Community in Schools
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Bears 4 Bears is the Communities in Schools (CIS) arm at SBMS! CIS is a campus-based, nonprofit organization providing direct services and resources to under-served children with unmet needs. By surrounding them with a community of support, CIS empowers students to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS places a full-time social service provider on the school campus to deliver a variety of programming and provide referrals to other agencies as needed.
CIS has been serving Houston schools, including schools in Spring Branch ISD, for nearly 40 years. All schools with on-site CIS counselors are Title I status, which means 40% of the students are on the free breakfast and lunch program. Many of the students at SBMS attended a Title I elementary.
And that’s what makes the SBMS CIS story so unique.
It all began when a group of former SBMS Bears, including a CIS board member and other CIS, SBISD, community and business leaders started a campaign to finally fill this void of vital services — during the crucial middle school years — by bringing CIS to SBMS. After summoning a group of civic-minded parents, a fundraising breakfast was held to spread the news and awareness to Spring Branch parents.
Breakfast attendees heard from current and former CIS students who shared their personal stories of tribulation and triumph and the positive impact CIS has had in each of their lives. Needless to say, these amazing stories of overcoming the odds made their own impact. And in August 2011, the first on-campus CIS counselor at Spring Branch Middle School was in place.
Throughout the year, there are opportunities to connect with the CIS counselor, hear what’s happening, hear from the kids themselves, and learn more about this vital social service that serves EVERY SBMS student.
SBMS is blessed to have CIS on campus and in the lives of these children — and in the life of our school community.
For more information about Bears 4 Bears, please contact Joy McCormack.
For more information about CIS, please contact SBMS CIS Counselor Leticia Peralta.