On March 29th, Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley celebrated Success 2017! The event featured auctions, dinner, and award presentations. The Baum School of Art and Caron Treatment Centers each received an Outstanding Community Partner Award. John Reinhart, superintendent of Easton Area School District, was honored with the Champion of Education Award. Jack Gross, former CIS board chair, was honored with the Milliken Service Award.

The event also highlighted students’ success stories. Dynasty, a student attending Reading Senior High School, had trouble focusing in school because of conflicts with her peers. Sometimes, these conflicts ended in suspension. The CIS Site Coordinator, Ms. Parker, helped Dynasty learn to resolve conflicts and get back on track with her schoolwork.

“She was here to help me bring out the potential she knew I had, and I was eventually able to show her the grades she already knew I could get. She also got me to the stage where I can ignore and walk away from trouble that I knew people wanted me to feed into,” said Dynasty of her Site Coordinator, “She was helping me bring out a different me.”

Jayze, student at Reading Intermediate High School, had struggled in school where he would get into fights and hang out with the wrong crowd. When he met with a CIS Site Coordinator, he started to think more out of the box.

“Communities In Schools helped me understand that my life has bigger meaning. My Site Coordinator showed me that if I want to pursue my dream of taking my mom out the hood, I can’t be making these mistakes,” said Jayze.

Madison, an Allentown student in the 21st Century CLC program, thanked The Baum School of Art for their support of her afterschool program as she presented them with their award. “During our time at Baum, we were encouraged to step outside of our comfort zones and try new things,” Madison told the audience, “We gained confidence in ourselves and our abilities. We complimented others and ourselves when we saw improvement. We learned that small changes can make big differences in our artwork as well as the world.”

Jason, of Reading Senior High School, presented Caron Treatment Centers with their award for their support of CIS staff development and student programming. Jason spoke about his experience in a smoking cessation group facilitated by Caron at his school: “The group leaders not only gave me the facts about cigarette use but showed that they cared. Because they care, I was able to listen and understand that my smoking would negatively affect my performance for football and school. I noticed how I was becoming addicted and did not want to risk losing the things I care about most. With the accountability provided by Caron Treatment Centers, I was able to stop my tobacco use and focus on more important things.”

Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley is changing the picture of education for thousands of students in Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties. To support students like Dynasty, Jayze, Madison, and Jason, visit www.cislv.org/donate.