Our families aren’t faces on a postcard from somewhere around the world.
They’re in school with your children.
They’re in front of you in line.
They’re your neighbors.
As of 2016, District 5 (D5) serves a student population of 17,168. 6,073 students are eligible for free or reduced meals. This need indicator reveals a startling 35% of D5 students live in households which struggle to provide basic necessities. This percentage has dramatically increased since the 2000-2001 academic school year, when just 15% of D5 students were eligible for free and reduced lunch. Though the total number of students in the district has only increased by almost 2,500 students since the 2001 academic school year, the total number of students eligible for free and reduced lunches has dramatically increased by almost 4,000 students. Families are struggling to meet their basic needs. According to the U.S. Department of Education, poverty’s long-term effect on students’ emotional development can be devastating:
“People in poverty often have internalized their poverty as a personal deficiency. They see no hope for anything but an insufficient welfare or disability check, or underground activities that barely pay enough to keep food on the table and often result in incarceration…. Poverty affects educational success, health, relationships, and most of all, it affects the ability for humans to develop to their full potential.”In partnership with D5 social workers, Acts Metro seeks to empower and give hope to many of D5’s at-risk students and their families. Equipping families to create safe, healthy, and spiritually connected homes does not happen solely by meeting their material needs. While Acts Metro does, indeed, meet these needs by connecting families with appropriate resources, the program places a strong priority on the emotional health and well-being of both adults and children by providing programs to help them heal, grow, and move forwards successfully. We accept social worker referrals of families in need of our assistance from all 22 schools in D5.