CISFC Student Wins State Competition


Original article featured in The Cochran Journal

Walmart representatives from Eastman and Cochran presented Amanda with her grand prizes.

Walmart representatives from Eastman and Cochran presented Amanda with her grand prizes. Photo courtesy of CIS/FC.

Pictured from left to right: Carla Thrower, BCMS Assistant Principal, Wanda Cobb, 21st CCLC, Yhachia Gadsen, Cochran Walmart Assistant Manager, Britton Tuck, 21st CCLC Program Director, Amanda Horne, State Winner, Regina Smith, CIS/FC Executive Director, Gretchen Tuck, CIS Site Coordinator – BCMS.

The CIS Student Achievement Contest is an annual competition sponsored by Communities In Schools of Georgia. Our local affiliate had 5 regional winners who each won a $25 Walmart gift card. Amanda Horne, a 7th grader from BCMS, entered the technology category and submitted a powerpoint presentation about how CIS Cochran/Bleckley has helped her succeed academically. Amanda received a new laptop and printer donated by Walmart. She also received a trip to Atlanta to the Georgian Terrace hotel and enjoyed a celebration and luncheon with her principal, Dr. Trey Belflower, her superintendent, Dr. Charlotte Pipkin, her local CIS Executive Director, Regina Smith and her local 21st CCLC Program Director, Ms. Britton Tuck.


SAM_Awards (47)

CIS Student Achievement Month State Winners at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta on May 6, 2014. Photo courtesy of CIS of Georgia.

2013 Student Achievement Month Winners Front row (l-r): Roderick Felton, CIS of Central Georgia; Jamiya Lockett, CIS of Central Georgia, Nerya Rodney, CIS of Troup County. Back row (l-r) Kylan Patterson, CIS of Atlanta; Amanda Horne, CIS of Cochran/Bleckley; Virdaryal Thomas, CIS of Central Georgia; Jessieka Reaves, CIS of Atlanta; Linda Cotton, CIS of Central Georgia; Dante Sullivan, CIS of Troup County; Anqunette Poole, CIS of Central Georgia and Chykymbrion Jackson, CIS of Turner County.


Amanda poses with her winning powerpoint entry.

Amanda poses with her winning powerpoint entry.

Communities In Schools Student Achievement Month WSB Tour, May 6, 2014

Amanda toured the WSB-TV station as part of her celebration as a state winner in Atlanta.

Amanda toured the WSB-TV station as part of her celebration as a state winner in Atlanta.


January is National Mentoring Month!

Lynn and Caniyah

Lynn Lassiter and Mentee

It is that wonderful time of year again when we have the privilege to showcase and thank our volunteers in the CIS/FC Mentoring Program at BleckleyCountyMiddle School.  The key to a quality mentoring relationship is having a caring adult consistently show up for a young person. Since the beginning of this school year, our mentors have provided 134 hours of volunteer service!

Every one of those hours has truly been treasured by our students.  Our mentors are the best!

The CIS/FC Mentoring Program’s success stems from our careful matching process.  We ensure both mentor/mentee have similar interests and personalities, provide a free training session and a national background check.

Who among us can’t think of at least one person who has inspired us along the way to adulthood?  Can you imagine that person not having been a part of your life?  What impact did they have on you?  If you would like to help support and inspire a child to reach his/her potential, please visit our website at for an online application or call Gretchen Wilson-Tuck at 478-934-7270 Extension: 8002 for more information.

The mentoring program is one of many initiatives sponsored by Communities In Schools of Cochran and BleckleyCounty and Family Connection Community Partnership, Inc.  We also provide a comprehensive 21st Century Community Learning Center after school tutorial program, Abstinence Education, Family Case Management services, Prevention and Parent Education services.

If you would like to know more about the mission and vision of Communities In Schools/Family Connection or how you can help us “surround students with a community of support and empower them to stay in school and achieve in life”, please contact Regina Smith, Executive Director at 478/934-4300 or by visiting our website listed above.

Door Decorating Contest held at 21st CCLC

Students participated in the 21st CCLC Door Decorating Contest this December. Door decorations had to meet specific criteria including student involvement, creativity, and neatness. Local community members visited the 21st CCLC center and judged each door carefully. 5th grade was deemed this year’s winning masterpiece! Students received a pizza party as their prize.

