On Saturday, May 30, 2020, the faculty and staff of Southern Oaks Middle School disseminated a total of 130 bags and boxes of groceries to families of the school and community. This was completed while passing out 8th grade promotion certificates, collecting laptops for the year and collection/pick-up of band instruments.
About two weeks prior, faculty and staff were asked to consider bringing in non-perishable items to give to families to assist with financial setbacks. Immediately, teachers and staff started organizing via TEAMS communications. In addition to people jumping in and offering to help, the first bit of great news was that “Grace Packs Director, Laura Klosterman, was kind enough to give us a large supply of their food,” stated Wendy Stewart, ESE teacher and Grace Packs coordinator for SOMS.
SOMS services approximately 15-20 families per year by sending food home on the weekends during the school year. “This program is available at several of our schools in the county that also provide food for families in need,” Stewart said.
When asked what the food drive meant to him, 6th Grade Dean and Social Studies teacher, Todd Hibbard replied, “The food drive built a sense of community and a partnership for all those involved. I spent several hours each day at SOMS, sorting, organizing and bagging the items. The response from our community was heartfelt, especially when many families fell upon hard times.”
SOMS has a mantra “hashtag-one-hawk-family” (#OneHawkFamily). This slogan encompasses the idea that faculty and staff are working together to meet the goals and needs of students and families.