Kalamazoo's Communities in Schools gets national recognition

Work done by Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo at Arcadia Elementary School that helps students overcome obstacles to succeed in school and achieve in life has received nationwide recognition.

And Martha Serio, CIS Site Coordinator at Spring Valley Center for Exploration, has also been recognized.

Both are recipients of the 2015 Unsung Heroes Award by the Communities In Schools network. The awards were created in 2007 to give national recognition to local schools, communities and Communities In Schools’ site coordinators for changing the picture of education in America.

The 2015 honorees were recognized at the Communities In Schools’ Leadership Town Hall, in January in New Orleans, La.

"I am truly honored, humbled and grateful to be receiving this award," says Serio. "I love being a Site Coordinator for Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo. I am able to connect students with over 40 fabulous volunteers and community partners they need to succeed because of the support I receive from my Principal, Mr. William Hawkins and the Spring Valley teachers, staff, parents, and CIS staff. Here at Spring Valley, we are all a team."

Serio's CIS colleagues refer to her as the “energizer bunny.” She has boundless energy and works tirelessly to make sure that students gets the services she needs.

Pam Kingery executive director, CIS of Kalamazoo, says the award for CIS at Arcadia Elementary School reflects the cooperation that takes place where there are CIS programs.

“Arcadia Elementary School is a shining example of what can happen when we work together for kids,” says Pam Kingery executive director, CIS of Kalamazoo. "This award is shared by all of us--The Kalamazoo Public Schools, Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, our volunteers, partners, and donors--all dedicated to meeting students’ needs."

Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo is one of almost 200 CIS affiliates working throughout the country. The organization overcomes the barriers that derail children, giving them hope and the belief that they can succeed in school, graduate and be prepared for life.

“At Communities In Schools, Unsung Hero is synonymous with dedication and commitment to serving students,” says Dan Cardinali, president, Communities In Schools. “All of our honorees are inspiring and are true examples of going the extra mile and being the difference to a student’s success and in their lives. We’re thrilled to recognize their exceptional work.”

A complete list of 2015 honorees, with links to videos and full profiles of each, can be found here.  Arcadia’s video may be seen by clicking here.

Source: Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo at 2015 Unsung Heroes Awards in New Orleans, LA. Also pictured, Bill Milliken, Founder and Vice Chairman of Communities InSchools, Inc. (left) and Dan Cardinali, President of Communities In Schools, Inc. (third from right at back).
From left: Gulnar Husain (CIS Site Coordinator at Arcadia), Greg Socha (KPS Principal, Arcadia), Pam Kingery (Executive Director, CIS of Kalamazoo), Carolyn H. Williams (CIS of Kalamazoo Board President), Dan Cardinali (President of Communities In Schools, Inc.)
CIS Site Coordinator Martha Serio, 2015 Unsung Heroes Award winner, with Dan Cardinali President of Communities In Schools, Inc. (left) and Bill Milliken, Founder and Vice Chairman of Communities In Schools, Inc. (right)

From left: CIS Site Coordinator Martha Serio, CIS Director of Elementary Sites Elyse Brey, Spring Valley Center for Exploration Principal William Hawkins, KPS School Board President Patti Scholler-Barber.