By: Jane Haikyimana

Communities in School aids students from lower-income families and students who may need support when it comes to school, grades, and life. Even though CIS assists hundreds of students throughtout the Abilene School District, many students are unaware about what CIS really does.

Erica Hansley, student success coach, runs the CIS program at AHS. Assisting her this year, student intern Cassie Mwema who attends Abilene Christain University and is a double major in psychology and social work.

CIS aids all students who may need an extra set of eyes. The program prepares students for skills they need in the outside world with college and career readiness. The students meet with Hansley and Mwema twice a month and they discuss ways to be more successful with school and life. The program has different techniques to help with organization skills such as using different colors folders. CIS helps supply students with school supplies. There’s also an eyeglass program that helps students who may need eyeglasses. Additionally, there’s a program to help students who may need housing assistance. CIS also gives students an outlet, someone to discuss and talk to about academic, emotional, and personal problems, everything discussed with Hansley and Mwema is confidential unless anyone is in harm.

 “The whole gist of it is helping them be successful in school to prepare them to be successful in life,”  Hansley said. “Whatever that may look like, we want them to be prepared. When they leave here ready to go to the military, ready to go into the workforce, ready to go to college, we just want them to be successful,

CIS will be also hosting a weekly attendance battle starting Monday against Cooper High School. Every Friday the school with the best attendance will get a trophy for a week and win bragging rights. Also, two students at AHS names will be drawn weekly and they’ll win prizes, and rewards will be different every week. In May, students who have perfect attendance for the entire school year will be put in a drawing and they’ll get a chance to win a prize.

 “The schools, Cooper High and Abilene High, will be competing against each other and then also within those competitions within the school it’s kind of a competition between the students here,” Mwema said..

For any further information and questions students may have about CIS, the room is located in room 2401, the second floor in the Bryant wing, where Erica Hansley is available throughout the week and Cassie Mwema is available Mondays and Wednesdays.