Communities in Schools: James & Michael’s Story

A Communities in Schools coordinator noticed that James and Michael — two brothers with high absenteeism and trouble getting along with other children — were seldom in school on the same day. She also noticed that they were very hungry.

She learned that the boys’ family lived in significant poverty and there was rarely adequate food at home. The boys often had to share a single pair of shoes, so only one could go out at a time. The older brother often ended up winning fights over who got to eat and who got to wear the shoes.

The CIS coordinator signed the boys up for Harvesters’ weekend BackSnack food program, connected the family with a local food bank, got the boys shoes with a voucher from Payless,
and then began working with the family on how to deal with issues in a more constructive way than fighting.

James and Michael’s attendance and school behavior improved greatly and they
are doing better overall thanks to a collaboration of CIS, Topeka Public Schools, Harvesters, Payless, a local food bank, United Way and others.

This is how we LIVE UNITED.