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Lifelong Learning

District aims to support all students and make a difference in their lives

November 27, 2013

The winter holiday season is approaching. Many people talk about holiday commercials, holiday meals, holiday store openings and other events. People celebrate Thanksgiving in different ways. Some plan a big family meal, some may volunteer time to share a meal with others, some may be working and some may not be able to afford a big Thanksgiving meal.

I think of our students and the different experiences they may have. The other day we were asked about the number of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches. In the last few years, the number of eligible students in our district has increased, meaning more families and children in our community are facing poverty.

Moorhead Area Public Schools has programs in the schools to help children. One is our free and reduced-price meals program. We know students need to have good meals to learn. Schools provide breakfast and lunch, through a federal reimbursement system, to students who meet requirements. In our schools, those numbers also generate funding for additional learning support for students.

We also have a backpack program, supported mainly through donations, for students to receive food for the weekend. It may be hard for some of us to imagine, but we have children who do not have food over the weekend; their only food may come from the schools.

We also have an increase in students who are homeless. They may live in shelters, with other families or in many different conditions. Our community faces challenges as we meet the needs of these families.

Students face many challenges. Our goal as a school district is to provide equitable educational opportunities for all students — no matter where they sleep, whether they’ve had enough to eat or if they face other challenges. We need to support all our students.

Our staff works hard to support every student and educate students where they are. Students may need additional support to soar, to be challenged, to be engaged and to learn. Our teachers have the knowledge and skills to assist every child. Our goal is for all students to learn and feel safe at school. I believe our staff does an extraordinary job to make that happen for every student every day.

As we think about this holiday season, my hope is that we are challenged to make a difference in the life of a child. We can volunteer in the community and in our schools to make a difference. Everyone can be that difference, and I am thankful for a community that cares about students and wants all students to succeed.

Dr. Lynne A. Kovash

Categorized under: School