Communities In Schools (CIS) began in the 1960’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Bill Milliken, CIS Founder and now Vice Chairman, helped create New York "street academies," storefront alternative schools in Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant funded by major New York City corporations. Under Milliken’s vision and leadership, CIS became a leader in building strategic partnerships and facilitating the connection of existing health, education, and social service resources and bringing those resources into the schools for the benefit of children and families in need.
CIS Comes to Charlotte
Milliken brought this innovative concept to Charlotte in 1984 in a speech to the Junior League of Charlotte. Fifteen area corporations helped launch the local program under the leadership and support of Dr. Jay Robinson, then Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent; Jim Babb, co-chair of the Ad-hoc Task Force on School Dropouts; Ed Crutchfield, Chairman and then CEO of First Union National Bank (now Wells Fargo Corporation); and Jack Tate, a retired First Union executive. Fifty chief executives of major corporations agreed to support the new organization as members of the Board of Trustees. They, in turn, elected 24 individuals to serve on a Board of Directors that held the responsibility for running the organization. Cynthia Marshall was hired as Executive Director in 1985, and Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg became a reality.
Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. was the first CIS program in the state of North Carolina. Today, there are more than 180 CIS affiliates serving nearly 1.3 million students across the country. To learn more, visit the CIS-National website at www.cisnet.org or the CIS-North Carolina website, at www.cisnc.org