Families who live in poverty have few choices about where they live, who their neighbors are, and where their children attend school. Many poor families are unable to afford notepaper, books, or activities that promote learning. Special fees for art supplies, science labs, or team sports may be out of reach; and poor children have far less access than others to computers. Poverty can bring a quiet sense of shame for children and their families.
During the 2019-2020 school year ACT (Area Churches Together) Packs were distributed to over 185 elementary school children each weekend and on school holidays. Over 650 cases were provided to four elementary schools in Salem and three elementary schools in western Roanoke County. $1,300 in emergency financial assistance was also provided to support at-risk students.
In addition, we donated over 700 books to students in need. Many students do not have books at home. Age appropriate books, such as dot-to-dot, word search and puzzles books are provided as well as new or used books.
We provide personal hygiene packets (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, brush, lip balm, facial tissues, soap, shampoo, nail file) that will allow the children to come to school well groomed.
And, we distributed school supplies (rulers, pencils, notebooks, paper, and other items) that are also essential for many students.