The TSCPL community impact goal, “Every Child ready for school” has many components to it. One aspect that we do understand is hungry children will not learn and retain, as they should.
The free and reduced lunch students in USD#501 measure nearly 80%. Due to the economy in Kansas USD#501 is not holding the normal summer school, which works in conjunction with the summer meal program.
It became apparent that groups would need to step up and fill-in that gap. As a new part of our work to stop summer slide, administration decided TSCPL would work with our neighboring school, Lowman Hill Elementary. This decision was not made lightly or with any thought that this should be a public library role. Anyone who has worked at TSCPL over a summer has seen kids spending their entire day at the library without food. This situation has disturbed staff for years.
We finally have a way to address this distressing situation.
By partnering with Lowman hill School and USD#501, we will provide a free meal to any child from 1 year old through 18 years old at Lowman Hill School. Starting June 1 from noon until 12:30 Monday-Friday a meal will be served. From 12:30 – 1:00 pm we will provide summer reading type activities for the kids to bring a literacy component to their day.
The AdventureMobile will also provide a shelf-stable meal to children at YWCA 9:15-9:45 am Monday; Christ the King 1:15-1:45 pm Tuesday; Most Pure Heart 10:00-10:30 am Thursday; California Crossing 10:30-11:00 am Friday through the Harvesters Program. There will also be the usual activities including the critters. On Friday, the AdventureMobile will distribute BackSnacks, another Harvesters program. This is designed to provide food for kids over the weekend.
This summer is a pilot program and as the summer progresses we will be evaluating it for next summer. Also, we may decide to extend it to during the school year as after school snacks.
We will host “Body Venture” at Lowman Hill on June 5th as a citywide kickoff for the summer meal program.
There are more details to bring you as we get closer to June 1.