Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District and FLEXcon Provide Meals and Enrichment to Local School Children
Free/Reduced Lunch Program Continues Despite School Closings, Along with Donations of Creativity Kits from Local Business
The Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District (SEBRSD) and FLEXcon Company, Inc., an innovator in adhesive coating and laminating, today announced that they have been working together to provide enrichment to local school children along with meals to students in need during the novel coronavirus pandemic. While the reduced/free meal program is not new, it may not be common knowledge that breakfasts, and lunches continue to be available through the school system during this crisis. Paul Haughey, Superintendent of Schools, wants to be sure families know that meal packs, which include lunch for that day and breakfast for the next morning, will be made available for as long as schools are closed.
Many families in the Spencer-East Brookfield school district qualify for free or reduced lunch. With students now being home all day, having to come up with breakfast and lunch can be a significant burden on parents, especially those who may be temporarily unemployed due to mandatory shutdowns. “We’re experiencing a paradigm shift,” says Haughey. “Teaching and learning is usually our #1 priority, but we can’t do that in the ways that we’ are used to right now because we don’t have the kids in front of us. Instead, we’re focused on doing what we can in different ways to help get families through this crisis. So, if there’s a school day on the calendar, we’ll be providing meals, educational ‘learning opportunities’ and as much communication as is needed.”
Alongside the meals, FLEXcon distributed creativity kits comprised of sheets of materials children can use to create art projects at home. The kits included sheets of the company’s holographic, glow-in-the-dark, and glitter films along with plain white vinyl, all of which are self-adhesive. The idea was inspired by Bill Sullivan, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Technology, FLEXcon, who delivered a similar packet to his granddaughter. She was so delighted to receive it that he thought it would be great to share the materials with more children.
“FLEXcon already works closely with SEBRSD on other community projects, such as Special Olympics and sharing our on-site health center with the faculty,” says Sullivan, “so expanding our partnership to include creativity kits for local children who may not otherwise be engaged in learning right now wasn’t a big stretch.” Although not the goal of the food program, the kits gave parents an activity that’s excellent for teaching and learning. “Children were able to design and create something that they can then hang on the fridge or show off to extended family and friends via video chat,” says Haughey. “It’s something that kept them amused with hands-on, project-based learning during this public health crisis.”
The reaction from families has been one of great appreciation for both the meals and the kits. They’re thankful that the school system has their backs during this difficult time, and thankful for the creative distraction for children who were getting antsy and bored at home without their schoolmates.
For meal pick up times and locations please check the schedule by following the SEBRSD Facebook page.