Communities in Schools celebrates 20 years in Del.

By Amy Cherry 4:36pm, December 10, 2012
Communities in Schools (CIS) celebrates two decades in Delaware.

The non-profit's President Jim Purcell says CIS started as a very small program at William Penn High School and has grown to be a statewide organization.

"One of the biggest things is connecting mentors into our schools. We've seen 300 mentors in Communities in Schools locations across the state," says Purcell.

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Communities in Schools recently got a $300,000 grant from AT&T to expand their mentoring program, adding site coordinators at several more high schools. They have aspirations to eventually take it to the elementary and middle school levels.

Purcell says CIS' mission is a vital one.

"To surround students with a community of support that they can stay in school and really succeed in life, and it's about building those private and public partnerships in schools; having a point of contact in that school who is the eyes and ears for those students, who need more attention, more help," says Purcell.

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Their celebration kicks off Tuesday at 5:30pm at Barclay's Bank with the man who started it all. Bill Milliken was a high school school dropout himself, who went from the streets of New York to the founder of Communities in Schools that helps 3,500 hundred schools in 28 states across the country.

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