'Communities in Schools' program provides in-school support to at-risk students

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Two women embedded in Lufkin ISD are providing in-school support to more than 300 at-risk students.

'Communities in Schools' is a dropout prevention program in public schools across 28 states in the nation and for 15 years the program has helped Lufkin students achieve success.

Lufkin Middle School, Communities in Schools site coordinator Tangela Kegler says, "Our students are our future."

And that's exactly why the 'Communities in Schools' program exists to ensure students at Lufkin Middle School and Lufkin High School are given the tools they need to be successful in school and after.

"We are helping kids inside of the classroom and trying to get community support in the classroom as well," Kegler.

The communities in schools site coordinators at Lufkin Middle School and High School walk down the halls everyday interacting with their students and helping them with any behavioral, social or academic issues that they might have

"We check their grades daily," said Kegler. "We meet with students to see if they have any social issues, any behavior issues. If they do have academic issues we get with their teachers."

Tangela Keglar and Dolores Perez are the communities in schools coordinators in Lufkin ISD.

They greet their combined 300 students as they walk through the door every day, check their attendance and even provide school supplies.

"My door is always open for them to come and see me," said Perez. Sometimes they'll come running, I need a pencil. I have a test or I need a poster board and that's what I'm here for."

Perez says the program has made a significant impact on one of her students whose father is in jail. She says this student has been in CIS since 7th grade.

"He struggled all those years trying to stay focused in school and students and graduate and TAKS and all that in between and he's now a senior, on track to graduate with honors,"said Perez.

Kegler and Perez say it's all about being there as a resource for their students on a daily basis.

The CIS coordinators host enrichment meetings every month, organize field trips and volunteer service projects for their students throughout the year.

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