$15M Grant Will Help CIS Sustain, Deepen & Grow its Work with At-Risk Students Inside Schools

FEDERAL WAY, WA – July 21, 2017

Communities In Schools (CIS) has announced a five-year, $15 million grant from the Ballmer Group in support of its work to keep at-risk students in school.

The unrestricted grant will support CIS’s efforts to serve, on an annual basis, nearly 1.5 million students in twenty-three hundred district and charter schools in twenty-five states and the District of Columbia. Working in schools with a school-based coordinator, CIS assesses a school’s needs in the area of dropout prevention, develops a plan, and directs community resources to address the academic and non-academic needs of students and their families.

In Washington, CIS serves students in 22 schools districts through 12 affiliates. “Although we don’t know specifically how this investment will affect our CIS programs locally, we are honored that the Ballmer Group recognizes the value of the services we provide,” explained Communities In Schools of Washington (CISWA) Executive Director Susan Richards.  “On behalf of CISWA, we thank the Ballmer Group for their generous support that will allow us to expand our efforts in getting necessary services in the hands of students in need.”

During the 2015-16 school year, the organization helped 99 percent of case-managed students stay in school and 91 percent of eligible seniors graduate.

“More than 14.5 million children under the age of 18 live in poverty in our country,” said CIS president and CEO Dale Erquiaga. “They come to school needing food, shelter, medical care, or emotional support to overcome trauma. By working inside schools, our staff can connect them with community services so they can succeed in school and life. This investment by Ballmer Group is a welcome reminder that business leaders and philanthropists see the link between economic mobility and education, and they support our approach for strengthening that link.”

“A quality education and a high school diploma are critical to every student’s future economic success,” said Bill Kiolbasa, a portfolio manager at Ballmer Group. “This grant to CIS aligns with our goal of strengthening promising and proven approaches that improve economic outcomes for children and families. We are proud to support the continuation and growth of their work.

CIS is recognized for its financial accountability, transparency and sound business practices, earning the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance National Charity Seal, a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and recognition from Guide Star Exchange and Philanthropedia.

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