We are the Lake County affiliate of a state and nationwide network of passionate professionals working in public schools to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Our Story

For more than 40 years, Communities In Schools has been helping students achieve in school, graduate and go on to bright futures. Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

The story of Communities In Schools began in the 1970s, when Founder Bill Milliken, then a youth advocate in New York City, came up with the idea of bringing community resources inside public schools – where they are accessible, coordinated and accountable. “It’s relationships, not programs, that change children,” Bill once said. “A great program simply creates the environment for healthy relationships to form between adults and children. Young people thrive when adults care about them on a one-to-one level, and when they also have a sense of belonging to a caring community.”

And that’s exactly what Communities In Schools does. Today, we are the nation’s largest and most effective organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life. Our unique model positions site coordinators inside schools to assess students’ needs and provide resources to help them succeed in the classroom and in life. We partner with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers and volunteers. Whether it’s food, school supplies, health care, counseling, academic assistance or a positive role model, Communities In Schools is there to help.

Our Mission


To surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Communities In Schools of Lake County uses evidence – and standards-based programming to produce desired outcomes among students throughout the Region.

Communities In Schools Five Basics

At Communities In Schools, everything we do is guided by the “Five Basics.” Developed by our founder Bill Milliken, the Five Basics are a set of essentials that every child needs and deserves.

Every child needs and deserves:

The First Basic: A one-on-one relationship with a caring adult.
The Second Basic: A safe place to learn and grow.
The Third Basic: A healthy start and a healthy future.
The Fourth Basic: A marketable skill to use upon graduation.
The Fifth Basic: A chance to give back to peers and community.


Communities In Schools of Lake County seeks to understand and address the underlying reason why kids are unable to focus on learning.

Whether kids need eyeglasses, tutoring, nutritious food, or just a safe place to be, Communities In Schools provides the programs and services or finds the resources, and delivers them to the young people right inside schools where kids spend their days.


Every 26 seconds a student drops out of school. Communities In Schools works within the school system to address the underlying factors that impede student success. Our organization is actively engaged with policymakers, school staff, parents and business partners to ensure that Communities In Schools’ services are extended to as many K-12 students as possible and that those students have access to college.


What sets us apart is our model of integrated student services. Communities In Schools positions a dedicated staff member – a school-based coordinator – inside partner schools. The coordinator works with school staff to identify students at risk of not graduating; assess school and student needs; and establish relationships with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers, and parent and volunteer organizations to harness needed resources.

Communities in Schools Lake County, 100 W Chicago Ave. Suite G, East Chicago, IN 46312

Tel: 219-378-9114

Fax: 219-398-9118