Bright Futures

Bright Futures celebrates success stories
Posted on 11/02/2016

Chartwells School Dining Services announced it has opted to take over the long-standing Backpacks for Friday program for the Bread Shed during the third annual Bright Futures symposium on Friday, Oct. 28, at the Gamma HealthCare Conference Center.

The reinstated program will supply district families in need with food for the weekend beginning on New Year’s Day, according to Food Services Director Dixie Harden. ‘Mule Packs’ is just one of many programs being coordinated under the Bright Futures umbrella that was highlighted at the event.

“With a lever this large, we can move the world,” stated Poplar Bluff R-I Superintendent Scott Dill before an estimated audience of 125, including district personnel, parents, business leaders, church officials and partners in the social services sector.

Run by R-I social workers, Bright Futures Poplar Bluff is a nonprofit that, through community partnerships, helps to meet the basic physical needs of students so they can focus on academics. The district became affiliated with the national organization headquartered in Joplin in 2014.

Each school within the district has a site council that works to identify the specific needs of their student body. Council members reported about some of the program successes such as the Red Bookshelf Project organized at Oak Grove Elementary and the free senior photos a philanthropist offered at the Graduation Center.

Lake Road Site Council member Raymond Webb said that he arranged to give a basketball to each student in the Basketball Club, one of many organizations that elementary students could now choose to join during Club Day. “It’s small to some, but to those kids it’s a real big deal,” said Webb, who is the assistant manager at Wal-Mart.

“Intelligence isn’t the obstacle to graduation, life is,” added High School Principal Mike Kiehne, who announced that librarian Marcia Priest has started a Giving Closet with clothing and other items.

“They’re not asking for thousands and thousands of dollars,” noted Eugene Field Site Council member Michelle Shelton, human resources manager at Briggs & Stratton. “They’re asking for little things… It truly does make a difference.”

To learn how to get involved, ‘like’ Bright Futures Poplar Bluff on Facebook.


Cutline: Maclaren Moore of O’Neal Elementary watches an introductory video about the Bright Futures program.

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