By: Kathi Powers Superintendent, Twinsburg City School District
Meeting the Needs of Every Child in the Twinsburg City School District
The Twinsburg City School District is dedicated to continuous quality improvement and meeting the needs of every student by knowing each child’s story. We strive to provide a rigorous and comprehensive academic experience, balanced with a breadth of extra-curricular and athletic programs aimed at developing the “whole child”.
Additionally, the District provides a number of wrap-around support programs including guidance services, mental health programs and a supplemental food program. According to a recent national survey by No Kid Hungry (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/04/public-schools-breakfast_n_6794012.html), 76 percent of teachers surveyed report an increase in the number of students who regularly come to school hungry. Research indicates that hunger can have many negative effects on student achievement.
Thanks to a unique community partnership with The Emergency Assistance Center, the Twinsburg City School District is addressing students’ food insecurity by offering a supplemental food program known as PAWS on Child Hunger. PAWS on Child Hunger provides nutritious, child-friendly snacks to qualifying students to enjoy over weekends. Qualifying students participate in the Federal Lunch Program and are opted into the program by their parents/guardians.
The PAWS on Child Hunger Program initially began with our youngest Tigers – students at Wilcox Primary School and was then expanded to Samuel Bissell Elementary School and George G. Dodge Intermediate School. During the 2015-16 school year over 150 students in grades K-6 received healthy snacks and food supplements. Throughout the year, our students, staff members and PTA’s collaborate to raise money through a variety of fundraisers to support the PAWS on Child Hunger Program. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to provide this program at no cost to the District.
The nondescript blue bags include healthy and safe-to-prepare (no cooking needed) snacks for students to enjoy during the weekends at home. The program has been a great success. The Twinsburg City School District plans to expand the program to serve students at R.B. Chamberlin Middle School (Grades 7-8) in the coming school year.
Thanks to partnerships with our community, such as our partnership with The Emergency Assistance Center, the Twinsburg City School District is able to provide unique opportunities to our students which address their needs and assist them in achieving success.