Knox County community schools staying open during fall break

Oct. 11, 2016: It's fall break for thousands of students in East Tennessee, but four Knox County community schools are staying open to give students access to meals and a safe place to stay during the break.

More than 60,000 students are out of school for Knox County Schools’ fall break this week, leaving some low-income students to risk missing meals they depend on.

Knox County Schools says more than 25,800 low-income students currently qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches.

It’s partially why four Knox County community schools - Norwood, New Hopewell, Lonsdale, and Northwest Elementries - are staying open during the fall break, offering meals and a week of learning activities.

"We're able to provide breakfast and a snack for these kids during this week that they're here, but a big part of it is just giving them activities to do from 7:30 a.m. to 6 in the evening,” said Jordan Frye, a resource coordinator with Great Schools Partnership.

Frye said 80 percent of the students at Norwood Elementary are at an economic disadvantage.

It's one of 52 Knox County schools that qualify for free and reduced lunches for all students during the school year, but when school is out many of them risk missing those meals.

In addition to free breakfasts and snacks for the kids, activities range from computer science to arts and crafts for more than 100 students. Great Schools Partnership encourages those students to bring a lunch if they can.

Organizers say the program is for students who attend those community schools, and who are already members of a local Boys and Girls Club. 

It's not the only program tending to kids over the break. The Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Center says it is providing lunches for 1,000 students at local Boys and Girls Clubs.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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