In Kids-Lift's sophomore year, we are making big steps toward closing the achievement gap by supporting local Premium Service Brands school districts.
In our home school district, Albemarle County, we have pledged to provide snacks for kids in 13 schools in the Albemarle County School District for the 2019-2020 school year. This monthly pledge of 5,000 snacks comes in response to the loss of a grant that had previously funded snacks for the Albemarle county students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program.
The free and reduced lunch program provides meals for students who come from low-income families. These students receive breakfast and lunch through the school but need a snack to be able to concentrate through the school day.
“Many of our students receive free/reduced breakfast and lunch but have no snack for snack time at school while their peers eat. For example, 6th graders at Henley eat lunch at 10:50 a.m. and have to go through the rest of the day, until 4 p.m., with no food if they do not bring in a snack,” said Lauren Otto, family support at Stone-Robinson Elementary School through Albemarle Social Services.
Getting the proper nutrition not only supports students’ physical growth, but their academic performance as well. The number of students who need extra nutritional support has been growing.
According to a report from the Albemarle County School District, 31 percent of the students are classified as “economically disadvantaged.” In the past ten years alone, enrollment has increased by 8.3 percent, but the number of economically disadvantaged student has increased by more than 65 percent.
Debora Collins, the school division’s Deputy Superintendent, pointed out that one of the school division’s three strategic priorities is to “identify and remove practices that perpetuate the achievement gap,” and that among the strategic plan’s five objectives is to “create and expand partnerships.”
“This new program with Kids-Lift is an excellent example of how a partnership can help to meet a very important strategic priority,” Collins noted. “We want every child to have the safest, healthiest, most supportive environment in our schools. That requires doing all we can to remove barriers to learning, regardless of where they originate,” she said.
With tightening budgets, one way to support these students is through partnerships with the local community. Kids-Lift is proud to be able to work with Premium Service Brands in connecting them to their local community.
Supporting the school district is close to the hearts of many of the staff of Premium Service Brands -- both children of CEO Paul Flick are enrolled in the school district. “Whether in business or community service, our passion is to give back to lift up the communities in which we live,” Flick said. “Supporting kids and families is crucial to our values of integrity and caring,” he added.
Read the full press release here.