About 6,300 students from seven school districts in Central Texas received assistance from the Communities in Schools Greater Central Texas program last school year.

The program caters to students who may be at risk and are having difficulties in school, said Michael Dewbes, director of development for Communities in Schools. The organization serves students in the Copperas Cove Independent School District, along with kids in Killeen, Temple, Belton, Salado, Florence and Cameron.

“We are the largest in terms of the number of children served,” he said. “We are very glad that our staff have been able to reach out to that many children that are in need and at risk.”

The local private nonprofit organization is dedicated to impacting the lives of children in a positive way and helping them achieve success that’s often thought to be unattainable.

About 60 staff members are stationed at schools within the seven districts to help students in need.

“We are there to help students succeed and students who are struggling,” he said.

But students must meet certain criteria to take advantage of the resources, such as being at risk for academic failure, coming from a low-income household, or being involved in a crisis situation.

“It could be death of a family member, coming from a divorced home or deployment since we serve a lot of children who are military.”

CIS conducts a case management assessment of the students who qualify for the program.

“We enact the plan throughout the year whether it be tutoring, helping a family down on their luck, assistance with food from the food bank to get them back on their feet,” Dewbes said. “As the year goes on, we re-evaluate.”

The organization recently received $1,000 from the Noon Exchange Club of Copperas Cove.

“They help the kids become better students and better citizens and that’s the bottom line,” said Mike Blount, past president of the club. “We’ve got to develop them so that when they mature and have children they can continue that process.”

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