As hurricane season looms, impact from Harvey not just a memory for many students across Houston area

American Red Cross helping Communities In Schools of Houston support students and families affected by Harvey



(HOUSTON, TX) – As recent storms flooded streets across the Houston area, children like eight-year-old Ellie in Spring Branch Independent School District feared “another hurricane is coming for us.”

Hurricane season kicks off June 1, but Hurricane Harvey’s impact is not just a memory for many students.

Communities In Schools of Houston’s Student Support Specialists, accustomed to responding to children’s needs on school campuses, continue to see students with stress, anxiety and other lasting effects related to the 2017 hurricane. In addition to emergency assistance with food, clothes, rent and more, Houston-area schools called on Communities In Schools (CIS) to expand counseling services as families and students, exhausted by the long recovery process, struggled to cope with the trauma on their own.

With support from organizations like the American Red Cross, CIS expanded its staff to counsel displaced students one on one and in groups to comfort one another.

“We continue working with community organizations to help counteract the upheaval in students’ lives that threatened their ability to focus and succeed in the classroom,” Lisa Descant, CEO of CIS of Houston, said.

Houston-area school districts saw the number of students displaced from their homes hit record numbers after Hurricane Harvey. Many children continue to suffer from mental and emotional trauma.

Here are a few signs of trauma for which to keep an eye out as storms return:

  • Irritability or angry outbursts

  • Nightmares or other sleeping disturbances

  • Trouble concentrating or becoming easily overwhelmed by tasks

  • Worry, sadness or guilt

  • Exhaustion, apathy or isolation

If your child is showing any of these signs, please let his or her school know. There is a generous and caring community of Houstonians ready to help.

CIS of Houston’s Student Support Specialists also work on campuses in Houston, Spring Branch, Alief and Fort Bend Independent School Districts and Houston Community College. The organization has impacted more than three million students over its 40-year history.