Help students stay in school and achieve in life. Sponsor or attend Once Upon a Party on Saturday, May 19th!

Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans is becoming Communities In Schools Gulf South! You can help students stay in school and achieve in life by sponsoring or attending Once Upon a Party on Saturday, May 19th. Funds raised will benefit CIS and support our expansion so that we can serve even MORE students. We already serve over 6,500 students in 23 schools. Get your presale tickets for the best price!

Tickets will be sold at the door, but the price will increase $5. Family of four packages are also ONLY available through the online presale. Tickets for Once Upon a Party are on sale NOW at

We have some generous sponsors to recognize!

Publisher Level: Coughlin Saunders Foundation and WTUL
Editor Level: Gary & Martha Solomon
Author Level: River Rock Stone Works, Perlis Clothing, Pain Intervention Center,
Uniforms by Logo Express, Mutual of America, and Merrill Lynch
To join us as a sponsor and have the chance to promote YOUR business to our attendees contact us at or call (504) 247-7221.










Schedule a Gift Now Through April 30th for GiveNOLA Day!

Support Communities In Schools (CIS) on GiveNOLA Day! GiveNOLA Day is on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. You can support CIS either by donating on May 1 or scheduling a gift now. Click here to schedule a gift. The scheduled gift option is available until April 30.

Your gift empowers students to stay in school and achieve in life. Without you, students are at-risk not only for dropping out of school, but for long-term negative effects. As you may know, CIS serves the most at-risk students at the schools in which we work. Our students face hunger, homelessness, and exposure to violence.

Because of generous donors like you, students get the support they need to overcome obstacles to and succeed in school and in life.
So far this year CIS site coordinators (social workers and counselors who work in our schools) have:
  • Provided more than 7,500 counseling sessions
  • Provided over 200 interventions to students in crisis
  • Coordinated at least 500 attendance interventions
  • Secured food, housing, and clothing for children and families more than 1,500 times
Students need CIS, and we can’t continue our work without the funds to do so. This GiveNOLA Day (May 1, 2018), our goal is to raise $20,000.00. Bookmark our page to make a gift on GiveNOLA Day or schedule your gift now. Every gift makes a difference for students in need. Here are just a few examples of how your generosity will benefit the young people in our community.


CIS is a community partner for Champion: An Opera in Jazz

CIS is excited to be a community partner of the New Orleans Opera Association for their upcoming performances of Champion. A 10% discount on tickets is available when you enter NOOPARTNERZ at checkout. Performances are March 9 and March 11.

The Opera Association has invited CIS to be a partner for these performances. The high school students we serve will have an opportunity to see the dress rehearsal for free, and on opening night (March 9) CIS will be able to talk about our work with opera patrons and other community partners.

Visit for tickets and more information.

Champion: An Opera in Jazz



The Story of Champion (from the New Orleans Opera Association website)

Emile Griffith was a three-time World Welterweight Champion and twice a World Middleweight Champion, fighting from the late 1950s into the 1970s. However, one of his greatest professional triumphs – winning back the Welterweight Championship from Benny “The Kid” Paret in 1962 – was also one of his greatest personal tragedies. The seventeen punches he landed on Paret in seven seconds resulted in not only a knockout, but also a coma from which Paret would never recover. Paret would die ten days later.

Before that life-changing televised fight, in a room full of press and officials, Paret mocked Griffith repeatedly with a derogatory term for homosexual. Years later, Griffith’s sexuality as a gay man was revealed to the public after he was nearly killed by a gang outside a gay bar in New York. “I kill a man,” Griffith was quoted to have said, “and most people understand and forgive me. I love a man, and to so many people this is an unforgivable sin.” In an inspiring, moving, and painful journey of self-discovery, Champion presents audiences with a great contemporary tragic hero – a man of strength and courage consumed ultimately by rage, regret, and the terrible consequences of his actions.

Get Ready to Run (or Walk) for CIS!

Mark your calendars for the inaugural Ruby Slipper 5K and Youth Run benefiting Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans! The race is on Sunday, February 25. The Ruby Slipper is celebrating their 10th anniversary with this run and they have generously offered to donate proceeds to Communities In Schools.

This is a fun way to celebrate the success of a local business and raise funds for CIS. Register for the run/walk here. See updates about the event and the post-race party on Facebook.

Join us for the Ruby Slipper Run benefiting CIS!

January is National Mentoring Month!

A quote from one of our mentors about his experience with his mentee.

January is National Mentoring Month, and we at Communities In Schools wanted to use our blog to highlight how we use mentoring to help young people succeed. Matthew Delaughter has been a mentor to Dontrell* for the past 3 years, through grades 6, 7, and now into grade 8.

Dontrell was having behavioral problems in school and struggling academically. As a student at one of the schools that CIS of Greater New Orleans serves, Dontrell had the opportunity to get connected to Matthew as a mentor. When Matthew and Dontrell first met, they spent time playing basketball or Jenga (on rainy days). Sports and activities provided a way for Matthew and Dontrell to build trust and develop their relationship. Matthew says the one-on-one nature of these activities helped them to get to know each other.

“I had three things, I wanted to accomplish with Dontrell. I made it an alliteration. I wanted to give him affirmation, I wanted to give him accountability, and I wanted to give him appropriate affection.” Matthew used “the three As” as his guiding principles in working with Dontrell and has seen him grow over the course of their mentor/mentee relationship.

Because of mentoring, Dontrell has improved his behavior in school, worked to get better grades, especially in mathematics, and developed his interpersonal communication skills.

