Spartan News: Taking care of kids’ needs under all circumstances.

April 14, 2020

Spartan News: Taking care of kids’ needs under all circumstances.

Spartan News is a service of Mason County Central Schools in coordination with Mason County Press.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — During normal times, Mason County Central’s Denise Jones keeps pretty busy making sure students with economic and social challenges are taken care of. Among the many titles she has, she is the regional coordinator and liaison for homeless education and student support services coordinator.

Her office, located adjacent to the Central Business Office, is full of clothing, personal care items and food to help students in need. Since the closing of the school on March 16, the office has remained open, offering curbside food pantry services Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Alternative times can be scheduled.

“I am serving pre-packed bags of groceries – with our kids in mind – through a walk up, pick up window created specifically to serve our families’ necessary food and personal care items,” Jones said. She said she takes the social distancing recommendations very seriously and wears gloves and a mask. Bags are set on a table outside the office window and then Jones keeps her distance.

“Denise serves many of our community’s most vulnerable population,” Superintendent Jeff Mount said. “Her big heart drives her efforts to see that our homeless students get their basic needs met. Even when face to face contact at schools is forbidden.  Her services have continued despite the COVID-19 crisis. She stays connected with them  and food distribution happens each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  She and the services she provides under the McKeney-Vento Homeless Act are an important part of MCC’s Continuity of Learning Plan where we focus on keeping our students at the center of our efforts.  Including outreach to build and maintain our connections, and to help them feel safe.”

The office is also accepting donations of groceries, cleaning supplies, personal care items, gift cards/money, and toilet paper. Donations can also be handled curbside.

“I do miss the kids,” Jones said. “I am working on contacting them to see what I can do to assist.”

For more information, call 231-757-3471 or email [email protected].

This story is copyrighted © 2020, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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