Bridging relationships between schools, students and the community

Across South Carolina, approximately 61% of students attending public school live in poverty thereby limiting their access to obtain a quality education. These students are disproportionately children of color who already fall through the cracks in the public education system. Without community support, they are more at risk for missing school, dropping out and failing to earn a high school diploma. By helping our most vulnerable students stay in school and succeed in life, we are building stronger, healthier and more economically stable communities where every person is capable of reaching his or her greatest potential. 

“It’s relationships, not programs, that change children.”

Bill Milliken, Founder
Communities In Schools

The South Carolina Solution

Working directly in 32 schools across 3 geographic regions in South Carolina, Communities In Schools of South Carolina builds relationships to ensure over 18,000 students receive a quality education.    

Our school-based staff partner with teachers to identify challenges students face in class or at home and coordinate with community partners to bring outside resources inside schools through our evidence-based model of Integrated Student Supports. From immediate needs like food or clothing to more complex ones like counseling or social emotional support, we do whatever it takes to help students succeed.

Our History

Founder Bill Milliken began CIS in New York City in the 1970’s. He came up with the idea of bringing community resources inside public schools-where they are accessible, coordinated and accountable. “It’s relationships, not programs, that change children,” Bill once said. “A great program simply creates the environment for healthy relationships to form between adults and children. Young people thrive when adults care about them on a one-to-one level, and when they also have a sense of belonging to a caring community.” 

Forty years into our mission of surrounding students with communities of support, Bill’s principle continues to guide our work and serves as a beacon for the next chapter in our history.

Our Mission

Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. 

Our Values

Our values as a national organization are:

  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Collaboration
  • Equity
  • Excellence

Our Belief

Communities In Schools of South Carolina® believes that success looks different for every student. A quality education can determine whether they go to prison, college, or employed. As a result, we design our programs and services to remove systemic barriers and improve student outcomes. 


Helping students graduate and succeed in life

We build strong, healthy and more economically stable communities to ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach his or her greatest potential.

The Communities In Schools® site coordinator works with volunteers, partners and the local community to provide students with the supports they need to succeed both inside and outside the classroom. We provide these supports in three different tiers.

By differentiating our supports, we are able to serve most students in a school and also focus attention on targeted students that have significant needs.

  • Tier 1: School-wide services
  • Tier 2: Targeted programs
  • Tier 3: Individualized support

Once the site coordinator and their school support team have identified needs and put a plan in place to address those needs, they continue to meet with students, families, teachers and providers to make sure the supports are working. By setting goals with individual students and the school as a whole, they are able to monitor progress and adjust support accordingly. If they find out the plan isn’t working as well as it could, they bring the right people back to the drawing board to adjust and create a plan that does.

If we can help students in your schools to succeed, contact us.