Back to School Picnic

Back to School Picnic 2015

At our Annual Back to School Picnic on Sunday the 23rd, we celebrated with our current and former residents the start of the new school year, which for some has begun and for others is right around the corner. With non-stop sunshine, a Moon-bounce, field games, crafts, face-painting, and more, it was a fun and festive day! Donations were abundant, enabling us to prepare 115 backpacks filled with grade-appropriate supplies to pass out to our school-aged current and former families.

According to the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, “lack of supplies” is something that 30 percent of homeless students claim to be one of the top challenges that they face while attending school. Because many of our families live below the poverty line, they cannot afford the expense of school supplies. Take this reality into consideration: According to the Living Wage Calculation for Montgomery County, Maryland, a single parent with two children working full time (2080 hours per year) must earn $31.01 per hour to make a “living wage.” To make a “poverty wage” they would need to make $9.00 an hour. Many of our parents earn minimum wage, recently increased to $8.25, and therefore, do not have the means to purchase school supplies for their children.

Because of the enthusiastic support of many community partners, congregations, social organizations, and individuals we are able to provide resources to our families during their time at Stepping Stones and even after they leave. School supplies are just one small example of those resources.

A big thanks goes out to all those who donated supplies, prepared food for the picnic, and volunteered the day of the event to help us help our families start the school year off on the right foot.