CIS News

In June 2019, in collaboration with School of Visual Arts, CIS is curating a month-long initiative that will be an opportunity for friends, sponsors and supporters to help raise critical funds and bring awareness to the work that CIS ...

At the end of December, Counseling In Schools (CIS) and A-Tech High School, a vocational training and Community School in Brooklyn, hosted a Holiday Food and Coat Drive for students and their families, staffed by teachers, administrators and other school volunteers. The event came together after a school-wide survey confirmed families were more in need of winter essentials than ever this holiday season, due to the effects of Covid-19. Though A-Tech usually procures donated coats from a local agency, this year Akua Aboagye, Counseling In Schools’ Student Wellness Coordinator at A-Tech, was informed that the organization had run out of adult winter coats due to the pandemic. A-Tech's A-Tech Cares program helps connect students with basic needs. Aboagye took it upon herself to organize a coat drive for the school community, receiving more than 50 donations from Operation Warm, a local non-profit, and Michelle Matland of MSM Design Studio, a New York City costume designer for TV and film including HBO’s Succession and TBS’s The Last OG, starring Tracy Morgan.  Students' physical needs need to be met before they can find hope and healing, and as a Community School dedicated to ensuring that children are physically, emotionally, and socially prepared to learn, A-Tech and CIS always make it a priority to help their community access essential, basic resources. Holiday "gift bags" filled with food and paper goods sit lined up on a table before families and students arrive to collect them. A-Tech had a number of turkeys donated locally to distribute to families for their winter holiday meals. ...

During the summer of 2019, Counseling in Schools (CIS) and high school students from the Heritage School in East Harlem began partnering with Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena, Senior Scholar-in-Residence at The New York Academy of Medicine, to address the issue of gun violence in their community. Unfortunately, the Heritage School community is no stranger to the impact of gun violence, as it is both a pressing concern in their neighborhood and just a few years ago, a high school student was killed in close proximity to the school building. Dr. Laraque-Arena reached out to CIS looking for young people to participate in a research project on how to effectively respond to the gun violence epidemic in the United States. CIS connected her with the Heritage School and soon after, five students were chosen for a summer internship. Working with Dr. Laraque-Arena and graduate students at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, they adapted a community assessment tool from UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative to document youth perspectives on gun violence and invite their opinions regarding intervention measures. Heritage H.S. students meet with Dr. Laraque-Arena and others to begin work on the gun violence community assessment tool. Each week the students participate in meetings, becoming an integral part of the scientific process, and learning practical skills that they can use in college and their future careers, such as how to work in a group setting, conduct themselves in a professional environment, and meet deadlines. This work also helps empower the students and involve them in the process of promoting positive social change in their community. The group has continued their work into the current school year, and are now finalizing the survey tool, which they will first implement with a small group before distributing schoolwide. The results will be presented in Spring 2021...

Over the past few weeks, we have collectively witnessed the painful realities of structural racism with the continuing murders of Black and Brown Americans. However, as Counseling In Schools (CIS) and our staff know well, structural inequities in communities of color have existed long before these moments of protest. ...

We are excited to share with you two recent stories published about Counseling In Schools (CIS). This past weekend Gothamist ran, '"COVID-19 Was A Monster": How A Turbulent School Year Changed These Students' Views,' an article that highlights a project that one of our talented art therapists, Lauren Amigo, did with her students in Canarsie, Brooklyn.Lauren asked her students to draw what they saw outside their windows, as well as what they hoped to see in the future. Her creative prompt inspired creation of powerful images that helped students better understand their own lives and the trauma of Covid-19 and systemic racism.WNYC, New York City’s local NPR affiliate, also aired a segment, 'New York City Students, In Their Own Words, On A Tumultuous School Year During COVID-19' that served as a moving companion piece to the Gothamist article. These stories reflect the skill of our staff and the valuable role our counseling services play for students as they navigate this very difficult time. We thank our CIS team as well as all of our supporters who sustain our expanded work in the communities we serve. CIS remains committed to supporting students, parents, teachers, and other members of the school community, so that children can succeed personally and academically both now and in the future. ...

The Food Education Fund works with its partners to share available resources for food and additional support for families. ...

Big Life Journal created a Stay At Home Care Package with indoor activities for children, teens, and families....

The Office of School Mental Health provides calming crafts for children that can be done with common household items. ...

YMCA provides virtual field trips, kid friendly workouts, and fun activities for families sheltering in place. ...