Dear CIS Friend,

The 2022-2023 school year is coming to a close! With only a few weeks left until our students enjoy their well-deserved summer vacation, we are rallying around them to help them cross this next finish line. In this issue, we spotlight our volunteers and their incredible work during our All Site Volunteer Week in April, along with a special story about one of our former Board members and a Book Nook dedicated in his memory.

We also get to celebrate the addition of two new CIS staff members who will continue to build connections and make a positive impact on the thousands of students we serve.

With gratitude,

Ashley Hall, Executive Director


Carolina Argumedo

The CIS team is excited to introduce our new Finance and Office Manager, Carolina Argumedo! Carolina joins us from Chesterfield's own Bensley Elementary School where she served as their Office Manager. Originally from El Salvador, Carolina has lived and worked everywhere from LA to DC! She brings with her decades of finance and administrative experience, as well as a deep and shared belief in our work and love for our students. Join us in welcoming her to the CIS family!

"Joining CIS has offered me the perfect opportunity to use my knowledge and skills through a lens that focuses not only on financials, but on making a difference in our students' lives." 

Amy Gordy

This week, we officially began the CIS model at Hening Elementary School! Our expansion to Hening is part of our larger expansion plan, and we are thrilled to be partnering with this awesome school as we work to serve more students. While we will plan a larger program kick-off celebration there soon, we want to introduce our new team member, Amy Gordy. Amy has been working in Chesterfield County Public Schools for nearly 30 years where she has served in roles ranging from Behavior Intervention Support Specialist to Summer School Principal to Classroom Teacher. She brings a vast array of skills and experiences to CIS including, but not limited to, research-based interventions, restorative practices, and building relationships between students and staff alike. Please join us in welcoming her to the team!

"I am passionate about serving others, and, through CIS, I am able to do that work by building trusting relationships with kids, families, staff and the community. Being able to focus on aligning our Hening community with needed resources and supports is a dream come true."

Our students are capable of incredible things! This month, we've been able to highlight student achievement at a few of our schools.

Each year at Chalkley Elementary, students who earn Honor Roll and students who have perfect attendance get to celebrate by painting ceiling tiles to be displayed throughout the hallways of the school. Each student can paint a section of a tile, creating a beautiful collage of student art. As part of All Site Volunteer Week, volunteers had the opportunity to make this celebration a reality for dozens of students!

At Bensley, our students, staff, and partners are split into 8 different "houses" that are differentiated by different colors and house names. These houses compete against each other for points that are awarded for being good citizens within the school and community. The house system at Bensley is modeled after the "Ron Clark Academy House System" which builds community, character, and an overall positive school climate. This year, the Bensley Houses took it to the hallways, and students and staff were invited to put their handprint in their house color in the main hallway. Now, when the students walk the hallways they can look for their handprints and be reminded of the positive team spirit and culture at their school.
Communities In Schools of Chesterfield had the great honor of working with and getting to know Everett Patterson, who served on our Board of Directors for several years. After his passing, CIS wanted to celebrate him, his service on our Board, and his commitment to supporting students. With Everett's love of learning as inspiration, we created a Book Nook at Ettrick Elementary School to memorialize his championship of CIS and our students. On April 26th, we officially unveiled the Book Nook alongside Everett's wife and son, Vanessa and EJ, and other friends. Everett was an avid learner and understood the importance of strong literacy skills, and this Book Nook will be a welcoming space for students to discover the joys of reading and inspire learning beyond the classroom, fostering the skills and lifelong learning that Everett believed in. We are so grateful for the volunteers who assembled the Book Nook and for everyone who, through their donations and time, made this project possible!

During All Site Volunteer Week, dozens of volunteers from across our community came out to support students! Over a dozen projects took place throughout the week, ranging from cleaning courtyards and planting at Falling Creek Middle School, Meadowbrook High School, and Bensley Elementary School to sorting donations at Bellwood Elementary School.

Volunteers also built a Book Nook at Ettrick Elementary and helped honor roll students at Chalkey Elementary paint ceiling tiles among other projects. At many schools, volunteers worked alongside students to complete these incredible projects for their schools. Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers that joined us last week!

You can check out more highlights from the week on our Facebook and Instagram pages!


National Library Week

Last week was National Library Week! Take some time this month to thank your local librarians for all of the incredible work they do in our community and schools. From author visits to story times to digital literacy and more, Chesterfield County Public Libraries offer resources for community members of all ages. Check out their Event Calendar to see what the library is offering this month at their 10 Chesterfield branch locations! Our school libraries also offer amazing programs for our students. This week alone, students at Falling Creek Middle, as part of their "One School, One Book" program organized by the librarians and sponsored by CIS, were visited by acclaimed children's author Kwame Alexander, after the school read his book Booked
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