Success Stories

A Trip to the Dentist Kept

Cheyenne In School


Overcoming painful dental problems, low esteem and a difficult home life, Cheyenne is a shining example for overcoming obstacles.


Making Coweta County stronger by coordinating programs, people and

support to keep students engaged, involved and moving toward success.

Communities In Schools surrounds students

with a community of support, empowering them

to stay in school and achieve in life.



ECHS site coordinator attends training in Washington, D.C.


Up to Speed with CIS

CIS of Coweta County is in the news!


Denise Buchanan and Gina Weathersby are all smiles as they meet Neil Shorthouse, one of the original co-founders of CIS. This shot was taken at a national CIS training conference in Atlanta for CIS Site Coordinators. Like our own Denise Buchanan.


East Coweta High welcomes Communities In Schools program


East Coweta High Principal Evan Horton and Communities In Schools of Coweta’s Site Coordinator Denise Buchanan are excited about the programs that CIS of Coweta will provide EC students.


Schools become successful by realizing that their involvement in a student’s life reaches far beyond academics. To succeed, schools must provide support and involvement in every aspect of a student’s life.


As the 2014-15 academic year begins, the Communities In Schools program at East Coweta High School is preparing to provide students with a variety of services and programs that will assist them with problems that include low academic performance, poor attendance, family problems and even poverty.


East Coweta High School Principal Evan Horton has seen firsthand how student obstacles the public may not be aware of—such as a lack of basic school supplies—can hinder achievement and put students at risk of dropping out. He knows the Communities In Schools program will address many of these needs.


“I couldn’t be happier to have this program at East Coweta,” Horton said. “This is a great resource for students who need support in different areas of life. This gives us one more way to help our students.”


Horton explained that schools have changed since his students’ parents sat in the classroom.


“Everything is much more individualized now,” he said. “Teachers and staff realize that the key is building relationships with students, being able to relate to students and having a greater knowledge of their individual strengths, weaknesses and needs.”


Communities In Schools is a national network of nonprofit organizations that provides support and services to students, with the goal of improving academic achievement, graduation rates and chances for success in life.


Gina Weathersby, Executive Director of Communities in Schools of Coweta, said public reaction to expanding and improving the local program is exciting.


“Coweta County is already known for great schools, and CIS will help even more students achieve success,” Weathersby said. “We are ready to go and excited about our mission.”


CIS programs are administered at individual schools by Site Coordinators who work with teachers and school staff to identify students in need of assistance and develop plans to address those needs.


Denise Buchanan is the new Site Coordinator at East Coweta. Buchanan earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Georgia and has spent a large part of her professional career helping families and individuals deal with personal and institutional problems in the healthcare field.


Buchanan says there are many similarities between social work and her CIS duties. “Once I started, I realized I'd be doing some of the same things and dealing with the same people I already know,” she said. “I expected a steep learning curve but it’s really falling into place.”


Dr. Steve Barker, Superintendent of Coweta County Schools, said the CIS program spells good news for local schools and students.


“We are excited about the deeper partnership between East Coweta’s stakeholders and the community that this represents,” Barker said. “As the partnership develops, we look forward to increased student success resulting from the relationships that will be built between East Coweta High School students, faculty and staff, and Mrs. Buchanan. We thank the Communities In Schools board for making this program a reality in our school system.”


Denise Buchanan and her husband, Richard, currently call Fayette County home, but before moving to Fayette lived in Senoia for eight years. Denise was not surprised by the warm reception she received from her new colleagues at East Coweta High.


“Evan has really made a commitment to the success of this program,” Denise said. “The faculty and staff have been more supportive that I could have hoped for. We have a common goal of helping every student succeed, and working together, I know we’ll do great things.”


Part of the CIS mission is educating the community about student problems that go far beyond academics. Buchanan is still settling into her role, but said she has already managed to help at least one student get off to a good start.


A parent said she had just changed jobs and the first paycheck had not arrived. She was unable to buy basic school supplies. She asked for help.


“Before you know it, that child had a backpack filled with everything they needed,” Denise said. “Things like that remind you that even here in Coweta County, some people struggle with poverty.”


Gina and Denise recently attended a national training session for CIS Site Coordinators. Denise said it was eye-opening, informative and exciting. “We learned so much about identifying a student’s needs, and the different ways we can help them and provide them with things they need to succeed,” she said. “I’m ready to put those things into action.”


So is EC principal Evan Horton. “We are very aware that different students have different needs,” Horton said. “The CIS program will help us provide support in even more ways than we could before. That helps everybody.”


“Dine Out For Kids” benefits Communities in Schools of Coweta County


If you plan on having breakfast, lunch or dinner on Thursday, August 21, why not enjoy a meal that will help a Coweta student achieve success in life?


Communities In Schools of Coweta has already started to provide help and support local students in danger of dropping out of high school. It’s a big job. And an important one.


Studies show that one out of three public high school students won’t graduate. Others will graduate late. CIS of Coweta is working hard to reverse that trend in Coweta County and make a difference in these students’ lives.


Dine Out For Kids provides an opportunity for restaurateurs and sponsors to support local CIS programs by donating to CIS of Coweta a portion of the profits from breakfast, lunch and/or dinner served on Thursday, August 21, 2014.


Restaurants participating in this year’s Dine Out For Kids event include: Brickhouse Grille and Tavern, 3150 Highway 34 East, Suite 302, Newnan; Canongate Golf Club, 924 Shaw Road, Sharpsburg; Canongate on White Oak Golf Club, 141 Clubview Drive, Newnan; Chick-fil-A Dwarf House, Highway 34 E, Newnan; Fabiano’s Pizzeria, 19 West Court Square, Newnan; Foundry, 80 Newnan Station Drive, Newnan; Mama Lucia’s, 236 Newnan Crossing Bypass, Newnan; Matt’s Small Town Pizza, 53 Main Street, Senoia; Meat ‘N’ Greet, 11 Jefferson Street, Newnan; Newnan Country Club,1356 Highway 29 North, Newnan; Redneck Gourmet, N. Court Square, Newnan.


Donated funds will allow CIS to continue to provide after-school, youth leadership, literacy, parent education and other pertinent programs in Coweta County. Please join us in participating in this worthwhile event.


And by the way … enjoy your meal.


Communities In Schools of Coweta County partners with Walmart to provide school supplies for at-risk students


The Newnan Walmart is collecting school supplies for students supported by Communities in Schools of Coweta. Communities in Schools is a national program dedicated to eliminating school dropouts and helping students achieve success. Pictured from left are Dennis McEntire, Chairman of CIS of Coweta, Candace Hewitt, Front End Supervisor of the Newnan Walmart, Melissa Martin, Customer Service Manager of the Newnan Walmart and Gina Weathersby, Executive Director of CIS of Coweta.


A new school year has begun and for many Coweta students, the back-to-school shopping list includes new clothes or maybe even a laptop or tablet computer. Some students, though, will be hard-pressed to show up with a used backpack and an adequate supply of notebooks.


Communities In Schools of Coweta is working to eliminate that problem by partnering with Walmart to provide school supplies to at-risk students, giving them the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.


“It’s hard to believe, but just a lack of basic supplies, like pens or paper, can be enough to keep a student away from school,” said Gina Weathersby, Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Coweta. “That’s a problem we know how to solve.”


A bin for collection of donated school supplies is located at the Newnan Walmart, 1025 Highway 34. Donations are being accepted now and may be made through August 15.


All school supplies are needed, but recommended items include backpacks, pencils, pens, erasers, crayons, markers, loose leaf paper, glue, binders, calculators, rulers and scissors.


“We really appreciate Walmart’s support of the Communities In Schools program,” said Dennis McEntire, Chairman of CIS of Coweta County. “Local support is vital to the success of our program, and Walmart’s participation in this project is a great example of what this community can do when we work toward a common goal.”


Melissa Martin, Customer Service Manager of the Newnan Walmart, said, “We are so glad to help with this Communities in Schools project. Students are important to Walmart, and we know this is a good way to help our students and our community.”


Over 13,000 items were collected at participating Walmarts across the state during last year’s drive. Communities In Schools officials are determined to top that number this year.


“This community has a wonderful reputation for supporting local schools and local students,” said Weathersby. “Our at-risk students, including those served by CIS of Coweta who are at risk of dropping out, need all the support we can give them. We want to remove every obstacle we can to student success and this is a great way to do it.”





Communities In Schools of Coweta County | P.O. Box 781 | Newnan, GA 30264 | 404-895-2452