• Linking community resources to students, families and schools

  • We believe every child needs and deserves:

    • A one-to-one relationship with a caring adult

    • A safe place to learn and grow

    • A healthy start and a healthy future

    • A marketable skill to use upon graduation

    • A chance to give back to peers and community

  • Our Mission:

    To surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
  • Who We Are

    It’s relationships, not programs, that change children.

    For over 40 years, the words of founder Bill Milliken still guide the Communities In Schools’ Model of Support.  “It’s relationships, not programs, that change children,” he said. “A great program simply creates the environment for healthy relationships to form between adults and children. Young people thrive when adults care about them on a one-to-one level, and when they also have a sense of belonging to a caring community.” 

    More than anything else, Communities In Schools believes that to truly lift people out of poverty and to embrace the 21st century, education is a major key. We must create a culture of success and expectation that every student–no matter the personal circumstance–can and deserves the opportunity to be prepared, motivated and equipped to reach his or her greatest potential.

    Why We Do What We Do


    Poverty and its overall impact on children and communities is a major obstacle to the health of any community.  Education’s promise cannot on its own lift all poor students from where they started.  Education can narrow the achievement gap and it can be a positive beacon for success, but non-school factors like one’s living conditions, its impact on student health, cognitive development, familial make-up, and social-emotional growth are all critical to a child’s success.  

    In the U.S., 14.5 million kids under 18 live in poverty, shouldering more than they should have to. Without community support, they are more at risk for missing school, dropping out and failing to earn a high school diploma. By helping our most vulnerable students stay in school and succeed in life, we are building stronger, healthier and more economically stable communities where every person is capable of reaching his or her greatest potential. 

  • How Poverty Affects Students

    • It is likely that poor children will enter school six months behind their peers.
    • Children raised in such stressful environments find it harder to pay attention and follow directions in school. As a matter of fact, in her book, Changing the Odds for Children at Risk, Susan Neuman, former U.S. assistant secretary of education, wrote: “Twice as many poor children will have short attention spans, three times as many will speak in a way that is not understandable to strangers—stuttering or stammering—and almost five times as many will be in poor health. Only a small fraction of poor preschoolers will display any signs of emerging literacy and the small motor skills necessary to begin writing.”
    • Poor students lose 30 percent more days from school than their nonpoor peers.
    • School performance is further affected by vision, hearing, and dental problems. Poor children have twice the normal rate of severe vision impairment, have more hearing problems than their non-poor peers, and three times as likely to have untreated cavities.
    • Poor children are more likely to suffer socioemotional harm which exacerbates behavioral problems.
    • Multiple stressors in the home environment can take a toll on student behavior. In fact, one in five children growing up in poverty has elevated risk for socioemotional difficulties like impulsivity, difficulty in focusing, aggressiveness, passiveness, hopelessness, and disruptive behavior in the classroom.

    We all know that educational attainment is a critical component of employment and a well-educated workforce is crucial to Augusta’s business sector growth.  If we work together, share our resources and provide a path to success for all kids now – the future for our community will be even brighter!

  • Our Model of Support

    The Communities In Schools Model of Integrated Student Support has proven to be an effective solution for many students and schools struggling with large numbers of disadvantaged students and high drop-out rates.
  • Why we care

    • We know that education is key to future success
    • We know that our community schools need additional resources and support
    • We know children must be inspired, encouraged and prepared to become successful adults
    • We can be part of the change that propels students to successful futures!

    As parents and as a community we want our young people to be successful in school and to become independent, contributing members of society when they come of age.  Unfortunately, too many young people, especially those from poverty backgrounds never graduate from high school and remain in the cycle of poverty with their futures diminished – this must change! Invest your time, efforts and resources to inspire and help a child succeed!

    Reading is FUNdamental to learning

    No person, school or agency can address or be prepared for the vast array of the needs presented by every struggling student in the community, but there are many things that can be done that can make a huge difference in a child’s success!  Literacy, mentoring, tutoring assistance, and basic needs are all things Communities In Schools does every day to help kids succeed in school.

    Communities In Schools’ Reading is FUNdamental Program.

    Early reading skills are critical to a child’s success in school.  Students learn to read through the end of third grade, after that they must be able to read in order to learn.  Too many of our kids start school behind their peers in language development and never catch up.

    Reading – it’s a critical skill that can be improved considerably with attention, practice, and help from the community. 

    In a landmark study by Hart-Risley on language development, it was documented that children from low-income families hear as many as 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers before the age of 4. Many of these children enter school considerably behind their peers in reading skills and continue to have difficulty throughout their school lives, resulting in greater incidents of absenteeism, dropping out, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy – all issues that continue to perpetuate the cycles of poverty and dependency.

