CONNIE WOODARD

USD 413 public relations

They work quietly from classroom offices within Chanute Public Schools, checking on student needs, offering a welcoming smile, and encouraging them to come to school every day. These site coordinators make connections between schools and community organizations that have resources to help. One agency provides dental services inside the schools, while others provide shoes, snacks or coats, or donate “incentives” or rewards for students who meet personal attendance goals. These services represent what Communities in Schools looks like to Chanute students and families.

This year, Communities in Schools of Mid-America is celebrating 25 years of supporting students through its founding belief that keeping students in school improves their chances of being successful and graduating from high school. In honor of this quarter-century anniversary, CIS of Mid-America decided to hold a community-wide supply drive for the students in the communities they serve. On Saturday, the “25 Drive” will be held for Chanute Public Schools.

“This year is unconventional – so is the need from our students,” said Jessica Peña, development and events manager with Communities In Schools of Mid-America. “We are using this drive to bring our students, teachers and families the materials they need this year.” 

The 25 Drive in Chanute is scheduled from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm Saturday in the parking lot of Chanute High School, 1501 W. 36th Street. Volunteers will be collecting a variety of “high needs” items for students, such as hygiene supplies, shoes, boys underwear, sweatpants, shorts, coats and shelf-stable foods and snacks.

The Site Coordinators who encourage students, check on their grades and provide support services in Chanute include Sarah Stockebrand at Chanute High School, Brenna Snider at Royster Middle School, and Angie VanLeeuwen at Chanute Elementary.

Stockebrand identified some specific needs this year at CHS, including adult-sized tennis shoes, hooded sweatshirts, joggers, leggings, travel-sized deodorants, and non-perishable snacks and food items.

At the middle school, Snider recommended non-perishable snack items, shampoo and conditioner, and hair accessories such as hair ties and headbands.  

All items collected will support the students at Chanute High School, Royster Middle School and Chanute Elementary School, Peña said.

CDC COVID-19 precautions will be taken at the CIS 25 Drive using a contactless drive-through zone. Drivers will stay in their cars and volunteers will collect items using bins. 

Join CIS at the 25 Drive for Chanute students, she added, and celebrate 25 years of being #AllInForKids!

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