ABC has partnered with Cincinnati Public Schools, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati and Hamilton County Job and Family Services (JFS) to create a comprehensive program, KISR!, that specifically serves children living in foster care.
Providing extracurricular and enrichment opportunities for ALL children in Cincinnati Public Schools—including those in foster care—is the primary focus for Activities Beyond the Classroom. Because of the nature of foster care, it can be difficult for children to enroll in and maintain consistency in their activities. For this reason, ABC has joined with Cincinnati Public Schools, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, Hamilton County Job and Family Services (JFS), and the Hamilton County Juvenile Court to help provide these opportunities for students through the Kids in School Rule! (KISR!) program, a comprehensive partnership that specifically serves to break down barriers for children in JFS custody that attend CPS schools.
In 2008, Cincinnati Public Schools implemented the KISR! Program in 22 schools. In 2012, the program expanded to all of the schools within the CPS districts. Since its implementation, the program has experienced tremendous growth. During the 2016-2017 school year, Activities Beyond The Classroom joined the team and placed 120 students in extracurricular activities. Over the past four academic years, ABC has worked to help students connect to over 400 activities they might not otherwise have had the opportunity to access. ABC works to ensure that each student receives the support they need to thrive in their activities. Through the collaborative efforts of the KISR! team, families impacted by the foster care system have seen a boost in educational outcomes including more stability, better communication, and fewer discipline-related disruptions. The addition of the enrichment program provides students in JFS custody the opportunity to engage in activities similarly to their peers, eliminating another barrier for students who have been removed from their homes.
Children involved in KISR! participate in activities such as: