A+ A A-

Communities in Schools Grant

Communities In Schools - Blue Mountain Region Awarded $304,000 to Expand Services in Partnership with Walla Walla Public Schools

Communities In Schools of the Blue Mountain Region (CISBM) is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a generous grant of $304,000 to supplement the expansion of its services in partnership with Walla Walla Public Schools. This transformative donation is part of Ballmer Group's $9 million contribution to Communities In Schools of Washington (CISWA). It aims to scale its integrated student support model to 45 new schools across Washington State in the next three years, seeking to equalize educational opportunities for students from every background. These matching funds will support the expansion of CISBM's services to Lincoln High School and Walla Walla Center for Children and Families, employing a full-time Communities In Schools (CIS ®) member for three years at both schools.

CISBM is a local fiscally sponsored affiliate of Communities In Schools of Washington, which is part of CIS, a national network dedicated to surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The past few years have posed unprecedented challenges for students and families, including social isolation, economic crises, stress, and trauma. Ruben Alvarado, Executive Director of CISBM, expressed his enthusiasm about the grant, stating, "This investment enables CISBM, in partnership with the school district and local schools, to provide critical coordinated resources to more students by hiring a trained professional who can help connect them to community supports and services needed more than ever." In the 2023-2024 school year, CISBM is serving 10 schools in Walla Walla Public Schools and one in Milton-Freewater Unified School District.

Since its launch in 2021, CISBM has demonstrated measurable success in improving student outcomes. In the 2022-2023 school year, the organization made a significant impact, and it continues to support schools with vital initiatives such as managing student caseloads, increasing parent engagement, facilitating school-wide events, organizing volunteer opportunities, and employing efforts to decrease chronic absenteeism. To support students and families, CISBM's school-based staff work closely with students to navigate issues and remove barriers in the classroom, at home, and in the community. They coordinate with schools and local service providers to meet the needs of students and families, ensuring access to critical resources like food, housing, healthcare, counseling, and more.

CISBM believes that transformative relationships are key to unlocking a student's potential. By putting students at the center of their efforts, CISBM provides each student with the opportunity to have their best educational experience, setting them on the path to a successful future.

To learn more about Communities In Schools of the Blue Mountain Region, visit bluemountainregion.ciswa.org

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

Vector Solutions - Vector Alert Safe Schools Tip Line: 855.976.8772  |  Online Tip Reporting System