Learning and summer nutrition in Kingston | ShareNet

On June 15, ShareNet did its last food delivery of the regular school year to our four local public schools.

On June 15, ShareNet did its last food delivery of the regular school year to our four local public schools.

Our volunteers and our food stock get a week off, and then we will serve 90 children per week at Wolfle Elementary School’s summer session through July 15.

After July 15, our Food to Grow On program will adjourn for the summer, and local group Food for Kids will fund packs for many of the same families for the balance of the summer.

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is also operating a USDA meal site this summer — noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday from June 20 to Aug. 19 — at the Tribe’s community center at 31912 Little Boston Road. All are welcome, and the program includes free lunch for every child 18 and younger. Adult meals are available for only $4.

In addition to the take-home food packs provided by ShareNet for Wolfle’s Summer Experience, free breakfast will be available at the school from 8:45-9:15 a.m. to all children 18 and younger. This program is also available to all children and is sponsored by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, USDA, and the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

We are fortunate the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is operating these programs, because a visit to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website indicates the next closest site to Kingston is View Ridge Elementary School in Bremerton. Apparently, no USDA sites are operating in Poulsbo or elsewhere in the north end this season.

These programs are really important to families who utilize free and reduced lunches during the school year, and Food to Grow On. Typically, participating families fall within the ALICE acronym for studying poverty: Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, and Employed.

The Wolfle Summer Experience “offers students a way to keep learning in a different context from the regular school year,” session principal Kelly Daniels said, including “more culturally relevant activities, but still with literacy and mathematics at the core. This gives students the idea that learning is important, valuable, and even fun.”

Funding for the session is somewhat different than in previous years. Wolfle has again received grant funds from the Discuren Foundation, but the North Kitsap School District has also recognized the value of this program and contributed funds.

“I was asked to take this job when the former principal was unavailable for the summer,” Daniels said. “I had not taught in the summer, except as a substitute, before taking this on. It was a steep learning curve. Things are somewhat easier the third time around.”

Daniels has been a classroom teacher for more than 20 years. She has taught K-6 as well as marine science. She is a technology leader and has a Google tablet pilot classroom. Wolfle’s Summer Experience is her first go as an administrator.

Daniels and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Family Assistance program manager Stacy Mills report that it is with great excitement the children receive their food packs through Food To Grow On.

We are fortunate to live in a community where a lot of residents care about supporting kids in need.

— Mark Ince is executive director of ShareNet. Contact him at sharenet    director@centurytel.net.