pass the test
WHEN IT COMES to the question of how to
improve our country’s schools, research supports a common thought: Better teachers lead
to better students. A more difficult question is
how to create better teachers.
One measure showing great promise is to
bring community resources—adult volunteers and social services—into the schools.
That’s the approach taken by Communities in
Schools (CIS), and a recent survey found it’s
making a positive difference in schools across
CIS works to keep students in school by
bringing resources, services, parents and volunteers into the buildings to support teachers.
For example, volunteers might staff after-school programs, serve as mentors or work
one-on-one with at-risk students. CIS polled
some 1,600 teachers in eight states to see what
impact its efforts were having. About two-thirds of the respondents said CIS presence in
their schools helped them be better teachers.
Specifically, they reported that CIS helped
students acquire the needed resources for
learning, and that students’ attitudes toward
learning were improved. Respondents felt
students in these programs were more
engaged in learning and were better behaved.
“Many educators said that the presence
and work of Communities in Schools with
students at risk allowed them [the teachers] to
maximize their time and focus on what they
joined the profession to do in the first place:
teach,” the report summarizes.
Costco and many of its suppliers, including P&G, support Communities in Schools
www.CISnet.org). To see The Connection’s
cover story on CIS, go to Costco.com, click on
“Costco Connection Magazine,” then “Online
Edition” and enter “CIS” in the search box.
CIS currently has programs in more than
3,250 schools across the country, tapping
nearly 53,000 volunteers and serving more
than 1 million students each year. One of the
organization’s cornerstones is parent involvement. Ensuring that parents are actively
involved in their students’ academic lives is
critical to successful learning.
“All too often, and for a number of reasons, this is not the case,” the CIS study
reports. “Survey respondents said that CIS’
work to develop relationships with students’
families helps to bring them into the education process, resulting in a support system for
young people both inside and outside the
In a world of doesn’t.
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