Communities in Schools of Houston

"As a result of [the] Microsoft [donation], the CIS administrative office and field operations run smoothly and successfully."

Spokesperson from CIS

Open Wide and Say, "Thank You, TechSoup"

When seven-year-old Kayla, who was having trouble chewing, received a full dental workup and treatment, an amazing thing happened to her in school. Kayla became a noticeably more attentive student and improved her performance such that she was no longer in danger of getting left behind. And it's all thanks to Communities In Schools of Houston. (CIS). CIS has been serving at-risk youth in the Houston area since 1979 through a range of programs designed to address physical and emotional needs, in collaboration with community partnerships.

During the 2007–2008 school year, more than 37,000 students received over 400,000 hours of direct services from CIS staff. An additional 50,000 hours of services were provided in event settings such as career fairs, red ribbon (drug awareness) activities, college days, and other large group activities. Of the 6,391 students who received intensive services through case management, 79 percent demonstrated measurable improvement in the areas of academics attendance and behavior, 82 percent of case-managed seniors graduated, and 98 percent of case-managed students in grades 7 through 12 stayed in school.

The program that helped Kayla, Project MOVE, provides dental services through a special van that visits schools with a high proportion of uninsured children.

A donation of Microsoft Office software from TechSoup has made the all the difference for kids like Kayla. Microsoft Office's Outlook is essential for CIS internal and external communications, including e-mail newsletters to current and potential supporters. Using a combination of Word, PowerPoint, and Publisher, organization staff can create materials to solicit donors and spread the word about its services. And improved operations means the organization can do more to improve the lives of Houston's most vulnerable children.