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Communities In Schools of Southeast Texas receives historic $1.5 million grant from Mackenzie Scott

The largest gift in the organization's history will help its long-term growth, mission, local initiatives and support of students in Southeast Texas.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Communities In Schools of Southeast Texas announced Thursday they received a gift of $1.5 million from novelist and philanthropist, Mackenzie Scott. 

Forty Communities In Schools affiliates within the network, along with the CIS National Office received an approximate total of $133.5 million, according to a news release from CIS.

Executive Director Reecie Goodman said in a news release this investment will help Communities in Schools of Southeast Texas continue to break down barriers that stand in the way of student success. 

These barriers have grown during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating challenges for students and families, including experiences of social isolation, economic crisis, stress and trauma.

In the 2020-2021 school year, 99.6% of students enrolled in CIS of Southeast Texas's program remained in school, with 97.3% of PreK-11 students being promoted to the next grade, and 92.9% of seniors graduating or receiving a GED, according to a news release.

Communities In Schools' school-based staff works inside schools and establishes one-on-one relationships with students to help them navigate issues and move beyond barriers in the classroom, at home and in the community, according to their website.  

The nonprofit also coordinates with schools and local service providers to meet the needs of students and families, as well as providing critical resources, like food, healthcare, counseling, access to remote technology and more so that students and educators can focus on academics.

In the time since Scott divorced Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, in 2019, she has donated more than $8 billion, according to The Washington Post.  

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