The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 11, 2013

Southeast Fountain board heard about Backpack Program


VEEDERSBURG, Ind. — Southeast Fountain School Board members learned Thursday about the elementary school’s Backpack Program.

Leanna Rice, elementary guidance counselor, said she started the program five years ago to help some students who were undergoing a family crisis. Backpacks are filled with a variety of snacks, cereal, noodles, rice meals, dried fruit and other kid-friendly foods. The backpacks are given once a week to students, who are experiencing an immediate crisis or transition of some sort at home, such as the result of divorce, loss of a parent or house fire. The packs are not sent home without a parent being contacted and permission given.

Rice said she gives out 10 back packs a week that 25 students. The backpacks serve as a small assistance from the school until the family can get back on its feet.

The Backpack Program has two major supporters in Tri Kappa and New Liberty Christian Church. Tri Kappa delivers food twice a semester that they are able to get through food finders. New Liberty Christian Church donates $100 or a Wal-Mart gift card every month.

Other donations come in from Waynetown Christian Church; Aramark; and donations from individuals. Some parents have even donated who previously had received a pack during hard times.

The program is “very well received and appreciated by the parents that accept the help,” said Rice.

Rice said the backpack program will accept any donations whether it be food or money.

In other business, school board members:

Welcomed new board members Jeff Fishero and Donna Deel; elected Doug Davenport as president; elected Eli Hoagland as vice president; elected Nick Davis as secretary; agreed school board officers be elected as officers of the Board of Finance; and apointed Cindy Alward as treasurer and Tammy Allen as deputy treasurer.

Approved the resignation of Matthew Nixon as a biology teacher at junior-senior high school and hired Emily Meadows as a long-term substitute for biology; hired Jenna Crowder as a long-term substitute sixth-grade teacher at the elementary.

Approved the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school calendars. Important dates for the 2013-14 school year include: first student day, Aug. 13; fall break, Oct. 24 -25; Christmas break, Dec. 23-Jan 3; spring break March 24–28; and last student day May 22, 2014.