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Communities In Schools report: Graduation rates improving

For the Reporter

Communities In Schools of Auburn – part of the Communities In Schools of Washington network — recently released a report demonstrating the organization's impact on graduation rates and other positive student outcomes.

The report was part of a national public awareness campaign featuring young people from throughout the country who have graduated from high school as a result of their involvement with Communities In Schools.

"Poverty, language barriers, homelessness and poor health all play a part in limiting the ability of a child to even see, much less pursue their potential," said Susan Richards, state director for Communities In Schools of Washington, in the new report, Changing the Picture in Washington State. "Our school-based site coordinators give them a hand up, hope for the future and the confidence to get them walking down a path towards success."

According to national statistics, every 26 seconds, a young person in America drops out of school. When students drop out, they are more likely to end up in poverty, suffer poor health, be dependent on social services, enter the criminal justice system and cost the U.S. billions of dollars each year in lost revenue and increased spending on government assistance programs.

To change the picture in the state, Communities In Schools is serving approximately 54,000 students on 160 campuses, working hand-in-hand with schools, communities, partner organizations and families to surround students with a strong network of support. Collectively, 99 percent of secondary students served by Communities In Schools of Washington affiliates remained in school; 96 percent were promoted to the next grade or graduated.

During the 2012-13 school year (the most recent year for which complete data is available), Communities In Schools of Auburn achieved the following:

• 234 Students received tutoring support from CISA staff and community volunteers.

96 percent of students in tutoring programs made significant academic improvement.

• 3,920 children and youth throughout Auburn received students in need assistance from clothing to school supplies to grooming aids and more.

The report features interviews with Susan Richards, state director of Communities In Schools of Washington, a student and a site coordinator. Additional local interview opportunities are available on request.

"I firmly believe that partnerships with nonprofits such as Communities In Schools are a vital part of any district's greater commitment to supporting each of its students toward maximum success," said Michael Dunn, Ed.D., superintendent, NorthEast Washington Education Service District 101. "I am a huge fan and have seen firsthand—as a district superintendent and as a board member – the impact and positive results of their work."

To raise awareness about Communities In Schools, a public awareness campaign is running nationwide, featuring short videos by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris and photos by renowned photographer David Harriman. These videos and images are online at communitiesinschools.org.

Learn more about Communities In Schools of Auburn at www.auburn.ciswa.org.

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