December 22, 2020

CHARLESTON, WV – More than 2,000 West Virginia Communities In Schools (CIS) students will have happier holidays this year when toys arrive at their homes as part of the 2020 Dream Tree for Kids project.

State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch announced the success of this year’s project with special recognition of First Lady Cathy Justice.

“The support of the First Lady has enabled CIS to expand across the state in record time,” Burch said. “This holiday, her continued guidance and support will result in more than 4,000 gifts given to CIS case-managed students in grades PK-12.”

As the First Lady’s primary initiative, CIS is currently operating in 23 West Virginia counties. The program provides integrated supports to remove barriers to learning and improve student outcomes. The impact of CIS has been seen throughout the pandemic as site coordinators have delivered school supplies and meals to their students.

Superintendent Burch also recognized the important role the staff at the Governor’s Mansion, West Virginia Department of Education staff members and the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History served in organizing this project. 

“Everyone has pulled together to make sure these children would have special gifts this holiday season. With the challenges our families and communities have suffered during the pandemic, this project is more meaningful than ever this year,” he said.

Burch said the CIS site coordinators and volunteers will be wrapping the gifts and ensuring delivery in time for Christmas.

“I’d like to thank all of those who contributed to this cause and to the CIS team for all they have done for the children and families of West Virginia,” Burch said.

The Dream Tree for Kids is a nonprofit charitable foundation started by the Justice Family and implemented by The Greenbrier. Since 2011, thousands of gifts have been donated to nonprofit organizations across West Virginia. This year, many of the Communities In Schools gifts were donated by the First Responders Children’s Foundation’s Toy Express. Nonprofit organizations from around the region apply each year to be part of the Dream Tree for Kids project, resulting in $1 million-worth of toys given to families in need every Christmas.

For more information, contact Christy Day at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or 

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