ROANOKE, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice announced today that schools in five new counties across West Virginia are being added to the roster of participants in the state’s Communities In Schools (CIS) program.
A total of 15 schools in Logan, Marshall, Monroe, Ohio, and Randolph counties will be the newest additions to the education initiative.
The Governor and First Lady made the announcement during the closing ceremony at this year’s Communities In Schools Summer Institute. The three-day event was held at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV, and had over 200 attendees.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing Communities In Schools in our new counties this fall,” First Lady Justice said. “The CIS program has been an incredible success and all of that success starts with the people in this room.”
“It is unbelievable what everyone in this room is accomplishing with Communities In Schools,” Gov. Justice said. “When you have as much white hair as I do, you’ve seen a lot of stuff. I’m in our schools all the time. I’ve seen program after program. But there’s no program out there as impactful for our kids as Communities In Schools.”
CIS works to forge community partnerships and bring resources into schools to help remove barriers to student learning with a goal of keeping all students in school and ultimately graduating.
The new CIS counties/schools announced today are as follows:
Washington Lands Elementary
John Marshall High
James Monroe High
Wheeling Park High
The Governor and First Lady started CIS in three counties in 2018. Including today’s newly announced additions, the program has now expanded to 36 counties, serving well over 70,000 students in 186 schools across the state.
“We eventually want to get to the point where we can run across the finish line with CIS in all 55 counties in the state,” First Lady Justice said.
National CIS President and CEO Rey Saldaña also provided remarks at the closing ceremony and thanked the Governor and First Lady for their help in making West Virginia’s CIS program one of the fastest-growing in the nation.
“To say First Lady Cathy Justice and the Governor are our partners would be underselling what they mean to the program. They are champions beyond anything that we’ve ever seen,” Saldaña said. “The scale of all we’re doing in West Virginia is unlike anywhere else in the country and it’s because of the fuel they’re pouring into the program.
“I continue to be in awe of what is happening in West Virginia,” Saldaña added.
“The people who are a part of this program are chosen to do what they do,” First Lady Justice said. “A lot of time, all our students need is to know one person really cares about them. That’s what you are. You all are so involved in your students’ lives, they know they can come to you and feel good about who they are.”
“If all you’ve done is change the life of one kid it would be worth it, but you are changing life after life after life. It is absolutely incredible,” Gov. Justice said. “I couldn’t be more proud to be a small part of it.
“One day, when you have white hair like I do, you will look back on this and have pride like you can’t imagine,” Gov. Justice continued. “You truly are the best of the best.”