The Commerce Journal

May 31, 2013

Bringing the Commerce community into the school

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — For some students at Commerce Independent School District, a helping hand is all they need to help them on their way.

Matt Wollcott is that helping hand.

Wolcott serves as director of Communities in Schools (CIS) at A.C. Williams Elementary.

CIS aides Commerce ISD in giving more one-on-one time for students needing better grades on the STAAR test or making sure a child is sent home with enough food for the weekend. CIS operates mainly through volunteers in the community, and Wolcott said Commerce has many citizens who are willing to help.

“We usually have between 75 to 80 volunteers,” he said, adding that a majority come from Texas A&M University-Commerce. “The women’s basketball team came to help and the men’s basketball team comes in and plays with the teachers and the students get to watch.”

With CIS, volunteers can donate gently used clothes to My Sister’s Closet where they will be sold at 50 cents to patrons who bring a voucher from CIS.

“We give them a voucher when they come to the ‘Stuff the Bus’ campaign,” he said. “The students have to be with the parents in order to get the clothes.”

During the summer, CIS also works with the “Stuff the Bus” campaign to give students backpacks filled with school supplies.

Wolcott is moving to Dallas over the summer to be closer to his wife and children.

“I just need to be closer with my family,” he said. “My oldest is about to go to high school and I don’t want to miss those years.”

Wolcott said he will miss the mentoring program CIS does the most, because it gave him a chance to personally work with the kids.

“I get to interact with adults and the kids coming in,” he said. “I love to work with the kids one on one. It’s a joy to work with them.”

There will be three open positions that Wolcoot is looking for people to fill at CIS for the fall: two at Commerce High School and one position at A.C. Williams.

Wolcott said he is looking for someone who is invested in the community and cares about students.

For more information on the positions contact CIS at 903.886.3758, or by email at