We are always inspired by the amazing work our community grant partners are able to do for children and families in Douglas County! This is one of the many powerful stories of success we receive from grant reports.
“I (Site Coordinator) first met the Richards* family during the 2016-2017 school year when the mother expressed interest in participating in Harvesters’ BackSnack program, a weekly backpack filled with nutritious, child-friendly food that I facilitate at Kennedy. The Richards are a family of six – single mother and five children- four of which attend Kennedy. The family had moved to Lawrence from another state and experienced a recent substantial loss in income. They needed food assistance and the BackSnack program served as the support they needed until they were able to recover financially. Their participation in this program was the initial point of contact for the family to become more engaged in the services available to them through CIS of Mid-America.
This school year, the four children at Kennedy began showing signs of withdrawal. In my conversations with their mother, it became apparent that her children needed supports within the school to assist them in academic achievement and to increase their self-confidence among their peers. I now provide regular check-ins with them, working toward their goals of academic achievement while ensuring that they have the resources they need to be successful.
In just a few months, each child has shown incredible improvements in school engagement.
Their teachers have shared with me that the children are more likely to answer questions, they have established friendships with many of the students in their classes, and their mother has become even more active in parent-teacher interactions. Alison is now partnering with Kennedy to help engage other families in their students’ academic success. Their participation in CIS of Mid-America has not only assisted in providing them with the most basic needs, but the program has also helped Alison and her children realize their worth as valued members of the Kennedy community.”
*Denotes name change for confidentiality purposes.