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and Randi Pierce
The Archuleta County Department of Human Services (DHS) is providing school supplies for all kindergarten through eighth-grade students for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.
According to a press release from Pagosa Springs Elementary School Principal Kate Lister, parents will not need to budget for children’s school supplies this year; just a backpack will be needed.
This is a continuation of human services’ mission to promote self-sufficiency in our community by helping children succeed in school, which will prepare them for self-sufficiency and job readiness, Lister informed.
According to the press release, research shows that children who succeed in school have higher self-esteem and are more likely to succeed in employment settings.
The funding for the school supplies is coming out of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) allocations, stated Matt Dodson, director of DHS.
Historically, not all of the TANF funding was being used, Dodson explained. Since supporting student’s academic success is important to DHS, the department looked into ways to use the TANF funding to help bolster education efforts.
The county found that its decision to use some of that funding to provide school supplies for students goes hand-in-hand with TANF’s four main goals, which are as follows:
• “Provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes.
• “Reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage.
• “Prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
• “Encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.”
Dodson stated that the county chose to “throw a wide net,” to serve as many kids as possible, and that by easing the financial burden on parents, the TANF funding will be used to serve “the community in the best way possible.”
Ensuring that students in kindergarten through eighth-grade have the proper supplies can help students focus solely on their education, thereby helping prepare students to enter the workforce and discouraging against promiscuous behavior.
“Our school district administration and staff would like to thank Archuleta County Human Services for helping to support our local families in such a tangible way. We would also like to thank the Archuleta County Commissioners for supporting this worthwhile project. Hats off to the great organizations in our town that recognize our difficult economic times and want to do all they can to help our amazing kids and parents today and help prepare them for the future,” Lister’s release states.