Jessica Huizenga, Superintendent
100 West St.
Milford, NH 03055
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Sept. 20, 2019
Media Contact: Jordan Mayblum
Email: [email protected]
Milford Schools Working to Expand Wraparound Services for Students in Need
MILFORD — A number of school administrators and newly-added social workers paid a visit to SHARE Outreach this week as the Milford School District looks to connect students and families in need with essential resources.
SHARE is a Milford-based organization that provides various wraparound services to residents, including filling in gaps for food and clothing, as well as access to employment or housing resources and more. On Wednesday, Sept. 18, several representatives from the school district visited SHARE to tour its facility.
“What we’re really looking to do is make this system of support and wraparound services more systematic,” Superintendent Jessica Huizenga said. “This is the first of many elements, but SHARE is an invaluable community partner and expanding our collaboration will ultimately help give our students and families the tools they need to thrive.”
The Milford School District has worked with SHARE in the past, but this year the partnership will expand as the schools explore ways to provide more holistic support to students and their families.
“We all have a common goal of making sure kids are living in environments where they are set up for success, and we are excited to extend and formalize our partnership with the Milford School District,” SHARE Executive Director Chris Janson said. While SHARE offers a lot of tangible resources, it really becomes a place of hope — holding hands with people who need an extra bit of help getting things ‘on track.’ Together with the team from the schools, I believe we can be a catalyst for some powerful changes and opportunities for families.”
As part of the ongoing and growing collaboration, school staff who work directly with students from low-income backgrounds shop at the SHARE food pantry on the childrens’ behalf. In addition, the district’s newly-added social workers will take on the responsibility of working directly with families to better understand their needs and connect them with SHARE and other community and state support programs, as appropriate.
“These kinds of partnerships and services help us ensure that we’re doing everything we can to support our families both inside and outside of school, and its our social workers who are ensuring our families are getting every kind of support that’s available,” Director of Special Services Mike Hatfield said. “It’s important for kids to share their struggles, because we know kids can’t be successful without having their basic needs — like food, shelter and clothing — met.
The relationship between the Milford School District and SHARE is a symbiotic one, according to Hatfield, who noted that growing engagement among the district’s students in organizing and executing on plans to give back to SHARE.
“SHARE is a great example of the entire community coming together to support students,” Assistant Superintendent Christi Michaud said. “Ultimately, these programs and supports are meant to help foster independence and give the families who need a helping hand the opportunity to lift themselves up.”