More about Communities In Schools of Lee County

The mission of Communities in Schools of Lee County is: To champion the connection of needed community resources with schools to help young people successfully learn, stay in school, and prepare for life.

Communities in Schools (CIS) believes that the solution to student underachievement and high dropout rates requires a commitment from all community members- parents, social service providers, healthcare providers, businesses, civic organizations, local government and educators.  CIS is the connector, bringing existing resources and services, as well as parents and volunteers, into area schools to help our students succeed.

Communities in Schools creates community partnerships that provide resources and services to schools, students, and teachers resulting in positive outcomes such as improved school attendance, improved behavior, improved attitude, and high stay in school rate.

To achieve the mission Communities in Schools (CIS) works on the premise that all children need and deserve the “Five Basics”

1) A personal one-on-one relationship with a caring adult

2) A safe place to learn and grow

3) A healthy start and a healthy future

4) A marketable skill to use upon graduation

5) An opportunity to give back to peers and the community

History of CIS

Communities in Schools (originally named Cities in Schools) is the nation’s leading dropout prevention network and has been helping students stay in school and prepare for life since 1977.  Communities in Schools has twice been named one the nation’s top 100 charities by Worth Magazine and is one of the only 13 education charities included on that list.  Details about the national network history can be found at

Locally, in 2002 and 2003, the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, members of Hand in Hand (a local faith-based mentoring and tutoring initiative) and other community members interested in improving education joined forces to bring Communities in Schools to Lee County.  The Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce offered in-kind office space and additional support including utilities, phone, and Internet access to house the program.  Community members donated a desk, chair, and office supplies and Communities in Schools of North Carolina provided a computer.  A part-time executive director began in June of 2003 and the organization received IRS 501 (c)(3) charitable status effective October 13, 2003.  In January of 2004, Communities in Schools met all the organizational and accountability requirements to receive “operational” recognition by the national network.  At this point, CIS employes one full time Program Coordinator.

We are a proud member agency of United Way of Lee County

United Way