The numbers are staggering! Of the 1,098 students enrolled at Easton Elementary School in the 2011-12 school year, over half - 564 students - live in households where providing for basic needs is a daily challenge.
The need extends across all boundaries of race and ethnicity. Some are students with disabilities, and students who are academically gifted. Some receive Special Education services or English Language Learner services. Some are as young as three years old.
Teachers know that children who are hungry cannot learn. Their ability to concentrate is impaired; their energy level is absent.
At EES, all students receive a free breakfast. Many students also eat a free lunch every day that includes milk, lean protein, whole grains and a fruit or vegetable. But what happens to these students on the weekends?
Our goal, through a partnership with Talbot County Public Schools and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, is to provide every eligible student with a backpack filled with healthy, easily accessible meals and snacks every Friday afternoon so that when students return to school on Mondays, they are well-nourished and ready to learn.