October 22, 2012

To Whom It May Concern,

Before we had our “Blessings”, our attendance on Mondays was very low. We would have about 10% of our population absent on Mondays. Since the program has blossomed, we have around 98% of students in school on Mondays. At the end of the school year, our ADM for the year was 97.95%. This was the 2nd largest of all of the elementary buildings (King School being #1).

Having food to eat over the weekend, sustained the children enough so they were well nourished and able to come to the school ready to learn on Monday.

When the 2011-2012 school year began, Helen Arnold received an Academic rating of “Academic Watch” from the Ohio Department of Education. Our Performance Index was 73.7%. If we went any lower this school year, (69.9%) we would fall into “Academic Emergency”. It is very easy for scores to decline when students are not coming to school prepared, coming late, or even coming hungry. Because of your program, we started the 2012-2013 school year with the state rating of 80.3% which makes us “Continuous Improvement”. In addition, we also moved into “ABOVE” status on the state’s Value Added score. This means that we made MORE than 1 year’s growth in our scores.

We are truly grateful to Blessings in a Backpack for providing “BLESSINGS” to our students each week. You should see their faces when the bags are delivered to classrooms on Fridays. It is like a kiddo receiving a large bag of candy. I never knew how much pudding, crackers, and oatmeal, just to name a few items, could make such a huge difference in the lives of our children.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you