The Coronavirus pandemic has been a frightening and challenging time for us all. But CIS is here for our students and families.
During this crisis, with schools closed and many people out of work or with reduced hours, CIS students and families are disproportionately more vulnerable than ever. The trusted close relationships of our CIS Site Coordinators with their students and families are extremely beneficial in these unprecedented times.
Emergency Needs Assessments
When schools closed, our 80+ CIS site coordinators from 55 schools immediately began conducting emergency needs assessments to determine what students and families were facing with the onset of the pandemic. Staff continues to monitor needs, help deploy services and resources, compile data, and share it across our team and with other key partners to address critical, basic needs as well as distribute educational materials. As of May 18th, 6,117 Needs Assessment Forms have been completed for CIS families.
Food supply has been one of the greatest needs indicated by our students/families, and our team continues to share information and secure food resources for them. In partnership with CMS and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office during the first eight days of school closure, CIS staff members helped coordinate delivery of over 7,000 meals to 470 students/families living in transitional housing in hotels/motels across the county. Cleaning supplies and hygiene kits were also included in the deliveries. In addition, CIS partnered with Elevation Church to ensure our Safe Journey teen parents had a supply of diapers and other baby products. Update as of June 10: In coordination with CMS and other partners, a total of 41,000 meals and 1,450 hygiene kits have been delivered to students/families.
Social-Emotional Supports/Mental Health
CIS team members are providing ongoing social and emotional supports to students and caregivers through regular telephone and text check-ins, helping to bridge social isolation while stemming anxiety. We continue to share Community Resources with families, compiled and updated daily, including Translation/Language Interpretation Services, CDC public health information, and tele-therapy and other mental health referrals/services to ensure families are supported.
CIS has been assisting families with technology gaps—helping to secure technology and troubleshooting other issues such as internet connectivity. Our Site Coordinators and our Social Capital team are helping students connect to school work, facilitate reading, and conduct small virtual study and support groups. We also have our eye on the future as we link students to college campus virtual tours, virtual resume reviews, scholarship information, and coaching the class of 2020 on their post-secondary goals.
We will continue to post updates on our website of our student/family needs and how we are responding. CIS-Charlotte remains grateful for its outstanding team and the many friends and donors who continue to be so supportive.
Video of CIS-Charlotte President and CEO Molly Shaw delivering meals with the team.