3rd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

5th Grade

Middle Grades (6th-9th)

Middle Grades (6th-9th)

21st CCLC enters local pumpkin decorating contest

Each 21st CCLC afterschool program class entered a pumpkin in the JC’s Shaved Ice Pumpkin Decorating Contest this month. The middle school class was awarded 1st place, 4th grade took 2nd place, and 5th grade was awarded 3rd place. Because the top three awards were given to 21st CCLC participants, Mr. John Crowe, the owner of JC’s Shaved Ice, graciously provided all students with a shaved ice party!

Middle Grades - 1st Place

Middle Grades – 1st Place


4th grade - 2nd place

4th grade – 2nd place

5th grade - 3rd place

5th grade – 3rd place

3rd grade - Honorable Mention

3rd grade – Honorable Mention


Students wait patiently in line for their shaved ice treats!

Students wait patiently in line for their shaved ice treats!


Mr. John Crowe and the 1st Place winners

Mr. John Crowe and the 1st Place winners




2013 Regional SAM Contest Winners

Three students in Cochran/Bleckley County were regional contest winners in the annual Communities In Schools Student Achievement Month (SAM) contest. These students will  move on to the state competition and will vie for prizes valued up to $1,000.

Creative Expression Elementary Grades Winner: Ieisha Horne, 2nd Place

Creative Expression Elementary Grades Regional Winner: Ieisha Horne

Middle Grades Creative Expression Winner: Malik Fowler, 1st Place

Middle Grades Creative Expression Regional Winner: Malik Fowler


Computer Technology Middle Grades Regional Winner – Amanda Horne

The SAM event boosts the confidence of students who are struggling in school and recognizes them for their achievements. The contest helps students achieve new goals and gain a better understanding of the importance of academic achievement and staying in school. Dedicated staff members and volunteers encourage students and ensure they complete SAM entries, which helps them assume responsibility for self-improvement and self-discipline. “Our local affiliates and their volunteers work hard to assist students and establish relationships with local service agencies, businesses, health care providers, and parent and volunteer organizations”, said Carol Lewis, Chief Operating Officer for Communities In Schools of Georgia. “We know that bringing these types of services into the schools help children and their families succeed.”

Communities In Schools (CIS)  is the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization. CIS partners with local school districts and community organizations to connect resources and services to kids at-risk of dropping out and their families. ICF International conducted a five-year evaluation and compared results to over 1.600 studies screened by the Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse. The evaluation shows that the CIS model is one of a very few organizations proven to keep students in school and the only one to document that it both increases graduation rates and decreases dropout rates. In Georgia, 41 CIS local affiliates provide services through the CIS model to more that 140,000 students in hundreds of school and community-based sites. Key initiatives include mentoring, tutoring, parent engagement, literacy, after-school programs, youth leadership, and Performance Learning Centers. PLCs provide another learning option for high school students who are not succeeding in the traditional school setting. Communities with CIS programs have seen an increase in their high school graduation rates, a decrease in violence and disruptions, and an increase in attendance and academic achievement. For more information, visit or call 478-934-4300.

You may call the main office of Communities In Schools of Cochran/Bleckley County and Family Connection Community Partnership, Inc. at 478/934-4300 for information on any of our other initiatives including the 21st Century Community Learning Center After School program, Abstinence Education and Youth Development program or any of our Safe Schools/Healthy Students program services which include Mental Health services, Family Case Management services, Parents As Teachers program, or Wellness and Prevention programs.

February Parent Meeting: Healthy Lifestyles

Ms. Ann Pettis, 4-H Education Program Specialist, brought a team of awesome Senior 4-Hers to the CIS/FC February Parent Meeting on February 28, 2013. These 4-H students presented to parents and students on a variety of topics which included proper care of cattle, healthy eating (especially at fast food restaurants!), and dairy sciences. All presenters were extremely knowledgeable in his or her field. In fact, several students have won several local and state awards for their expertise, presentations and portfolios!

Parents were encouraged to enroll their student(s) in 4-H activities, clubs and summer camp. For more information about 4-H and how your child can get involved, please contact the Bleckley County Extension Office at  (478) 934-3220.