Communities In Schools of Arizona Affiliate Tempe and Kyrene Awarded Grant to Fund Family Resource Centers

Jun 30, 2010, 12:27 ET from Communities In Schools

ARLINGTON, Va., June 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Communities In Schools is pleased to announce that one of its Arizona affiliates, Tempe and Kyrene, has been awarded a one-year grant in the amount of $447,865 from First Things First.  The grant will support Family Resource Centers on school campuses in the Tempe Elementary and Kyrene Elementary School Districts.  The Resource Centers are community hubs where families can receive the information and services they need to ensure that their school-aged children come to school ready to learn. 

Communities In Schools received the First Things First grant to provide a full range of educational workshops, parenting classes, and other opportunities free of charge.  Beginning this fall, families with young children can register for nutrition, early literacy, child development, and other classes, all offered in both English and Spanish.  The goal of the Family Resource Centers is to support families with young children during the critical first years so that children will be healthy and enter kindergarten ready to learn.

"CIS of Tempe and Kyrene has been working since 2002 to get kids ready for school at an early age in order to reach them before it's too late," said Lynette Stonefeld, Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Tempe and Kyrene. "We feel so fortunate to finally see the successful culmination of this extensive effort."

A portion of the funds will be used to increase the hours of the parent liaisons that staff the Resource Centers.  New materials such as books and videos on early childhood topics will be available for parents to borrow, and childcare and bus passes will be made available to those families who need them to attend a workshop or class.

"Communities In Schools affiliates are integral parts of the communities they serve, and this grant illustrates the depth of local support for the great work of our affiliate," said Dan Cardinali, Communities In Schools President.

First Things First was created in 2006, when Arizona voters – through the Proposition 203 ballot initiative– decided to set aside 80 cents from each pack of cigarettes sold in order to fund the expansion of education and health programs for children from birth through age five.

Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  Through a school-based coordinator, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical community resources tailored to local needs.  Working in nearly 3,300 schools in the most challenged communities, in 26 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves more than 1.3 million young people and their families.  It has become the nation's leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates.

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SOURCE Communities In Schools