WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Emphasis – February 10

Feb 10, 2012

Jason Parrott’s guest is Russ Derr, who is the principal at Wells Carey and George Washington Elementary Schools.  They talk about the Weekend Backpack Nutrition program in Keokuk.

Students within the Keokuk School District are in the midst of a 3 ½ day weekend due to parent-teacher conferences.

Derr says students in homes where there is not a lot of food have learned to make it through a regular weekend before they can return for breakfast on Monday morning.

He says the extra time off makes it more difficult for students to get by.

Derr says that is where the Weekend Backpack Nutrition program comes in.

He says K-5 students in the Free/Reduced lunch program were given a plastic bag, Thursday afternoon, which items such as cereal, fruit cups, Vienna sausage, and crackers.

Derr says the idea is to give the students some extra nutrition that they can just open and eat.

This is the first of three weekends for the program during the 2011/2012 school year.  There was one weekend last year.

Derr says the program came out of the education committee for the Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce.  It is funded through an initial grant and community donations.