What can seem like small obstacles can easily lead students off track. That’s why ensuring students have access to basic needs is so important. A student cannot focus in the classroom if he or she is hungry, cold or tired, or cannot see the board. From ensuring students get proper nutrition, are sleeping in safe places and have reliable transportation to and from school, to providing resources or referrals to their families when they are in need, there is no request too small for us.
Our School Outreach Coordinators at all eleven schools stock their offices with healthy snacks and meals for students who come to school hungry, don’t have money for lunch, and/or don’t have sufficient food at home. The food is provided by community donations.
Bridging A Gap (BAG) Program
In partnership with Bridging A Gap, our School Outreach Coordinators at Sacajawea, Saghalie, Lakota, and Sequoyah Middle Schools, and Federal Way High School and Thomas Jefferson High School provide meals to students in need who may not have reliable source of nutrition over school breaks and during the weekend.
School Outreach Coordinators at Illahee Middle School and Kilo Middle School coordinate community clothing closets for ALL students and families in the Federal Way School District to utilize. Families and school district staff can schedule an appointment with the School Outreach Coordinators to “shop” for clothing for their students that are in need.
Communities In Schools of Federal Way partners with Red Canoe Credit Union for the annual “Fill the Canoe” school supply drive. Each year, new school supply donations are collected throughout the community and Red Canoe Credit Union matches them pound-for pound. All schools in the District receive supplies from the drive, and CIS School Outreach Coordinators help coordinate distribution of supplies to students in need at their respective school site.
How to help:
- Donate!: Drop off your new school supply donations at any of the locations listed on the Fill the Canoe Website. All supply donations will be matched pound-for-pound by Red Canoe Credit Union.
- Coordinate!: Host a drive at your place of business – if you have over 40 lbs of supplies, Red Canoe will even come pick it up from you.
- Mobilize!: It’s easy for groups to plug in and make a difference in the lives of students. Mobilize your employees, your PTA, civic groups, service or church organizations.
Communities In Schools of Federal Way partners with Federal Way Cares For Kids, which coordinates a holiday giving program for families in need in the Federal Way School District. Families are invited by school counselors and our School Outreach Coordinators. The gym at Lakota Middle School is transformed into a festive environment where parents come shop, at no cost, for gifts for their children, ages 1 to 18. Each parent can select multiple gifts for their children which they will then wrap, with the help of volunteers. As the parents are shopping, students are provided with an opportunity to create gifts for someone important to them (parent, grandparent, guardian). Photographers are available for family portraits with Santa, which are printed on site and presented as a final gift to the family.
Additionally, our School Outreach Coordinators gather donations to provide holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas) meals, complete with turkeys or hams, to students and families in need.
Other Basic Needs
School Outreach Coordinators also broker, coordinate or provide the following to students in need:
- Hygiene supplies
- Household items and supplies
- Transportation assistance
- Housing and homelessness support
- Referrals to outside agencies