Batesville nonprofit creates network to assist local families in - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Batesville nonprofit creates network to assist local families in need

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BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) – It can be hard for kids to focus at school when certain needs are unable to be met at home.

That's why a new nonprofit group has partnered with the Batesville School District to help remove some of those barriers.

Different people in Batesville have come together this school year to create what's called the Coordinated Care Network, or CCN.

"Our goal is really to meet exceptional needs of children and families in our school district," Sandy Daniels said.

Daniels serves as the Batesville school-based mental health coordinator and psychology specialist, but also volunteers for the CCN.

To meet the "exceptional needs" expressed by students, the group starts by getting referrals from school staff members.

"Once that's done," Daniels said, "then we go to work to try to figure out how to best meet the need."

Daniels can send out a call for help through a mass email throughout the community to people known as Pioneer Partners.

"We have churches that assist us. We have community organizations that assist us," she said. "We have individual people who assist us."

One of the biggest sources of help has come from the district's own teachers, Daniels says. Some of them have agreed to donate a portion of their paychecks each month to an account that the group can use when an immediate need arises.

"Really and truly if a child's basic needs are met, then they're not going to reach their fullest potential," Daniels said. "Teachers are all about trying to do whatever it takes for a child to be their best."

The group has so far provided students with everything from school supplies to clothing to even temporary housing after a residential fire.

"You'd be amazed at how many people are willing to help when they know that it's a need within their own community," Daniels said, "especially a child in the school that they're able to do something to help that child's situation."

She says that other schools could easily replicate what Batesville has done to help its students in need, just as long as they have people willing to do some extra work to coordinate all the requests and responses.

The group hopes to grow its network of partners so that it can keep assisting local students and families in need.

Anyone with questions about the nonprofit and/or its operations is asked to call the Batesville School District's Office of Special Programs at 870-612-1716.

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