• 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.

    Communities In Schools was a small organization with big dreams that started in Atlanta, GA in 1977 with the goal of helping students achieve in school, graduate and go on to bright futures. The mission today remains the same — to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life, but Communities In Schools has grown to become the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering at-risk youth to stay in school and on the path to a brighter future.  Nationally, the Communities In Schools’ network of affiliates works in more than 2,300 schools, all doing “what it takes” to help kids succeed.

    To learn more about Communities In Schools national impact, please click here.

    For over 40 years, the words of co-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 an elevated risk for socioemotional difficulties like impulsivity, difficulty in focusing, aggressiveness, passiveness, hopelessness, and disruptive behavior in the classroom.

    In addition to all of the issues impacting poor children as have been listed above, growing up with chronic or prolonged traumatic experiences like many poor children experience has the potential to actually alter the child’s brain, which in turn may cause other and longer-term problems such as:

    • Trouble with relationships, boundaries, empathy, and social isolation
    • Impaired sensorimotor development, coordination problems, increased medical problems, and somatic symptoms
    • Difficulty identifying or labeling feelings and communicating needs
    • Altered states of consciousness, amnesia, impaired memory
    • Problems with focus, learning, processing new information, language development, planning and orientation to time and space
    • Lack of consistent sense of self, body image issues, low self-esteem, shame and guilt
    • Difficulty controlling impulses, oppositional behavior, aggression, disrupted sleep and eating patterns, trauma re-enactment

    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 believe in the potential of all children – each child a promise just waiting to be realized.
    • We believe in both the power and ability of education to prepare and empower children for future success.
    • We believe that as community citizens we must support our schools and educators with gifts of time, treasure and resources
    • We know that children must be inspired, encouraged and prepared to become successful adults.
    • We can, with your help, 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 2018-2019 — 4 Schools — 2,795 STUDENTS


    93% of Case Managed Students (K-5) improved Overall Academic Scores

    90% of Case Managed Students (K-5) demonstrated improved behavior

    87% of elementary students improved reading-specific levels

    91% of elementary students showed growth in basic math levels

    75% of kindergartners struggling with overall language development showed marked improvement

    153 Case Managed students were provided with focused and integrated wrap around services

    121 Struggling students (ages kindergarten through high school) received basic needs assistance

    147 Students in grades 3–5 participated in Reading is FUNdamental program

    65 Students provided STEM Enrichment (robotics) Program after-school

    326 Students in 7-8grades participated in an interactive simulation of financial literacy and budgeting led by community business volunteers

    143 Students from three schools participated in the amazing Give a Kid a Smile Day hosted by Augusta University’s School of Dentistry. Over $34,000 of free dental healthcare was provided to students and families with limited access to dental care.

    Community Volunteers contributed over 3,828 hours of service to students in Richmond County Schools.


  • 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!

    • 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.

    finereads Fine Reads


    “Every book you purchase helps someone else to Read”

  • view our 990s:
     201220132014 • 20152016 • 2017

    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

  • Spooktacular “thank you” to the Columbia County Rotary Club for providing a book for every child to take home following Lamar Milledge Elementary School’s “Schools Not Spooky” event held on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.  Parents and students were treated to an amazing evening of Halloween fun – all orchestrated by Principal Roulhac and her “boo ti ful” and creative staff.  There was all kinds of goodies to eat, games to play, slime, spiders, ghosts, friendly mayhem, and even a student dance exhibition!  Friends of the Community Foundation for the CSRA capped off the night with scary stories read by volunteers around campfires with every child leaving with their very own book to read at home – thank you Rotary!

  • “Young Ladies” have special needs!  EOA to the Rescue!

    Did you know that research conducted by Kimberly Clark Company reflected that one in four women in the United States struggles to purchase period products due to lack of income?

    It is an issue in our own community, but because of its deeply personal nature, it is not often discussed.  As girls mature, the need for various hygiene items increases, but for many struggling girls it is very difficult to obtain sanitary napkins, party-liners and other items that they need monthly.  Many of the girls rely on friends and their school for supplies.

    In a recent discussion with our friends at the CSRA EOA organization, the subject came up, we explained the need and they sprang into action!  We cannot thank the EOA enough for their wonderful gift of feminine hygiene products – so many young ladies will benefit!

  • The mission of Regions Bank is to achieve superior economic value for our shareholders over time by making life better for our customers, our associates and our communities.

    Making life better for communities — that’s just want the associates from Regions Bank does and this August was no exception!  Thanks to the generosity of Regions Bank associates we had enough school supplies to make sure all of your students had what they needed to start school.

  • 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

  • Monique Wynn
    Financial Center Manager
    Fifth Third Bank
    Yvette Foster, Ed.S.
    Director of Curriculum and Instruction
    Richmond County School System
    Michele McNelly
    Director Integration Services
    Eleanor Prater
    Digital Marketing Manager
    Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Gia Hunter
    Director, Human Resources
    Tina Maillet
    VP, Consumer Banking
    Regions Bank
    Breck Brigham
    Vice President – Investments
    Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Board of Advisors

    Tim McGill
    Zach Kelehear, Ed.D.
    Tonya Barnes
    Dennis Sodomka
  • 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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