Slackwood Elementary School is a small suburban K-3 Title I school located in Lawrenceville, NJ, between Princeton and Trenton. We have 285 students from a very diverse population. Between 50-60 percent of our families do not speak English in their homes and about 40% are on free/reduced lunch status. These numbers are given so people who don't know us have some background about our school and community, but these numbers by no means define our community.
What I'm about to write about now defines the community that is Slackwood.
This year, and really every year, the Slackwood family provides holiday gifts for families in need. OUR families. This was a record year for need. This year we had a record number of families (36) receive gifts for the holidays and children (84). That's right, thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Seaman, our school counselor who coordinates the gift program, 84 children have presents under their tree that they might not have had. These presents were donated by staff, community members, local churches and anyone Mrs. Seaman can talk to. Staff from our school donated presents for 55 of these students. Let me say that again 84 children will have presents under the tree thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Seaman and the kindness and generosity of the Slackwood Community.
I tell this story because at this time of year we are supposed to talk about what we are most thankful for. I am thankful every day that I get to work with such golden-hearted people in a community that gives and gives and gives to our children.
Oh....and one more thing I forgot to mention. Mrs. Seaman also coordinates a backpack program for about 90 of our students where every other week they get food sent home to support their needs. This food comes to us through grants that Mrs. Seaman has written and from our local food bank. Every other week when the food is delivered on a pallet, Mrs. Seaman and a community volunteer sort and distribute the food for the families. Again, 90 Families receiving food for their homes.
So this holiday season remember to give something back. Even if it's just loose change in a bucket at the shopping center. Help those in need. Our kids need us to show them the kindness, compassion and empathy that we expect them to learn.
Thank you to the Slackwood Family for all that do for our students and families. Remember, they are: Your Students, My Students, Our Students.