All In For Kids In Memphis

At Communities In Schools of Memphis, we are All in for Kids, working to ensure that students have everything they need to attend school and succeed. For far too many children in Memphis, this means working to help them overcome the barriers that result from chronic poverty.

According to a 2018 report, 34.5 percent of children in Shelby County live in poverty, and the childhood poverty rate for African American children is more than four times greater than that for whites. Young children living in poverty are three times more likely to repeat a grade, and students from low-income families are two times more likely to drop out than their higher-income peers. These low-income students, along with students with disabilities, English language learners, and students of color, all continue to graduate at much lower rates than their peers – further increasing the wealth gap.

This sounds like an overwhelming issue, but the solution is simple: young people of all backgrounds and abilities thrive when they have a positive, one-on-one relationship with a caring adult.

That’s exactly what CIS of Memphis provides in our partner schools every day. We harness available resources and match them with each student’s needs to help them overcome the academic and nonacademic barriers to achievement.

Our unique model of Integrated Student Supports has helped make a difference in the lives more than 18,000 students at 19 schools over the past four years. But we cannot do this work alone – and there’s much more to be done. Together, we must continue to partner with superintendents, principals, teachers, state and local policymakers, and community and faith-based organizations to break the cycle of poverty and empower students to create better lives, better communities, and a better world.

Together, we must be All in for Kids and ensure that every child in Memphis and Shelby County has the same opportunity to succeed in school and achieve in life.


Sonji Branch

Chief Executive Officer