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TEAM UP SUCCESS AT SALLYE B. MATHIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

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

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