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KSD's 2023 Community Partner of the Year

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that’s still the case in our growing Kennewick School District community.

With the support of partners in the greater Kennewick community, we are better able to achieve our mission of “providing a safe environment in which all students reach their highest potential and graduate well prepared for success in post-secondary education, work, and life.”

Each year, KSD makes a point of recognizing one of these invaluable community partners by awarding our Community Partner of the Year award.

This year, we would like to recognize Communities in Schools of Benton-Franklin.

This organization brings in help at the ground level, interacting directly one-on-one with students and school staff to collaboratively problem-solve and identify tailored community resources and support for academic assistance, basic needs, enrichment, life skills and physical and mental health that bolster student confidence and empower them to stay in school, focus on their studies and achieve in life.

CIS coordinators have a profound effect on the schools they serve, getting involved at all levels and working creatively to find ways to reach students where they are.

“Our coordinator works very hard to build relationships with students and has become a trusted adult to many of them,” said one school administrator.

Some examples of CIS engagement include eating lunch with students, going with them to recess to help problem-solve, increasing inclusion of neurodivergent learners, donating school supplies, and helping start new school clubs, small groups and mentorship programs through community partnerships.

Support doesn’t stop once the bell rings either. CIS coordinators help connect students’ families to mental health resources, food banks, legal help, immigration support, housing assistance, insurance, medical care and more.

While helping to remedy potential barriers to student success, CIS strives for continuous improvement while also celebrating achievements along the way.

In the words of one administrator, “We are better for our students and families because of the partnership.”

Please join us in extending a heartfelt thank-you to Communities in Schools of Benton Franklin for all they do to provide support in our school communities, helping KSD staff to elevate our students to their highest potential.