Consistency and stability are the most important aspects of a mentoring relationship, according to Matthew. “Being regular and long-term are two of things that I’ve seen that kids really need. Mentors don’t have to have all the answers, the biggest thing is being there consistently for someone, even if you are just doing something that seems simple like playing basketball. There’s a lot of power in being a constant in a kid’s life. You being there to listen can mean a lot to someone.” says Matthew.

Matthew is originally from Brookhaven, Mississippi. He is Lead Pastor/Planter of Immanuel Community Church, and has been married to Annie since the summer of 2009. They have three young children: Bryson, Eliana, and Paton. The Delaughters moved to the Treme neighborhood New Orleans in June of 2015. They intentionally located Immanuel Community Church in the Treme to build community partnerships with families living in the neighborhood. To begin building relationships in the city, Matthew coached football with the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission (NORD-C). Immanuel Community Church also works closely with the Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center and the Treme Center, as well as with Communities In Schools.

*Student is using a pseudonym.

Empowering Overage Students to Succeed: Timothy’s Story

A recent article on discussed overage students in New Orleans high schools. According the the article: “The proportion of overage students — those who have been retained for at least one grade — hovers around 40 percent for New Orleans high school students, according to an analysis of 2014 data by researchers at Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, which is based at Tulane University. Forty-six percent of twelfth-graders were at least one year older than their peers.” (See the full text here:

At Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans, we work with students who are overage and empower then to stay in school (or return to school after stopping-out) and complete their high school education. One such student is Timothy.*

Timothy was only making it to school 1 day a week. At 18 years old and still in the 9th grade, school wasn’t his priority because it couldn’t be. Timothy joined a gang at just 11 years old because his family needed money, and he was too young to get any type of legal employment. Timothy has witnessed more violent crimes at a young age than most adults will in their lifetime.

Things started to change for Timothy when he met Christine, the Communities In Schools (CIS) Site Coordinator at his high school. It took over 6 months for Christine to gain Timothy’s trust, but once she did, she was able to counsel him and help him make sense of the chaos around him. Timothy is trying to “get out of the game,” and is looking for lawful work. He has also progressed in school.

Timothy is finding stability and succeeding in school. He attends school at least 4 days a week, a dramatic improvement in his attendance. Timothy says that Christine is one of the reasons he comes to school more regularly, because he knows she’ll be looking for him. The relationship between Timothy and Christine shows that by providing students with a consistent one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, CIS creates a safe place for them to learn and grow.

*Student is using a pseudonym for confidentiality.

CIS Students are meeting or making progress toward their behavior goals.



CIS Gets Results!

Communities In Schools gets results. According to the CIS national office, the students we serve in New Orleans are meeting or making progress toward their goals in attendance, behavior, learning, and preparation for life after high school graduation. You can help more students reach their goals with your gift to CIS of Greater New Orleans between now and December 31Donate here. 
CIS Gets Results!

Be a Part of #GivingTuesday! A Global Day of Giving.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday … and TOMORROW is #GivingTuesday.
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. We want to invite you to support Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans on Giving Tuesday. You make a difference in the lives of students when you give. In 2015 – 2016 your generosity helped CIS students to stay in school (97%), and graduate or get promoted to the next grade (84%). In Greater New Orleans CIS case managed 1,237 students last year.
Image of an adult and a student celebrating success.
CIS is in schools to help kids stay in school.

2017 All In For Students National Impact Report

AllinForKids, At Risk Youth, CIS New Orleans, Communities in Schools, New Orleans Public Schools, Counseling, nonprofit, Volunteer ProgramsYoung people of all backgrounds and abilities thrive when adults care about them on a one-to-one level, and when they have a sense of belonging to a caring community. That’s exactly what Communities In Schools (CIS) provides IN SCHOOLS, every day.  We harness available resources in communities, and match them with each student’s needs to help them overcome the academic and non-academic barriers to achievement.

CIS has a presence in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Last school year, we served 1.48 million students, working in 2,300 schools and 364 school districts throughout the country.

The 2017 All In For Students National Impact Report outlines the national accomplishments of Communities In Schools during the 2015-2016 school year. It includes data on students who were promoted from one grade to another, graduated from high school or otherwise improved their performance. It also includes projections for how CIS is serving more students in the current school year.

When we’re in schools, the impact is great. In the coming weeks we will tell you more about how Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge makes a difference in the lives of CIS students by going #AllinforKids.

FirstLine Network Partner Award

AllinForKids, Americorps, At Risk Youth, Behavioral Health, CIS New Orleans, Communities in Schools, Counseling, FirstLine Schools, Joseph Clark Preparatory High School, Langston Hughes Academy, Network partner Award, New Orleans Public Schools, nonprofit, Phillis Wheatley Community School, Site Coordinator, Volunteer Programs
FirstLine Schools CEO Jay Altman presents the Network Partner Award to Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans


We’d like to share our Thankful Thursday post with our good friends at FirstLine Schools, which honored Communities In Schools two weeks ago with their Network Partner Award. At the assembly, we cheered with the staff of both Joseph Clark Preparatory High School and Phillis Wheatley Community School, celebrating the teamwork of our CIS Site Coordinators Eliza and Max and Behavioral Health Counselor Brittney, our CIS AmeriCorps members and our leadership team. We’ve also brought the Jazz for Young People program to Langston Hughes Academy. We were humbled to be called last week to offer leadership and support in the crisis response at Samuel J Green Charter, as the school community mourned the death of two Green students and their mother and the injuries to their sister. If you would like to support this family, please visit