Community Organizations: CISC
Recently, I (Allison Chan) had the opportunity to meet with the director of the Chinese Information and Service Center (CISC) and learn about the deep backstories, memories, and accomplishments of such a longstanding institution located in the international district in Seattle. A nonprofit organization designed to support immigrants in King County, they provide a broad spectrum of assistance from information and advocacy to youth development and family support.
CISC was started in 1972 by a group of high school and college students who worked as part-time volunteers in a tiny space in Chinatown to help a community in need. The original focus was to help non-English speaking elderly people in their community live a good life despite the hardships immigration brings. Soon CISC broadened its scope and diversified to include youth employment programs, ESL, violence and crime victim services among others. Nowadays, their focus is to help build bridges between families and each member of the community.
They hold an after-school program for children in first to fifth grade alongside different early childhood programs; this includes: Kaleidoscope play and learn, CISC bilingual preschool, parentchild+, child care health consultation, universal developmental screening program, after school care, and summer learning programs. Their after school and summer learning programs provide a place for students to receive tutoring while developing leadership, social, and emotional skills. The staff work closely with parents and guardians to help them navigate through the US education system and support their children in a healthy manner. CISC is here to help provide support for the city of Seattle such that we can grow through civic engagement, youth development, and family support for all communities in need.