We recently talked with Monty Sabin, Board Member and Assistant Superintendent at NTPS, to learn more about his involvement with NTEF and how to best support students and families during this time. Enjoy our conversation below.
NTEF: How did you first become involved with NTEF? Monty: I joined NTEF when I began working for North Thurston Public Schools in the Fall of 2015. I serve as the primary point of contact between the Foundation and the District. It has been a wonderful group of people to be associated with during these past six years.
NTEF: What has been your experience as an educator during COVID-19 in terms of seeing the additional support students and families in the district need for remote learning? Monty: Even for students in the best of home environments, the learning challenges and the supports required have been significant. There has been a need for assistance for technology, connectivity and emotional health support.
NTEF: How do you think the community can best support the work of NTEF, and what are the most critical needs currently? Monty: The Foundation is always appreciative of donations of money and people’s time when they provide service. It appears the need has never been greater than now to provide support for families and their children that have struggled financially during the pandemic. They need support in various ways, such as supplies for their children and housing for their families.
NTEF: What are some hobbies and activities you enjoy in your spare time? Monty: I enjoy hiking, kayaking, exercising, reading non-fiction and spending time with my wife, Sonia.
In North Thurston Public Schools, there are currently 6,314 low-income students and 512 of these students are McKinney Vento students, meaning these students lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This definition also includes children and youth who share the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason.
At the same time, median U.S. household income is rising by 6.8%, and poverty rates are falling, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many households have more disposable income than ever due to canceled travel plans, less eating out, and recent stimulus checks.
So while many are doing better than ever, there are still many in need, and that gap is getting wider every day.The North Thurston Education Foundation is asking the community to do something to bridge the gap!
Between now and June 30, you can help meet a need today for students and families in North Thurston Public Schools who urgently need help with the basics such as paying rent, gas money, buying groceries and school supplies.
All dollars donated will go immediately into the community through one of the following programs administered by North Thurston Education Foundation:
Your donation will go directly toward supporting the nutrition needs of students in the evening and on weekends.
Students learning in multiple locations due to childcare needs, for example, alternating days at their grandparents/neighbors, may need more than one set of school supplies.
The return to in-person learning will require students to have a personal set of school supplies for in-person and a separate set at home. School supplies are significantly more expensive outside of the “back to school” sales season.
The cost of gas can prevent families from accessing the NTPS Family and Youth Resource Center resources and other community resources such as laundry, counseling, and food banks. Many students of all grades with IEPs are attending in-person learning. Rerouting bus service is like any change to a complex logistics network; it can take up to two weeks for a new transportation schedule. Having the most vulnerable students miss school for up to two weeks dramatically diminishes the likelihood of their return. Your donation will go directly toward gas cards for these vulnerable families.
Our Foundation will double your donation through a generous matching grant provided by Help Us Move In, a local non-profit that provides matching funds for rent and rental deposits. The eviction moratorium is scheduled to end soon, which leads to extraordinary uncertainty for thousands of low-income families.
Sponsor A Graduating Senior
We don’t know what graduation will look like for the Class of 2021, but we know they will want to wear a cap and gown, even for a drive-up ceremony and photos. However, many students cannot afford the cap and gown fee. Your donation can go directly toward Sponsoring a Senior.
The Foundation works directly with the Student Navigators at North Thurston Public Schools to provide resources to families in need. It is easy to give at ntef.org.
For more information, contact Mike Jones, North Thurston Education Foundation Executive Director by calling (360) 790-6548 or emailing [email protected].