Because of the support by several local businesses and citizens, the Woodland Public Schools’ Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) is able to address the needs of students living in and around Woodland through various programs like the Back to School Bash and the Summer Meals Program.
Woodland Public Schools’ Community Family and Student Resource Coordinator Catherine Pulliam applied for grants from the Southwest Washington Community Foundation, iQ Credit Union and Fibre Federal Credit Union and received all three. “We couldn’t offer the programs we do without the generous support from these organizations as well as our community. Seeing the community acknowledge the importance of helping those among us in need is extremely gratifying,” said Pulliam.
With the funds from the grants, the district is able to host its annual Back to School Bash on Saturday, August 17th from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Woodland High School (1500 Dike Access Road). Students and families from Woodland, Kalama and La Center are invited to attend and will receive a free backpack filled with school supplies as well as play games, activities, win prizes and receive a free dinner. Last years Bash was attended by about 2,000 students, parents, guardians and community members. Over 700 backpacks were given out and almost 175 community members volunteered their time to help make the event what it was. Erica Schradella, Digital Operations Supervisor at iQ Credit Union said, “While we had several applicants for the grant, we had previously given to the FCRC for its Back to School Bash. We think the program’s great – it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
The grants also help to fund the Free Summer Meals Program serving breakfast and lunch to students 18 years old and younger Monday through Friday from June 17th through August 16th. Students can visit the Woodland Middle School (755 Park St.) from 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM for breakfast and from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM for lunch. Adults can join as well for just $2.50 for breakfast and $3.50 for lunch. There are also volunteers from five local churches who pick up and deliver coolers with free lunches for more than 30 students in need. Stacy Brown, Business Manager for Woodland Public Schools states, “Our Summer Meals staff is preparing the food and the church volunteers are picking up coolers to ensure the safe delivery of the food every day the program is available. We’re extremely grateful for our community’s ongoing support to ensure our students don’t go hungry even over the summer.”
The FCRC is committed to serving the under-resourced families in Clark and Cowlitz counties with programs like free Food Pantries and assistance with finding employment. Pulliam explains, “Our goal is to connect the under-resourced families we serve with the organizations offering help in Clark and Cowlitz counties. We want to help families line up jobs and get work so they may improve their lives.” FCRC also works to establish partnerships with local nonprofit organizations to further open up the resources available for homeless students or families to simply help them find affordable housing opportunities. Their priority is to ensure any family that qualifies for the McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is served. This act was created so that homeless children and youth are enrolled and have educational stability.
For more information about the Summer Meals Program, call Stacy Brown, Woodland Public Schools’ Business Manager at 360-841-2715 or by email at [email protected]. For more information about the Woodland Public Schools Family Community Resources Center, email Catherine Pulliam at [email protected] or call FCRC at 360-841-2718.