In 2017, the FSSD Executive Parent Teacher Organization, which is comprised of the PTO leaders of the eight schools of the Franklin Special School District began exploring better ways to engage community organizations and resources in support of students and families with critical needs. Although Williamson County schools generally have a 10-11% free and reduced lunch population, the FSSD schools’ free and reduced lunch population is around 40%, with some individual schools as high as 50%. Children who arrive at school without their basic needs met are not in the best position to learn. Immediate daily needs can range from improper or inadequate clothing, inappropriate shoes for physical education classes, missing supplies, and hunger.
To address this issue and take some of the pressure off of school staff working diligently to meet the needs of all students, the FSSD Executive PTO, working in collaboration with the administrators, counselors and teachers in the district are establishing a resource center that will provide shoes, socks, underwear, and jackets that can be delivered by a volunteer on demand at the request of a nurse, counselor or social worker. One Gen Away, a local non-profit dedicated to providing emergency food service to those in need via mobile pantries has generously offered to provide space for the NOOK, at no cost to the district, in their warehouse located close to The Factory at Franklin.
The mission of this resource center, the “N.O.O.K.” (Needs Of Our Kids), is to support school staff in the Franklin Special School District and the schools of Williamson County as they work to ensure that all students enter the classroom ready to learn and succeed by achieving their individual potential.
The NOOK team is working to be fully operational by January 8, 2018 and is looking for community partners interested in supporting this work. If you are interested in supporting the NOOK, please contact Jenn Morrison at email@example.com.