CIS/FC Appreciates Mentors

Original article published by The Cochran Journal on 2/19/2013.

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As a highlight of January being National Mentoring Month, Bleckley County Middle School hosted a Mentor Appreciation Breakfast on Friday, January 25, 2013 for Mentors serving in the CIS/FC Mentoring Program. Over 40 Mentors, Mentees and guests were in attendance for the fun-filled event.

Bleckley Middle School is proud to have 25 Mentors volunteering their time to meet once a week with their Mentee for an entire school year. Together they enjoy all types of activities such as drawing, cards, basketball, painting, jewelry making, board games and lots of laughter and conversation. The program is designed for both the students and adult to form a strong trusting friendship and to have FUN!

In addition to mentoring, Communities in Schools of Cochran/Bleckley County and Family Connection Community Partnership, Inc. provides the following initiatives for our school system: 21st Century Community Learning Center After School Program, Abstinence Education and Youth Development program and Safe Schools/Healthy Students program services which include Mental Health services, Family Case Management services, Parents As Teachers program or Wellness and Prevention programs.

If you are interested in more information about the mentoring program or would like to sign up for training next fall, please contact Gretchen Wilson-Tuck, CIS/FC Site Coordinator at 934-4300 or email


Mentors Needed at BCMS

Communities In Schools of Cochran/Bleckley County and Family Connection Community Partnership, Inc. is offering a free New Mentor Training on Friday, September 28, 2012 from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Bleckley County Middle School. This is our annual kick-off for the 2012-2013 school term and we will not be able to offer group training again until next fall.

Mentoring at BCMS has been in existence since 2008 and we have volunteers that are still meeting with the same child! That speaks volumes about the program.

There is one big rule that the mentoring program dictates. YOU MUST HAVE FUN! You are not a tutor, parent or disciplinarian. You are there to be a friend to a young person. Long term friendships are built because the adult and child form a strong bond from the beginning. We take great care in matching by compatibility. We look at interests, hobbies and personalities of both the student and adult through their applications and interviews. This process has proven to be essential in the program’s success.

What will be expected of me if I decide to Mentor? Many are hesitant to become a Mentor because they think they don’t have enough time. Our program asks of one hour, one day per week for an academic school year.

Most of us waste that much time checking our emails or Facebook. Mentor, Anderson Ligon says “I am personally and professionally grateful for the opportunity to be a mentor in the mentoring program. Mentoring has provided me with guidance, patience, hope and enrichment. The more you give, the more you receive. Mentoring is definitely a Win-Win opportunity!”

Those interested in becoming a Mentor must be at least 18 years of age, complete training and a background check. If you are interested in registering for training or have questions about the program, please contact Gretchen Wilson-Tuck, CIS/FC Site Coordinator at 478-934-7270. 

You may call the main office of Communities In Schools/Family Connection 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.

2010-2011 Shoot Hoops…..Not Drugs Event

“Shoot Hoops…Not Drugs” 2010, a CIS/FC and BCES Partnership was a huge success!  It was held at Bleckley County Elementary School (BCES) on Friday, October 29th.  The following groups helped volunteer for this event:

  • Middle Georgia College Warriors Basketball Girls and Boys
  • BCHS Cheerleaders, Football Players, Basketball Players
  • BCMS and BCHS Youth Leadership and Wellness Teams

Cochran/Bleckley Community Collaborative would like to thank the following for their support of this event.  With their help, as well as with the work of BCES students and staff and contributions from the community, we were able to raise over $7,500!

  • Wal-Mart Store #555 of Dublin, GA
  • Academy Sports of Macon, GA
  • Carrabbas of Macon, GA
  • Scott’s BBQ
  • Eastman Movie Theatre
  • Harvey’s
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • CADA
  • Middle Georgia Rehabilitation

All of the volunteers at this event were a positive role model for the students at BCES.  Thank you for your efforts in making “Shoot Hoops…..Not Drugs” a great success for 2010!

CIS Recognized by TIME Magazine

ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Communities In Schools was recognized by TIME Magazine in its Annual National Service Issue as one of the organizations through which working adults can lend a hand in public education.  In the September 20 issue, on newsstands now, Communities In Schools joins only four other national organizations in earning this mention.

The magazine’s cover story focuses on improving our country’s schools and calls on Americans to help by volunteering through organizations such as Communities In Schools.

