Support for students appreciated

Published 9:29 pm Monday, April 8, 2019

When it comes to nonprofit and charitable efforts, most can agree that boosting children’s academic, emotional and social development is a top priority. Helping children become productive and engaged citizens ready to take on the world’s problems can be a big step toward making sure future generations are better off than we are.

That’s why the United Way of South Hampton Roads’ support of students in Suffolk Public Schools is so important. The organization held an event last week to review some of that support and announce yet another initiative that will help young people.

The group financially supports the school system’s LEAP summer school program for students in kindergarten through fifth grades. It also financially supports the LAUNCH summer school program for students in sixth through eighth grades.

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In these programs, students get the chance to advance academically. But they also get a wide variety of physical and enrichment opportunities from teachers as well as community volunteers who come in to share. In the district’s summer school programs, students get their exercise as well as the chance to discover new interests and opportunities that may provide the spark they need.

These programs also bring in vision, hearing, dental and behavioral screenings plus other services, which can also help students improve their well-being.

If that weren’t enough, United Way also announced the launch of a $5,000 student needs fund, which will help students who need, for example, new glasses or shoes. These kinds of funds are becoming increasingly more common not only in K-12 school divisions but also in higher education as more families struggle with the cost of necessities.

The United Way of South Hampton Roads is to be commended for its extraordinary commitment of resources to Suffolk Public Schools.