Our View: District efforts improve quality of education in community

Published 9:47 am Tuesday, July 24, 2018

As unlikely as it seems, the 2018-19 school year is quickly approaching. The first day of school for students is Wednesday, Aug. 15.

With less than a month until school officially begins, parents are shifting gears from summer plans to school year preparations. For many parents, purchasing all that students need to start the school year can be difficult or even impossible.

Thankfully, once again Clark County Public Schools is providing the majority of supplies for students this year. This is the second year the district has opted to provide supplies for all students.

CCPS will provide pencils, paper, folders, crayons, glue, scissors, pencil containers, notebooks, dry erase markers, protractors, rulers, hand sanitizer, tissues and paper towels to all students. Some items will be given to students and others will be kept as classrooms sets for teachers to use year after year.

While some additional supplies may be required by some teachers, especially at GRC and Campbell Junior High School, they will be minimal.

This initiative by the Clark County Board of Education is one that rather unique. Many surrounding districts still require parents to provide all school supplies, which creates extra instability for low-income families. It is great to not only see some of the burden taken off families and teachers to provide supplies for the school year, but to see our district be a leader in the state for those efforts.

Further, under the National School Lunch and Breakfast program, all students in Clark County — from pre-school to George Rogers Clark High School — will eat lunch and breakfast at no charge. That program has also expanded in recent years, making sure all students are fed nutritious meals throughout the school day.

Childhood hunger is major concern in our state and one that many state and local agencies work together to tackle. Ensuring all students eat healthy, well-balanced meals while at school is one of the best ways to fight hunger for school-aged children.

While the state and district make many efforts to ease the burden on families in our community, the success of these programs is ensured by many volunteer and charity organizations as well.

For more than 20 years, the annual Readiest back-to-school fair has been integral in providing supplies to families. Now that the district has taken on some of that role, the event still provides an opportunity for families and students to connect with resources for school-aged children in the community. Backpacks with additional school supplies are also handed out to all children.

The Family Resource and Youth Service centers are the school also work with area agencies and volunteers to implement a backpack program for students who may face food insecurity on the weekend and during school breaks. These agencies and others, like the Winchester Kiwanis Club, help supply new clothes for students in need to start the year as well.

We applaud the district, its staff and the many community volunteers who continue to strive to make educating the children of Clark County a priority. When students don’t have to worry about where their supplies will come from, what clothes they will wear or when they will get to eat again, they focus more in the classroom and improve their results.