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Backpack food program going well in Ripley

June 25, 2017
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

RIPLEY - The Ripley School Board of Education learned it was another successful year, providing food for students and their families in need.

At the June 15 meeting, math teacher Lisa Stonefoot gave board members a year-end report on the backpack food program. The total number of meals served this year was 8,320 Stonefoot said.

"This was the third year of Ripley's participation in the weekend backpack program," Stonefoot said, "and we were approved for 75 students this year. I thought that was phenomenal."

"Our regular weekly bags went out from October through today (June 15), and every family that participated got nutritious foods to eat over the summer," Stonefoot told the board.

Food which families received for the summer included canned vegetables, soup, and sauce, bags of rice, jars of peanut butter and jelly, fruit cups, boxes of macaroni and cheese, cartons of shelf stable milk, bags of spaghetti, cereal bowls, and juice boxes, Stonefoot explained.

Donations included 256 half gallons of juice from Cott Beverages of Dunkirk, 200 coupons for Tops milk from the Food Bank of Western New York, and bakery items from Tops in Mayville.

Technology coordinator Kimberly Oakes told board members that people take it upon themselves to work together to make sure the backpack program happens.

"What an amazing, collaborative team effort this is," Oakes said. "What started out as a project that I did has been embraced by so many people."

In other business, Curriculum coordinator Erin Wheeler and Adventure Program facilitator Kirk Carris gave the board an update on the Ripley Rod & Gun Club Adventure Program.

The partnership with the Rod & Gun Club was initiated by Dr. Ormsby as a way of expanding the Adventure Program board members learned earlier in the year. Each student was anticipated to go to the club once for an activity such as hiking, archery, fishing or snow-shoeing according to Ormsby.

Wheeler told board members that, "we did get all of the kids up there."

The kids participate in activities that involve risk, challenges and discovery, Wheeler said.

"We stretch the kids out of their comfort zone," she added. "Our students really enjoy this opportunity. They participated in archery, fishing, identification of trees, team building, nature skills, and survival skills.

"The kids learned to be prepared for anything."

"We intend to create a calendar of adventure experiences, we want to create a Ripley Adventure Club Guide, and we plan on having a 6th Grade Leadership/Teamwork challenge event at the end of August," Wheeler and Carris told the board.



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