During the last six months the Lake Stevens Rotary Club has been working tirelessly to raise $10,000 to help homeless students within the Lake Stevens School District.
The benefit of meeting that goal also meant matching funds through grant money donated by Rotary District 5050 which would mean $20,000 to help local kids and families.
On Friday, October 19 at the weekly Rotary Club meeting District 5050’s Committee Chair Larry Jubie presented the Lake Stevens Rotary Club with a check for $10,000. In turn, Scott Smith, Rotary Club President, got to give Lake Stevens School District Superintendent Dr. Amy Beth Cook a check for $20,000.
“Thank you so much,” Dr. Cook told the Rotarians. “It is so important to let those children be students.”
Lake Stevens School District’s Director of Communications Arlene Hulten explained to the membership the high need for homeless students within the school district.
“Homeless students are defined as those who don’t have regular, permanent shelter to go home to,” Hulten said. “So far this year we have identified 74 students.”
These students run the gamut from preschool to seniors in high school living anywhere from Sultan to Smokey Point, Lynnwood and Everett.
“It’s amazing for me to think about the families who are in trouble,” Hulten said.
The federal government gives school districts money through the Title One program, however, most of that money goes to help all low-income students with academics.
McKinney-Vento, a federal law that mandates school districts provide transportation and other needs to homeless students does not give funds to cover those needs which means school districts must pay for those necessities on their own.
The $20,000 check will help the district cover some of those requirements.
Hulten explained that the school district spent almost $80,000 last year helping the homeless students within the district.
“This bulk of the money goes to transportation to keep some consistency with the kids,” Dr. Cook explained.
The Rotary Club members were thrilled to be able to contribute to help kids in their own district.
“This is another example of how our Rotary Club helps our community,” President Scott Smith said.
“This is just awesome,” Rotarian Jim Steinruck added.