Communities In Schools of the Midlands would not be able to provide support and assistance to its students and their families without the help of our volunteers. CISM offers many opportunities for individuals and groups to get involved and help kids succeed in schools.  Volunteers with a variety of skills are welcome to participate in group and individual opportunities within the program as well as professional leadership roles on our board and event and community outreach committees.


Volunteer Opportunities:

Volunteer Opportunities 

William S. Sandel Elementary School

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

Event held in April 2020

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. Volunteers help with meal preparation, greet families and coordinate games and activities. 

Event held April 28, 2020 at 5:30 -6:30 pm  

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 students both in class and out of class. Groups are generally held every day except Fridays.

St. Andrews Middle School

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 literary piece (poem, rap, or essay) that expresses their concerns about bullying. Volunteers help students with reciting scripts, public speaking skills and participate as a judge for the competition.

Event held on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 6 pm  

Overcoming Obstacles – These groups are tier-2 initiatives that focus on building good character.  The students in each grade meet weekly to complete lessons 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. Volunteers help cheer students on and serve lunch. 

Event held in March 2020 

Columbia High School

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. Volunteers speak to students in different sessions focused on college and career opportunities and share their success story to inspire students to make intentional decision before and after graduation. Sessions held every Wednesday from 9 am – 10:30 am. 

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. Volunteers help site coordinator with activities and talk with students about the history of Columbia and and related topics to promote students being active in community service. Sessions held every Wednesday from 9 am – 10:30 am. 

Mentorship Meetup –Senior and freshman mentorship sessions that work to acclimate freshman into life at Columbia High School. Volunteers can serve as a mentor, help with activities to include group discussions on common issues facing new students and bonding games among mentees and mentors. Sessions held every Wednesday. 

Herbert A. Wood Elementary

Book Clubs Volunteers read a series of chapter books with students in small reading groups (10 or less). These books are carefully selected for high-interest and life-lessons. Held weekly in during morning sessions. 

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

Chess Club Students 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. Volunteers help organize players in groups and encourage peer positive interaction with peers.

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. Volunteer help girls foster self-confidence and enhance participants’ communication skills to increase positive character development. SMART Girls provides opportunities for Club volunteers to emphasize and plan 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. Math and Reading Tutors needed. 

Birchwood School – South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice 

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

Volunteer opportunities include tutoring students in Math and English and mentor students by teaching students that the power to change is already inside of them. Mentors help students visualize themselves in a “changed state of mind” by giving a testimony on their road to success

If you have any questions or would like to show interest in volunteering please call 803.254.9727 or email volunteers@cism.org.