Community Impact | 1994-2015 
Family Connection and Communities In Schools (CIS) of Wilkes County

Annual Legislative Breakfast

For twenty years, the Annual Legislative Breakfast has been held each year during the first week of December. National, state and local elected representatives brief area residents on upcoming legislative issues and activities. In addition to the elected officials, reports and updates are also provided by the Family Connection and Communities In Schools leadership.

The CIS Model

The CIS Model is an evidence-based model, adapted to meet each community's unique needs, is being implemented in 2012 in both the Washington-Wilkes Middle School and at the Elementary School. Through a school-based CIS Site Coordinator/Case Manager, we are able to strategically align and deliver needed resources so that students can focus on learning. The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. We are guided by the "Five Basics":

  1. A one-on-one relationship with a caring adult
  2. A safe place to learn and grow
  3. A healthy start and a healthy future
  4. A marketable skill to use upon graduation
  5. A chance to give back to peers and community

Summer Day Camp

4 to 6-week day-camp during June/July serving approximately 200 children in one central location with supervised indoor and outdoor activities, swimming, scouting, and special life skills and enrichment projects such as woodworking, cooking, arts and crafts, drama, dance, music, and gardening. According to law enforcement officials, "There has been no juvenile crime in city during the months of summer camp during the fifteen year summer camp history".

The JumpStart Program

A home-based early intervention and parent education program for 51 high risk families and their infants, ages 0-36 months, promoting Parents As Teachers (PAT) parent education, parent support/group connections, life skills, health, nutrition and wellness, adult education, family resource and referral, service coordination, and job training.

Parent and child successes have included: 953 home visitations, and 951 follow-up visits by Home Parent Educators during the past year; 0 confirmed incidents of child abuse cases; 7 children ready for Head Start. Early ID of developmental delays and referrals to Babies Can't Wait; Jumpstart parents enrolled in local GED program. An example of one parent's achievement follows: In 2011, one of our JumpStart parents, the mother of two sons, received her Masters of Arts degree in Teaching from Augusta State University in Augusta, satisfying degree and teacher certification requirements in Secondary English-Language Arts Education.

Workforce Development Program (ORBIT)

A program for 15-20 high risk in-school (ISY) and out of school youth (OSY) yearly promoting job and employability skill training and work ethics emphasizing: attendance, goal-setting, teamwork, appearance, attitude, time management, organizational and communication skills, respect, mentoring and leadership.

Results: Since 1999, 155 ORBIT Youth have successfully completed the GA Teen Leadership Institute and graduated from high school going on to college or technical schools, the military or gainful employment. Currently, Orbit youth are participating in on-the-job training while in school. While in high school, students developed a prevention skit and "rap"/dance that has been presented locally to civic groups, the Board of Education, and in several CSRA counties, and at the SWAH Youth Summit in Perry. A Youth Action Underage Drinking Prevention Team has been formed to influence their peers in the Washington-Wilkes community. The ORBIT youth have served as registration clerks, greeters, and tour guides at the GABEO Convention held in Washington and for several years have assisted the local Police Department with their "Toys for Tots" program at Christmas.


A nationally recognized innovative and research-based, community after-school tutorial and recreation program located in five neighborhood centers throughout the county. For 15 years, A-STAR served 125 youth daily during the academic year with focus on school success (homework assistance and tutoring), prevention programming, scouting, recreational and enrichment activities, parent education and parent involvement. (Since November 2011, this program has been in suspension until a primary funding source is secured.)

Reading Is Fundamental

This national program provided 3 books per year to 525 children at the Washington-Wilkes Primary School. (After successfully operating for 10 years) this program ended December 2011, due to funding cuts.)

Youth Leadership

Training for 10 high school youth developing skills in decision-making, community assessment, serving as peer educators on underage drinking and tobacco use prevention.

Our Work

To foster collaboration among local agencies and organizations in order to achieve community-driven goals related to children and families

Our Purpose

To foster a local collaborative decision-making process and identify resources to improve conditions and outcomes for children and families in Wilkes County in the areas of health, school readiness and school success, family stability and self-sufficiency and to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.