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This school year, Emporia Public Schools and Communities In Schools of Mid-America have started a partnership to help remove learning barriers for the district’s at-risk students.

Communities In Schools has a site coordinator at Logan Avenue and Walnut elementary schools this year. Coordinators Jennifer Martin at Logan Avenue and Leah Hoggatt at Walnut are working one-on-one or in small groups with students to build relationships and then help them overcome obstacles like poverty, hunger, stress, abuse or bullying. Students are referred by teachers, school staff and occasionally parents.

“It has been a blessing to have the opportunity to partner with CIS,” said Logan Avenue Principal Jessica Griffin. “Jennifer Martin has already been busy helping families secure household resources. We are looking forward to the events she will host for families and to having the additional support to offer our students.”

“Leah Hoggatt has been a great addition to our staff and school so far. She greets students in the morning and is a friendly face for many as they transition back into school routines. We are excited about the program and what Ms. Hoggatt can provide for students and families this year,” said Walnut Principal Jami Dakin.

CIS works with schools, parents and several different community organizations to bolster learning opportunities and set the table for positive learning experiences. CIS also serves as a partner for in-kind donations to schools.

“Communities In Schools is proud to be partnering with Emporia Public Schools. We are excited to be to providing supports to students at Logan Avenue Elementary and Walnut Elementary schools,” said Victoria Partridge, Communities In Schools of Mid-America Communications Manager and Area Director for Central Kansas.

The CIS presence in Logan Avenue and Walnut are part of a child and family well-being pilot project through the Kansas Department for Children and Families. The specific focus is on strengthening families and increasing well-being, both for children and their families. Core CIS program metrics of attendance, behavior and outcome performance will be utilized later to demonstrate success along with certain additional indicators aligned towards child and family well-being.

Communities In Schools started in the 1970s as a way to bring community resources inside public schools. CIS now works directly in 2,300 schools in 25 states and the District of Columbia, offering support for over 14 million students under age 18 living in poverty. Communities In Schools Mid-America now works in 49 schools in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma.

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