Wednesday, August 27, 2014

O'DEA: This economic pinch shall pass

By DENISE O'DEA, From the Desk of the Superintendent | 11/9/2009

As the holidays quickly approach and the news of the economy does not seem to be getting any better, I know this will be a “lean” holiday season for some, if not a majority, of our families.

Let me assure you, you are not alone. I would guess that a majority of the families in Franklin County, regardless of their income levels, are feeling the economic pinch right now. And, as with most things, that old saying comes to mind … “this too shall pass.” I don’t say those words frivolously or with any mean intent. I say those words to illustrate a point.

As the holidays quickly approach and the news of the economy does not seem to be getting any better, I know this will be a “lean” holiday season for some, if not a majority, of our families.

Let me assure you, you are not alone. I would guess that a majority of the families in Franklin County, regardless of their income levels, are feeling the economic pinch right now. And, as with most things, that old saying comes to mind … “this too shall pass.” I don’t say those words frivolously or with any mean intent. I say those words to illustrate a point.

Although it has been more than 20 years, there was a time in my life where I was considered “poorer than most.” I am not talking about when I was little and growing up …. we were all poor then. We just didn‘t know it.

I am talking back when I was a fairly new teacher (therefore, lower on the salary schedule). I was a single mom, I had three small, pre-school children and I was going to school to earn a master’s degree.

Thank goodness for the WIC program (Women, Infants and Children) which kept milk, peanut butter, cheese and orange juice in my refrigerator and my young children’s tummies. But also thank goodness for the wonderful day care provider I had who did not charge me an arm and a leg to keep my children until 10 at night (that is when I got home from graduate school). Although I had a college degree, that did not keep me from struggling economically.

The same can be said now. While a college degree is helpful, it does not guarantee against hard times. A college degree does not guarantee against layoffs or unemployment. A college degree does not guarantee money will never be “tight.”

That is why our families who are struggling with any needs, need to let our school district family services coordinator know. Her name is Janet Delgado. The district and Janet are here to help. Janet has access to resources that might be just what a struggling family needs.

In addition to the help Janet can offer, we also have a newly formed group called Student Support Services. This group is a nonprofit organization set up by community volunteers in Wellsville to help students in need. This group meets every Monday night at the Baptist Family Worship Center at 6:30 p.m. and you are invited to come join them and find out more.

This group provides support and assistance to our school and students by supplying breakfast items when needed. It provides supplemental food for the weekly Back Snack program. And it provides hygiene products for our middle school students, as well as school supplies and clothes.

Student Support Services is a new program in the community and organizers want to make a difference for our children. So, they need donated items, cash donations and volunteers. Please watch for information about what items are needed and where those items can be dropped off/picked up, as well as information about future fundraisers.

Any monetary donations go directly to feed hungry kids in our community by buying supplemental food for the Back Snack program.

To find out more about Student Support Services or for volunteer opportunities, contact any of the officers listed:

 • Teresa Ryburn, president, (785) 226-4742.

• Gina Dearing, vice-president, (785) 883-2883.

• Becky Jones, treasurer, (913) 710-5707.

• Donna Thomasson, secretary, (785) 883-2895.

You may also contact Amy Wright, elementary school counselor at (785) 883-2996, ext 3134, or Janet Delgado, Family Service Coordinator at (785) 883-2388, ext. 3144.

Student Support Services motto is “Let’s make a difference where it counts — our kids, our homes, our community.”

Denise O’Dea is superintendent of Wellsville schools.

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