History

Communities In Schools focuses on meeting the unique needs of students and schools in their local communities, while participating in a strong national and statewide network with a long history of working to keep kids in school.

National Backing

The story of Communities In Schools began in the 1970s, when founder Bill Milliken, then a youth advocate in New York City, came up with the idea of bringing community resources inside public schools where they are accessible, coordinated and accountable.

From this grassroots beginning, Communities In Schools grew into the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, now in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Statewide Support

Communities In Schools began operating in Washington in 1991 at the urging of Boeing, Costco and other business and education leaders. They were concerned about the burden on public schools, which were increasingly expected to provide for the basic needs of students in addition to education.

Communities In Schools offered a solution with its comprehensive, coordinated, and cost-effective strategy, as well as evidence of success in other parts of the country. With support from major employers, Communities In Schools of Washington took root and now operates in 20 school districts statewide.

Local Connection

Communities in Schools of Lakewood (CISL) started operating After-School and Readiness To Learn Programs in 1993 to address the growing number of students who were failing in school. Thanks to ongoing support from the Clover Park School District, local businesses, foundations and citizens, the organization has grown to include Mentoring, Site Coordination and community collaborative programs which serve the needs of our community’s most disadvantaged children and families.