Communities in Schools of Lenawee County

cis-lenawee-4pms-horizontal_1Communities in Schools of Lenawee County strives to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  As a local accredited affiliate of a national non-profit, CIS Lenawee has been providing programming for students throughout Lenawee County for 20 years. Over 5,000 students received services last year alone! Communities in Schools also case manages up to 250 individual students each year at various county schools, offering one-on-one and individual programming. Our goal is to keep these students in school and help them succeed.  When planning our programming, Communities in Schools considers the five basics.  We feel all students need and deserve:

  1. A one on one relationship with a caring adult.
  2. A safe place to grow and learn.
  3. A healthy start and a healthy future.
  4. A marketable skill to use upon graduation.
  5. A chance to give back to peers and community.
cis ball game

Communities in Schools students from Adrian Middle School recently enjoyed a Rewards Trip with their Graduation Coach Aaron Benard. Thank you Detroit Pistons, Adrian Public Schools and Coach Benard for your help in making this trip a success. The students worked hard to earn this trip and had a fantastic experience!!

Some of the services offered by Communities in Schools of Lenawee include:

  • Graduation Coaches – Communities in Schools has six Graduation Coaches at various schools throughout the county. Our graduation coaches work with students on grades, attendance, behavior concerns, tutoring, mentoring, and providing much needed resources.
  • Substance Abuse Preventionist – Communities in Schools provides a Substance Abuse Preventionist serving Lenawee County Schools. This year our Substance Abuse Preventionist is assisting local high school students implement SPLT (Student Prevention Leadership Teams) in their schools. SPLT provides programming and events to educate and raise awareness of destructive decisions regarding drugs and alcohol.
  • After School Tutoring – Many of our graduation coaches provide after school tutoring for students in need of additional academic assistance. We also utilize volunteers and local college students to facilitate this service.
  • Girls Circle – This club provides a safe and encouraging environment for girls to express their concerns, deal with issues being faced, find their voice, and build relationships.
  • LUX (Lenawee Urban Exchange) – Our ‘Kid’s Closet’ contains a supply of gently used clothing, outerwear, and shoes for local students. Any school staff member in Lenawee County may submit a request on be-half of a student in need. Our volunteers will fill the order and deliver it discreetly to the school the following day.
  • Lunch Buddies – This mentoring program allows community members to join an at-risk student for lunch one day per week. Lunch Buddies eat lunch and then play games, talk, hang out, work on homework, or take walks around the playground. Lunch Buddies receive training and orientation from Communities in Schools, and are matched up with a little buddy at a school of their choice.  We have placed over 60 Lunch Buddies in Lenawee County last fall. This one hour per week, makes a world of difference to these young students.
  • Voices for Change – Voices for Change is a youth leadership program which encourages Service Learning Projects, where students identify a need or concern within their school or community and devise and implement a plan to address this issue.  All Voices for Change students in Lenawee County are then invited to a county-wide Summit hosted by Communities in Schools each spring. VFC provides a platform for young adults to have their voices heard!
  •  Cinderella’s Closet – This wonderful event supplies high school girls with a selection (500+) of formal dresses, shoes and accessories for prom, absolutely free. We host Cinderella’s Closet at the Adrian Mall in the spring prior to Prom Season. Girls are treated to a boutique-style ‘shopping’ experience supported by local businesses and volunteers.
  • Snacks for Schools, School Supplies, and Personal Care Products – We conduct ‘drives’ and accept donations throughout the year, to provide students in need with healthy snacks, school supplies, personal care/hygiene products, and meals for home over school breaks.

cis dressCommunities in Schools provides all of these services to students, completely free of charge. Programming is funded through grants, generous supporters, and fund-raising efforts.  People often ask how they can help.  We have plenty of opportunities!

  • Become a Lunch Buddy, Mentor, or Tutor
  • Host a fund-raising event
  • Conduct a drive to collect snacks, winter coats, boots or tennis shoes for students in need
  • Donate gently used formal dresses to Cinderella’s Closet
  • Make a financial donation
  • Join our Board of Directors or one of our committees
  • Like us on Facebook and share our mission with others in the community

If you have any questions, or would like to become involved in this amazing organization, please contact Riki Carson, Executive Director, through our website at or you can call our office at 517-417-5439. Making a difference, one child at a time!!

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