Communities In Schools (CIS) of Tennessee has spent the last decade working to remove nonacademic barriers that students face outside of the classroom, ensuring that every child, regardless of race, zip code, or socioeconomic background, has the opportunity to learn in school, graduate, and achieve success in life.
Launching CIS of Tennessee
The CIS National Office, as well as our partners at the Creative Artists Agency and the Martha O'Bryan Center, were instrumental in launching and charting a course for CIS of Tennessee's work in the East Nashville community. Through a Promise Neighborhoods planning grant, the Martha O’Bryan Center brought together a network of 27 partner organizations. These partners developed a continuum of programs and supports to close the opportunity gap for individuals and families living in some of East Nashville’s most distressed neighborhoods. Recognizing a critical need for integrated students supports, CIS of Tennessee was founded.
CIS of Tennessee’s Founding Task Force, comprised of several forward-thinking community leaders—like the late Alice Chapman, Candice McQueen, Lonnell Matthews, Hal Cato, Ronnie Steinnie, Kaki Friskics-Warren, and Jeff Yarbro—also helped to forge key partnerships in the Nashville community necessary for long-term sustainability and programmatic excellence.
Since our launch in school year 2012-13, CIS of Tennessee has grown from serving 600 students across three schools in East Nashville into the largest provider of integrated student supports in the state of Tennessee, partnering with 40 schools across 16 counties to meet the needs of over 19,000 students. CIS of Tennessee's history of success is based on a foundational belief in the power of relationships. No child can succeed without the support of caring adults. Likewise, CIS of Tennessee could not have successfully served over 75,000 students without the support of people like YOU who embrace the vision of helping students succeed in school and beyond.