DALLAS TWP. — Dallas School District will roll out a Dinner for Kids program early next year, according to school board members.
Dinner for Kids is a nonprofit program that provides two meals per child three times a week to families struggling financially, Dr. Thomas Duffy, Dallas School District superintendent said at Monday’s school board meeting.
“Our demographic is changing; we do have many students in need,” Duffy said. “Our reduced lunch population is over 24 percent.”
The school district identified 40 students for the program’s roll-out in January or February, he said.
Norbert Swithers, the home school visitor at Dallas School District, is working with Luzerne County Children and Youth to iron out details. The program will involve community support, including food provided by Metz & Associates LTD in Dallas and food preparation at Misericordia University in Dallas.
St. Therese’s Church in Shavertown and Gate of Heaven in Dallas are “actively looking for volunteers to drive the vehicle to deliver the meals,” Colleen Slocum, school board president, said.
“There will be one church volunteer and one from Misericordia University,” she said.
Dinner for Kids was started in 2011 by Dave Tevet, owner of Ollie’s American Restaurant in Edwardsville, to fill a need in the Wyoming Valley West School District, Slocum said.
In other news…
• Madison Hurst, a junior at Dallas High School, proposed an idea to add one junior and one senior student as non-voting members to the school board.
“It would provide the school board feedback on how their policies affect students and make students feel like they are part of the decision-making process,” Hurst said.
Hurst added that North Pocono School District has implemented a similar program.
School board members Larry Schuler, Pat Musto and Grant Palfey saw value in the idea but noted additional research is needed to determine how executive sessions involving sensitive employee issues would be handled.
Slocum said she would call North Pocono School District to learn how the district incorporated students onto the school board.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 11 in the district’s administration building.