About a quarter of the families in Richmond live at or below the poverty line.
In Assistant Superintendent to the Richmond Board of Education, Ms. Wendy Lim’s report on May 21, 2013, she stated that Trustees noted that child poverty is of significant concern to educators because of the detrimental impact on children’s ability to learn and participate in school life.
The Richmond School District acknowledges that it takes a village to raise all our children and it will continue to seek ways to collaborate with its community partners to help lessen the negative impact of child poverty in schools and our community.
On May 21, 2013, a Child Poverty Initiatives Report was presented to the Board of Education. The report introduced a new initiative, Feed-U-Cate 38 Nutrition for Learning, with a mandate to raise $15,000 annually to support School Breakfast and Lunch Programs in the Richmond School District. In the Fall of 2013, some schools started up their Breakfast and Lunch Programs. To support this programs, the District has been assisted through the allocation of funds from two sources: Feed-U-Cate 38 Nutrition for Learning, and Gilmore Park United Church‘s Dream Auction Donation.
In Spring of 2013, the Board of Education approved a $30,000.00 budget to support individual schools in their activities to alleviate child poverty. A Poverty Working Group was established with a goal to design a process to allocate these funds to schools to support their strategies to mitigate the effects of child poverty.
The District Staff will continue to communicate with community organizations that already support families in need and see if there are connections that can be made in the context of schools.
However, in dealing with child poverty issues, School District 38 has areas of concern and limitations because of its current organizational mandate, structure and financial resources, etc. But, the need to find a solution to mitigate the negative impact of child poverty is an important priority of our school district.
We need to find a solution to address Child Poverty issue not only as a matter of charity but also in terms of a social justice point of view.