Communities In Schools
Dropout Prevention





Welcome Jamie J. Cooper - Executive Director


Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area

Welcomes New Executive Director


Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area (CIS) announced that Jamie J. Cooper has been named Executive Director, effective September 1, 2017, following the planned retirement of Jane Riley-Gambrell.  Cooper, a highly regarded and experienced non-profit leader, comes to CIS from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain (BGCCP) in North Carolina, where he served as the President and CEO.  

“We were impressed by the quality of the applicants we received for this integral position, and appreciate the passion for the CIS mission they each showed through the process,” said Board Chair Lydia Applegate.  “As we developed the criteria for selection of our next leader, it became clear that Jamie’s experience in working with at-risk youth, his track record in implementing and managing strategic planning, and his proven non-profit management skills made him an ideal match for CIS,” said Applegate. 

Prior to his time with the BGCCP, Cooper served as the Executive Director of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greensboro, NC. During his tenure there, Cooper led that organization through a period of intentional cultural change, focusing on staff professional development, programming excellence, and financial growth and stability. He provided leadership as a member of the Capital Campaign Team to raise $7.6 Million of funding for new construction, existing building renovations, and property acquisition.   

About Communities in Schools. The mission of Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  During the 2017-2018 school year CIS will serve more than 12,000 students and their families through their efforts in Charleston and Berkeley Counties. More than 700 of these students will receive one-on-one case management to support them in their educational paths. For more information on Communities In Schools visit:


2016-2017 Student Support Success

During the 2016-17 year, CIS served nearly 10,000 young people in 19 schools. Of those students, 750 received case-managed services.
We are proud to say that of those case-managed students:

  • 99% were promoted to the next grade level

  • 75% maintained adequate or improved attendance

  • 82% maintained a C or higher in Math or increased from a failing to a passing grade

  • 86% maintained a C or higher in ELA or increased from a failing grade to a passing grade
  • 93% improved or maintained positive school behavior

  • 99% of seniors graduated (73% went to college, 6% joined the military, 21% entered the workforce)

Thanks to the generosity of volunteers and donors, CIS has helped thousands of children excel in schools throughout the Charleston region. Read some of our SUCCESS STORIES.



Music Tells the Story

Music Tells the Story is an expanding project to provide music education and enrichment for elementary school students.  Composer/songwriter/performer Ayala Asherov-Kalus works with students at Burns Elementary School to turn their poems and stories into real compositions played by celebrated Charleston musicians.

Click on the image below to watch a great video about the program.




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