Cities In Schools is a 501©3 nonprofit located in Ardmore Oklahoma. The mission of Cities In Schools is to assist the community to help the area schools meet the critical needs of students, provide a safe, nurturing environment in which students receive mentoring and participate in literacy activities. Through active community collaborations, Cities In Schools summer day camp and after school program focus on literacy with the overall goal of maintaining current literacy levels in both math and reading, and raising skills to grade level.
Literacy activities in both programs has a strong connection to student’s overall academic success outside the program. Local schools acknowledge that CIS students show improvement in behavior and test scores. Summer camp students are prepared to return to school in the fall and do not suffer the nerves of unpreparedness and loss of skills. CIS students are genuinely prepared and excited for the onset of the new school year. The same can be said for the after school program. The after school students are very successful in completing their homework. They receive help with their homework and if needed they receive individual tutoring to improve any weak areas. They have the opportunity to participate in daily literacy activities designed to strengthen their basic literacy skills in math and reading. Parents and students report improved grades, as well as students making the honor roll who have never made it before.
In addition to literacy activities, students participate in arts and crafts, media, music, computers, physical education classes and life skills. They
receive classes in self-esteem, self-worth, and anger management. Through the after school program students receive a full meal and through the summer program students receive breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks. Students also enjoy field trips once a week during summer camp. Safety and nurturing for students remains a priority for CIS; CIS believes a nurturing, safe environment will foster both personal growth and academic achievement.
CIS continually seeks community partnerships that will better the program, and offer opportunities to students that they may not otherwise participate. CIS currently enjoys partnerships with Ardmore Little Theater, Regional Food Bank, Girl Scouts, the Oklahoma State Health Department, the Oklahoma State Health Department Child Guidance Division, Zumba Kids, Shape Your Future, Systems of Care and many others.
CIS strives to keep tuition fees low for the families of the 400 students served. Through the generosity of grantors, donors, and individual contributors, services and activities are offered for less than $2 per day. This is a minimal cost to single parent families and many working families that would otherwise struggle to pay for after school and summer care of their children. CIS helps keep kids off the streets and prepares them for academic and overall success in life.