    • Reading aloud is widely recognized as the single most important activity leading to language development. Reading aloud builds word-sound awareness in children. 
    • Reading aloud gives children the opportunity to practice listening – a critical skill for student success.
    • Reading aloud encourages children to use their imaginations.
    • The more adults read aloud to children, the larger their vocabularies will grow.
    • Reading helps children to learn and dream about the world around them and their place in it.
    • Reading aloud introduces the language of books which is different from the language heard in daily conversations.
    • Reading aloud builds motivation, curiosity, and memory.
    • Reading aloud helps children develop positive associations with books and reading.
    • Children who value books are more motivated to read on their own. 
    • Academic success is tied to a student’s ability to read and comprehend concepts.
  • Communities In Schools Student Impact

    SCHOOL YEAR 2017-2018 — 4 Schools — 1,677 STUDENTS


    Case Managed Students in grades kindergarten through high school — 93% promoted

    Case Managed Students — 88% Improved Overall School Behavior

    Case Managed Students — 80% Improved or Maintained their Academic Scores

    Reading is FUNdamental! Students — 78% improved their reading level

    The Communities In Schools Impact by service or program

    Case Management — 85 students

    Tutoring — 110 students

    After-School STEM/Robotics — 100 students

    In-School STEM — 22  students

    Photography Camp — 31 students

    Classroom Support — 192 students

    Job Shadowing — 25 students

    Basic Needs — 156 supports

    Enrichment Programming Hours — 1,287 hours

    Classroom reading hours (Volunteers) — 2,240 hours

    Caleb Woods

  • Give to Communities In Schools

    Our programs are making a difference!
  • How To Help

    “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” - Winston S. Churchill
    • Donate

    Click here to Donate Online

    Please send your gift to:
    Communities In Schools
    Augusta Richmond County
    P.O. Box 1604
    Augusta, GA  30903

    • Make a Gift

    In-Kind gifts: We always need gifts of school supplies – please contact us for a list.

    • Volunteer

    We consider Volunteers to be critical partners in our success.  Contact us for more information!

    • Mentors (grades 2 – High School)
    • Tutors (elementary – High School)
    • Special Events
    • Read to a Classroom
    • Share Knowledge

    Offer to share your knowledge and experience to a group of students. Topics range from job opportunites in the community, employer expectations, soft skills, financial literacy, wellness, legal issues, safety, and more! Contact us for more information.

  • view our 990s:
     • 2014 • 20152016 • 20172018

    On the local level, Communities In Schools serves as a bridge between schools and businesses, faith groups, and other nonprofit agencies, identifying and mobilizing local resources to provide a range of services to students that need them.

  • Donate to Communities In Schools

    Your gift can help a child succeed
  • Our Events

  • Poetry Matters!

    Communities In Schools of Augusta Richmond County is pleased to announce a partnership with Lucinda Clark, founder of the Poetry Matters Project and her team.  This amazing program works with young people to help them to recognize and express their “voice and thought” through poetry, story and lyric.  Dedicated artists conduct a series of intensive workshops with students teaching them how to constructively express their thoughts, passions and interests.  At the conclusion of the program, students will present to fellow students, family and the community.

    The Poetry Matters Project has been working with emerging voices in poetry for 18 years. Starting as a poetry contest in community schools it has grown into a multi-faceted foundation with a mission to build community connection under the guise of poetry. 

    In addition to the student workshops, a national poetry contest is held each year and is open to the public – youth through adult.  For guidelines and entry information please visit www.Facebook.com/PoetryMattersProject or call (762)233-9815.

  • Thank you Panera Bread Restaurants for “rounding up” for Communities In Schools!

    For the month of January every customer will be asked to round up their purchase to benefit Communities In Schools and the students we serve. So the next time you are looking to have a meal, consider Panera Bread!

    We appreciate Panera Bread for their recognition and help investing in our kids!  We believe that the successful education of children is key to not only breaking the cycle of generational poverty, but it is at the very heart of prosperous communities, businesses, innovation, and growth.  There are no short cuts. We must create a culture of success and an expectation that every student can—no matter the personal circumstance—and deserves the opportunity to be educated, engaged, motivated, and prepared to have a viable career path upon graduation.


    Communities In Schools was honored at the Augusta Junior League’s 90th Year Gala Celebration. In honor of the league’s incredible legacy of service to the community throughout the years, a special grant in the amount of $9,000 was awarded to support our efforts to meet the urgent and basic needs of students and their families that are struggling through difficult circumstances.  On behalf of our board of directors and staff, thank you Augusta Junior League for your gift of compassion, your volunteers and the inspiration your members have been to our organization!

  • Our Partners

  • Board of Directors

  • Jay Murray, Chairman
    President, Augusta Market
    SunTrust Bank
    Kaden Jacobs
    Communication & Community Engagement Manager
    Richmond County School System
    Bonita Jefferies Jenkins
    Military Navigator
    Augusta Technical College

    Breck Brigham
    Vice President – Investments
    Wells Fargo Advisors

  • Dennis Sodomka
    Wine Writer
    Retired Newspaper Editor
    Monique Wynn
    Financial Center Manager
    Fifth Third Bank
    J. Joseph Adams
    Sales Manager
    Mercedes Benz Augusta
    Yvette Foster, Ed.S.
    Director of Curriculum and Instruction
    Richmond County School System
  • Tonya Barnes
    Implementation Manager

    Gia Hunter
    Director, Human Resources

    Tina Maillet
    VP, Consumer Banking
    Regions Bank
    Tkeyah Anderson
    Georgia Power Company
  • Board of Advisors

    Tim McGill
    Zach Kelehear, Ed.D.
  • Our Staff

  • Connect

    Communities In Schools
    Augusta Richmond County, Inc.
    P.O. Box 1604
    Augusta, GA 30903

    CIS Administrative Office Location
    Family Y (2nd Floor)
    3570 Wheeler Road
    Augusta, GA 30909

    Hours of Operation:
    Monday-Friday: 8:30am – 4:00pm


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