Along with 14 other southwest Missouri school districts, the Shell Knob School District received a $7,200 donation through the Silver Dollar City (SDC) Foundation's Care For Kids Program this year.
School districts, including Shell Knob, also received donations in the amount of $3,000 from Woodland Hills Church in Branson. The church's pastor serves on the Foundation's Board of Directors.
On Sept. 12, SDC Foundation President John Baltes distributed the donations to school districts serving children in Taney and Stone counties and announced that the foundation will continue the Care For Kids program an additional five years.
"We are pleased to extend Care For Kids for another five years, because we know how much those funds help kids in need - providing clothing, eyeglasses, wheelchairs, medical care, food, school supplies and emergency supplies," said Baltes. "School teachers and counselors see such needs but cannot spend school funds to meet them, so we partner with the schools to provide the funds to help. Nearly 2,000 kids have been helped by Care For Kids in the past year alone.
"If a child is in pain or homeless or hungry, too cold to concentrate or can't see or hear, he can't learn," said Baltes. "So we want to take care of those physical needs first, and we give the schools these Care For Kids funds at the beginning of the school year so they can act immediately to meet those needs."
Care For Kids funds have even been used to help families pay for electric costs, which helps administrators build positive relationships with both students and parents.
The program also facilitates mentoring programs with the help of area churches and volunteers. Over 250 volunteers from 77 churches have been certified through the Care For Kids training program.
This year, the SDC Foundation distributed $142,800. Care For Kids has donated a total of $567,000 to school districts since the program was launched in 2006.