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About Us

Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. We place staff inside targeted, high-need public schools, who work directly with vulnerable students and those with the greatest risk factors throughout the school day. Our unique model works because it’s based on national research, driven by community relationships and supported by local resources.

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Current programs include Student Support Specialists at 21 area schools; afterschool programs; tutoring and mentoring; Summer enrichment opportunities including the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools; programs to support and empower young parents; and Teen Court, Mediation, Restorative Justice, and Restitution.

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Communities In Schools of Cape Fear is supported by a variety of Federal, State, and local municipal grants, as well as private foundations, corporate, and individual donations. We always have a list of items needed to support our students and of course, monetary donations are greatly appreciated. 100% of donations raised here stay here, and are used to fund our local programs and youth.

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Student Spotlight

Freedom School Student Spotlight: Yayla

Yayla is a rising 6th grader and she has attended Freedom School for the last two years. She is a quiet leader with a wonderful demeanor and bright spirit.

Yayla likes to cheer and dance and is truly loved by all who have the pleasure of spending time with her! She encourages her peers through her words and deeds. Yayla maintains a positive attitude, is optimistic and always engages in the activities.

She says in her time with CIS, she’s learned how to handle problems in a different way and she has grown close to many of our Freedom School staff members.

“Mrs. Keisha: She don’t play. Mr. Nixon: [I like] his energy. I like all of them because they are fun,” said Yayla.

Staff agree it’s has been awesome getting to know Yayla and so many of her family members! Communities In Schools has supported her brother and cousins over the years and we are so glad that we get to support her as well!

Yayla will be attending Nobel Middle School in the fall and we can’t wait to see the fantastic things that she will do in middle school! She wants to become a doctor when she gets older and we know that she is going to be an amazing agent of change in the future.

Stay tuned because this girl is going GREAT places and we can’t wait to be a part of it!


This week’s Student Spotlight shines on Jenson, who’s been participating in the Penderlea School Transition Camp!

He is 8 years old and will begin 3rd grade this fall.

Jenson grew up in Willard and appreciates exploring the outdoors, building things, and playing soccer.

His favorite subject is math and he especially loves putting his skills to the test playing the fun games online on Math Playground!

Jenson isn’t just an avid gamer, but an artist as well! When asked what he sees himself doing in the future, Jenson says he wants to be a YouTuber or Online Blogger.

He also adds one of his favorite speakers at this summer’s Penderlea’s transition camp was when Ms. Kendall came in to visit, take pictures, and read stories.

The photo below is a testament to his drawing skills, which he got to spend some time growing in Mr. Ricardo’s art enrichment! He says his CIS staff members like Mr. Ricardo and Mrs. Blandin keep him laughing and have helped him learn.

“They are nice and helpful. They are also fun to be around and make me happy. I also enjoy Mr. Ricardo’s art class,” said Jenson.

We know there’s great things ahead of you, Jenson! Keep up the great work!


This week’s Student Spotlight celebrates Freedom School scholar Kennedy!

She’s a 5th grader at Gregory Elementary and a three year veteran of Freedom School.

Kennedy grew up in Wilmington. She’s the youngest of her siblings and at the ripe age of 10, she’s already an aunt of six!

She enjoys reading books with characters that sometimes look like her. She loves that she can speak her mind the right way at Freedom School. She couldn’t wait to come back this summer to see all her friends from other schools, her old and new servant-leader interns and Mrs. Keisha, Ms. Dani, Ms. O, and coach Nixon. She’s super glad to see Mr. Jeb this year even though he isn’t teaching her class.

She is a cheer and chant master and loves to remix them in fun ways.

“I love the cheers and chants. When you are feeling down they help you feel better. I love how energetic it is and I love spending time with my friends,” said Kennedy. “Freedom School has helped me get more confident.”

That confidence will also help her chase her dreams to become a singer living in LA.

In the meantime, she says that she wants to keep coming to Freedom School until she is “too old,” then she wants to be a jSLI then maybe one day when she’s in college she can be an SLI.

We’re so proud of you, Kennedy! It’s a pleasure to have you at Freedom School with us each day!

Graduate Spotlight: Madison

Today’s Student Spotlight highlights Pender County student and Baby Steps program participant Madison!

Madison began the school year as a junior, but thanks to her hard work and determination, she GRADUATED from Pender Innovative Learning Academy this week, a full year early!!

She joined Pender County’s Baby Steps program as a sophomore, expecting a baby boy. It was difficult to return and finish her education while she cared for her son, Marcellus, but with the help of a CIS reengagement specialist, she enrolled in PILA and got down to work.

“CIS helped me graduate by helping me see my goals for my future. For example, one of my short-term goals was to graduate early from high school. I accomplished that goal and now it’s time for me to make new goals. I am grateful I had CIS and the Baby Steps Program,” said Madison.

We’re SO proud of you, and we can’t wait to see where your journey takes you next!

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