the unprecedented time we are experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic, CISM is even more committed to ensuring that the needs of our most vulnerable population is met.
We understand that this is a difficult time for our communities and stand in support of our school district leaders as they work tirelessly to create a plan to safely integrate our students back into the classrooms. Our staff will continue to participate in community discussions and serve on district committees to advocate and ensure that the voices of our students and families are heard.
With Hope, Tanika D. Epps
Communities In Schools ® National President Rey Saldaña Responds to National Learning Loss in USA Today Article
Coronavirus Has Changed School Forever, Let’s Make It An Improvement
As an unprecedented academic year grinds to an end, with schools shuttered and millions of children learning remotely in every state, education leaders face the daunting task of preparing for a fall reopening with no end to the pandemic in sight. Back to school will not be back to normal. But neither should it be a return to business as usual. Arne Duncan and Rey Saldaña shared this story in their opinion article in a recent USA Today article.
As Rey and Arne write, as we embark on our nationwide effort to reenter school buildings, we must determine not just how far apart desks need to be, whether attendance should be staggered, and how often to sanitize facilities. We must also ask how we can build an education system that gives every child in every U.S. community the opportunity to learn and succeed. A system better than the one we left behind in the time before COVID-19 and before George Floyd’s horrific death at the hands of Minneapolis police catalyzed waves of protest across the nation against injustice and structural inequality.
Unprecedented times need unprecedented change
A moment when we are experiencing a national health emergency and nationwide discontent may seem like exactly the wrong time to propose a bold new direction in American public education. But the coronavirus has changed everything, and the Floyd protests have shone a light on inequity inherent to all our systems, including education.
The only way to adequately respond to both moments is to transform K–12 learning for good. Doing so will require a significant federal investment in education. The costs will certainly be high, but the long-term price of inaction will be even higher.
An utter lack of leadership and guidance from Washington on how states and school districts should move forward with the virus continuing to circulate is a hurdle. But local leaders across America have shown boundless creativity in the months since schools started closing their doors. They’ve done their best to find new ways to educate, feed, and support students and stay connected to families. Read more about how we can create a better education system for our children and the generations to come, click here.
Article Credits: Communities In Schools ® National Communications, July 25, 2020