A proclamation by the Morgan County Board of Commissioners and the Morgan County Bridges Out Of Poverty Initiative

 

To increase awareness of a growing community issue, January 25-31, 2015 has been designated Poverty Awareness Week in Morgan County. In recognition of this event, Mooresville Schools would like to share information about the issues which face many of our families, how our schools assist families in need, and how community members are able to help our neighbors in need.

The Poverty Awareness Week proclamation includes many statistics about the poverty issue in our county.  Within Mooresville Schools, about 40 percent of students receive free or reduced meals. While not all of these families receive additional services, many do benefit from other types of assistance. Through our guidance counselors (middle and high school), family services coordinators (elementary schools), and McKinney Vento liaison for homeless students (all schools), we work to find ways to assist families to provide or find resources for important daily needs for children.

Some programs which take place through our schools and in partnership with other organizations include:

  • School Supply Assistance
  • Gleaners Backsack weekend food program, school break food programs
  • 21st Century Scholars program
  • Free summer lunch program for all children ages 0-18
  • McKinney Vento assistance for families who are homeless, doubled-up, or living in unsafe conditions
  • Family services assistance fund – which provides assistance with needs not covered through other programs
  • PTO/school extra-curricular sponsorship programs – which provide assistance with field trip fees, graduation expenses, and other school “extras” which provide a positive school experience
  • Adult & Child Resource Services – providing counseling and peer group mentoring
  • Healthy Smiles dental program
  • Tutoring services – provided through Title 1, McKinney Vento, and other programming
  • Partnerships with local churches, civic groups, businesses, Churches in Mission, before & after school care organizations and others to support the programs above as well as provide shoes, coats, warm clothing, hygiene items, vision care, and other needed assistance.

Some ways our students, staff members and schools give back to those in need include:

  • District-wide food drive for local families
  • School service projects, penny wars, and donation drives benefiting human services organizations such as Gleaners Food Bank, United Way, area homeless shelters, and others.
  • Service projects providing work for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Churches in Mission, Salvation Army bellringers, Bridges Out of Poverty, and others
  • Writing grants to provide needed assistance to students
  • Sponsorships by various staff members, classes and clubs of families for Christmas

It is important to us that children who receive services are not openly identified as receiving them. For example, students who receive free and reduced meals will type in a student number or scan a student ID card at the cafeteria checkout line in the same manner as all of their peers. We also work with Churches in Mission of Mooresville to provide school supplies to students in need before school starts, so all students are able to arrive on the first day of school with their supplies in hand just like their fellow students.

We appreciate the many ways our community assists local families in need and the strong partnerships we have throughout Mooresville. The many programs listed could not take place without our civic groups, churches, businesses, and local citizens who are committed to helping children. If you, your company, or your group is interested in helping families in need, please consider monetary donations to our Family Services fund which helps provide for students in the case of expenses which are not otherwise covered. Recent expenses through this fund include items such as socks and underwear for children in need, coats and shoes in hard-to-find sizes and an advanced-style calculator for a student in a high level math class.

We encourage families in need of assistance to contact your school’s guidance counselor or family services coordinator for more information. If you are interested in helping with a program or donating to our Family Services fund, please contact Community Relations Director, Susan Haynes, at 831-0950, ext. 2015 to discuss how you might be able to help.