Among the Duval County Public Schools, Sallye B. Mathis
Elementary is a huge success. They are well on their way to
achieving “A” school status. Gwen Crutchfield, Principal, gives
a lot of the credit to the CIS TEAM
UP program and staff. For the past 5
years, CIS has provided a TEAM UP
after school program at the school.
The students’ improving academic
performance comes as a result of
the focused attention they receive
every day during the school year.
Gwen describes the impact of the program on one student as
a testimony. “Johnny (not his real name), age 11, was a regular
visitor in my office for numerous meltdowns during a typical
school day. He was a bit of a loner and didn’t feel like he
belonged anywhere. It was a carryover from a troubled home
life that offered minimal stability. His school day behavior was
his way of acting that out.”
Gwen created an incentive program for Johnny using TEAM
UP as the incentive. “As long as he maintained good behavior
during the school day, he could participate in the TEAM UP
student enrichment program after school,” she says. The
results were almost immediate. He was rarely sent to her
office for behavior issues and his grades improved. “He had
learned to take ownership for his behavior and the reward was
something he was determined to keep,” she adds.
Johnny is one of thousands of TEAM UP success stories.
Communities In Schools’ TEAM UP is designed to provide a safe
environment where students can thrive during the after school
hours. Every child enrolled in the school is eligible to attend
TEAM UP free of charge to their family.
Immediately after school, TEAM UP members gather for a
quick snack and then move to an hour of academics where
students receive additional instruction from certified teachers.
The second hour provides students with enrichment activities
such as choir, dance, sports, cheerleading, band and much
more. There are 135 K-5 students enrolled in TEAM UP at
Sallye B. Mathis and many more on a waiting list. There is not
enough funding to meet the demand for these CIS enrichment
programs at the 18 schools where they exist.
To learn more about TEAM UP, go to the Communities in Schools website www.cisjax.org