In the article, Communities In Schools is described as “the nation’s largest dropout-prevention organization” that “coordinates a range of services, from health care to tutoring, to keep kids in school and get them to college.”  It also cites the organization’s success rate of helping 91 percent of the students monitored reach the next grade.  The article notes the wide range of volunteer opportunities available to adults who can lend their expertise to reach students in need.

“We are honored to be recognized by TIME Magazine in their National Service Issue, and grateful for the contribution of our 57,000 volunteers who work tirelessly to help young people achieve in school and in life,” said Mike Bento, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

To read content from TIME Magazine’s Annual National Service Issue or subscribe online, click on the following link.,8599,2016978,00.html.

Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Through a school-based coordinator, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical community resources, tailored to local needs. Working in more than 3,400 schools, in the most challenged communities in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves nearly 1.3 million young people every year. It has become the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to increase graduation rates.

Visit our website at

Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grant

The SS/HS Initiative is a unique Federal grant-making program designed to prevent violence and substance abuse among our Nation’s youth, schools, and communities.

The Federal Government is committed to reducing school violence.  The SS/HS Initiative is an unprecedented collaborative grant program supported by three Federal agencies – the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice.  The SS/HS Initiative seeks to develop real-world knowledge about what works best to promote safe and healthy environments in which America’s children can learn and develop,

Since 1999, more than 276 urban, rural, suburban, and tribal school districts – in collaboration with local mental health and juvenile justice providers – have received grants using a single application process.  These grantees are implementing comprehensive programs that address all of the following five elements:

  • Element 1:  Safe school environments and violence prevention activities
  • Element 2:  Alcohol and other drug prevention activities
  • Element 3:  Student behavioral, social, and emotional supports
  • Element 4:  Mental health services
  • Element 5:  Early childhood social and emotional learning programs

Our multi-district initiative includes Bleckley, Johnson, Telfair and Tattnall counties.  We have completed training in the following:  Families and Schools Together (FAST), Parents as Teachers (PAT) ages 0-3 and 3-5, Second Step Violence Prevention, Olweus Bullying Prevention, Ripple Effects and Mendez Too Good For Drugs and Violence.

Our team includes:

Regina Smith – Regional Project Director

Yvette Blanton – Administrative Assistant

Stefanie Clardy – Mental Health Therapist (BCPS & BCES)

Evette Moore – Mental Health Therapist (BCMS & BCHS)

Lynn Lucas – Family Outreach Coordinator (BCPS & BCES)

Gretchen Wilson-Tuck – Family Outreach Coordinator (BCMS & BCHS)

Patricia Robertson – Wellness Coordinator

Phillis Evans – Parents as Teachers Coordinator

Alice Maddox – Bookkeeper

21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Awarded


The Bleckley County Board of Education and Communities In Schools/Family Connection of Cochran and Bleckley County have been awarded continuation funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant (21st CCLC) from the State Department of Education for fiscal year 2011.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center, which opened on September 7, 2010, will include a variety of activities for students in grades 1-8.  These will include academic tutorial in math and language arts as well as science and social studies, homework assistance, art, enrichment and recreation.  The center will also provide a number of summer activities for the students as well as opportunities for parental involvement.

Mrs. Joan Couey will lead the 21st Century Learning Center team as the Program Director.  Mrs. Wanda Cobb will be working as the Program Director’s Assistant and handling the data entry.  Other team members include Mrs. Faye Tyus, Mrs. Linda Ursrey, Mrs. Lynn Young, Mrs. Vanessa Bolden, Ms. Madison Smith, Ms. Andrea Perkins, Mr. Brandon Fairfield and Ms. Teresa Long,  The goals of the 21st CCLC include assisting students in improving proficiency in reading/language arts and mathematics, promoting family literacy and parental involvement.

Our BCPS Site team members are Mrs. Elaine Mullis, Mrs. Debra Daniel, Mrs. Pam Lawson, Mrs. Emily Bryant, Mrs. Erin Davis, Mrs. Charlotte Cannon, Mrs. Bridget Brytan, Mrs. Lisa Smith, Mrs. Felicia Smith and Mrs. Stephanie Vickers.

The students will arrive at the 21st CCLC Monday – Thursday after school.  They will each be served a light meal and begin a rotation of tutorial assistance, homework completion, art & enrichment activities and recreation.

We are excited to have this opportunity for our children and families here in Bleckley County.  For more information, you may call Mrs. Joan Couey at 934-4300.