CIS of Walton Seeks National Accreditation

Communities In Schools of Walton County has been selected to pursue national accreditation from the CIS National Office.  Walton is among eight local affiliates in Georgia selected to participate in this third round of the process, and when complete, will join fewer than 50 local CIS organizations who have achieved the status.  By 2014, all local CIS organizations will be required to have achieved the accreditation standards.

The accreditation process ensures that local affiliates like CIS of Walton County are employing best practices around the 6 CIS Core Functions:

  • General Organization and Business Management
  • Resource Development/Fund Raising
  • Marketing & Public Relations
  • Community Partnerships
  • Managing, Expanding & Developing CIS Sites
  • Providing and/or Brokering Quality Youth Programming and Services

The Communities In Schools National Office has provided a grant of $20,000 to CIS of Walton to pursue the accreditation goals.


Walnut Grove High School Gets Books Through FirstBook Grant

Walnut Grove High School recently received more than 200 books for its media center, thanks to a grant from FirstBook and Communities In Schools.

FirstBook is a non-profit book distribution organization that works through other non-profits like Communities In Schools to make books accessible to all students.  CIS of Walton County applied for a grant through First Books to make the donation possible.

"We need thousands of books to enhance our media center, and with the current funding, that's going to be tough," said Thomas Boutwell, principal of WGHS.  "We appreciate this donation."

More books are needed.  If you know of resources to provide library-quality books to WGHS please contact CIS Site Coordinator Michele Brignone at

Social Circle Elementary Gears Up for CIS Health Fair

Students at Social Circle Elementary School soon will know exactly how they are doing, not just on academic assessments, but on health assessments, too!

The Communities In Schools Site Team at SCES, led by Site Coordinator Debra Rakestraw, is planning a Health Fair on April 27.  All students will progress through stations where they will have height, weight, blood pressure, dental, hearing and vision checks.  They will also receive instruction on proper hand-washing techniques, good nutrition and the importance of exercise.  The results will be marked on personalized folders that students can take home to parents along with information on normal ranges for each assessment and what to do if a child needs attention.

It's all part of the CIS 3rd Basic, A Healthy Start and A Healthy Future.  These assessments will help students, parents and school officials identify health needs that may be keeping students from doing their best in school, and connecting the students with community resources if needed.  In the long term, this can help students achieve their potential in elementary school, stay on track and graduate on time!

Many community partners have come to the table to help, including the Walmart Vision Center, Walton Regional Medical Center, the Walton County Extension Service and others.

Good health and good grades go hand in hand, and community support helps give students the healthy start they need and deserve!

Thank You Walton Electric Trust!

Communities in Schools of Walton County recently received a $3000 grant from the Walton Electric Trust, also known as Walton EMC Operation Round-Up.  Walton EMC customers contribute to the fund by having their electric bills rounded up to the next dollar, and the Walton Electric Trust invests the dollars in worthwhile community activities.

CIS is pleased to have received an award of $3000, which will support career exploration and college access in the Performance Learning Center.  Students who need help with college applications, entrance exam preparation and fees, and other pathways to college will be able to apply for support through this grant.

In addition, seniors who complete credits in the Performance Learning Center and graduate this year will be able to apply for job shadowing and internship opportunities through this grant.  Students will choose a career they would like to explore and CIS will match them with an employer in the community for a 20-hour workplace experience.

Our sincere thanks go to Walton EMC and the Walton Electric Trust for making these programs possible, helping students stay in school and achieve in life!