The Stewart’s Foundation in Saratoga Springs recently donated $1,800 worth of gift cards to the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services Title I program to help provide much needed supplies to the over 700 students in St. Lawrence and Lewis counties who have been identified as homeless.
St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES in Canton was awarded a three-year grant by the state Department of Education to assist the 18 school districts’ students who are living in temporary housing or are homeless. The grant is funded under the Education Department, through the McKinney Vento Homeless Education Consortium that are administered and served directly by BOCES.
With 14,000 students in St. Lawrence County, and over 700 students identified as homeless, many of the school districts are burdened by limited resources and a lack of access to transportation.
Additionally, there are no local shelters to address the families in need of housing and services in this area. Families often find themselves doubled up and relocating with friends and family members.
St. Lawrence County is one of the poorest rural counties in the state with unemployment rates over 17 percent. To date, more than 50 percent of the students attending school in St. Lawrence County receive free or reduced lunches. The Stewarts donation will help provide school supplies, snacks, book bags and more to those students who have been identified as in need.