GAME-CHANGING INVESTMENT HELPS STUDENTS BREAK DOWN BARRIERS TO EQUITABLE LEARNING
$133.5M Donation from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Will Deepen School Impact Nationally
(Renton, WA) Feb 3, 2022 – Communities In Schools (CIS) announced today philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has made a transformative $133.5 million gift to the Communities In Schools network, the largest, unrestricted gift in CIS history. This unprecedented gift includes a collective $5.85 million given to Communities In Schools of Washington and three Washington state CIS affiliates: CIS of Benton-Franklin, CIS of Peninsula and CIS of Renton-Tukwila.
“We believe this gift speaks to our proven track-record, our potential to do more from within and our work striving for equity in educational opportunities,” said CIS Renton-Tukwila Executive Director Jaime Greene.
At a time when the pandemic and ongoing racial injustices across the country have shown blindly a spotlight on injustices students of color and those living in poverty face every day, this investment will help CIS to carry out its mission to break down systemic barriers that stand in the way of equitable opportunities.
“We are grateful for this generous, game-changing gift to support students furthest from educational justice throughout Renton, Tukwila and Lake Washington school districts and expand what is possible so that one day success will no longer be predictable based on one’s race or socioeconomic status” Greene said.
In the 2020-2021 school year, CIS Renton-Tukwila supported 704 students through case-management, 90 percent of whom were students of color, 96 percent were low income and 97
percent who were exposed to some form of trauma. In addition, 9,000 students received whole-school supports.
CIS works directly inside schools in partnership with teachers and parents to address the unique needs of students to ensure they have equal opportunities to reach their full potential. Their evidenced-based model of Integrated Student Support as a student-centered approach, is firmly grounded in the research on child and youth development and is designed to promote educational, social and emotional development of students and position them to succeed both inside and outside the classroom.
“Today is an important day for students who are underserved, under-resourced, and in need of support to build a brighter future,” said Rey Saldaña, President and CEO of Communities In Schools nationally. “This unrestricted gift allows us to combat the inequities in public education and reimagine the way schools operate and show up for all students. Our National goal is to bring our model inside of every one of the 70,000 Title I-eligible schools in the country; currently, we operate in 3,000 schools – so we still have a long way to go, and we will need ongoing support to get there.”
While this transformative gift will allow CIS to continue closing the opportunity gap, ongoing support at the state and local level is crucial in ensuring students have access to the resources and supports they need to overcome the barriers that stand between them and an equitable path to education
About Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools® (CIS™) is a national organization that ensures every student, regardless of race, zip code, or socioeconomic background, has what they need to realize their potential in school and beyond. Working directly inside 3,000 schools across the country, we connect students to caring adults and community resources that help them see, confront, and overcome the barriers that stand between them and a brighter future. Locally, CIS Renton-Tukwila supports 33 schools within Renton, Tukwila and Lake Washington school districts. Of the 704 case-managed students last year, 86% improved attendance, 100% improved behavior, 78% improved their grades, and 64% made improvement in social-emotional learning (data reflects students with that specific goal).
Together, we build a powerful change movement made up of our community committed to building an equitable path to education for future generations. To learn more about Communities In Schools Renton-Tukwila www.gkc.ciswa.org.
For media requests, contact Keysha-Rae Cooper: 425-430-6659,