Communities In Schools of Jacksonville originated from a key recommendation included in a school dropout prevention study by the Jacksonville Community Council Inc. Our program first appeared in Duval County Public Schools in 1990, serving 50 students at Jefferson Davis Junior High School—a school that had one of the highest dropout rates in Duval County.
During the next several years, our nonprofit expanded its reach to many other schools. In 1996, Communities In Schools of Jacksonville became the first local program in Florida to achieve a chartered status through the Communities In Schools national network. In 1998, Communities In Schools of Jacksonville was chosen to operate the first four after-school programs that are now known as TEAM UP. In 1999, the DUVAL READS literacy program started with 10 members in five elementary schools.
Between 2000 and 2005, Communities In Schools of Jacksonville grew and expanded its services to 48 schools and 4,000 students. It also received awards such as the very first Family Literacy Grant in Jacksonville and recognition from Worth Magazine as one of its Top Ten Worthwhile Charitable Organizations Most Likely to Change the World.
By 2006, our DUVAL READS program was recognized as the largest and most successful of its kind in Florida with 82 percent of students improving their reading level each year. In 2007, Communities In Schools of Jacksonville became the largest CIS affiliate in the state of Florida and the fourth largest in the country. In 2009, our organization grew to expand its services to more than 6,600 students in Duval County Public Schools.
As Communities In Schools of Jacksonville celebrates 25 years of service to local students, we are serving almost 6,000 students in 37 Duval County Public Schools. Our programs have already impacted the lives of thousands of struggling students through case management, literacy and after-school services and continue to do so every day.