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The Villages
Saturday, September 25, 2021

School Advisory Council makes Harbour View Elementary’s needs top priority

Harbour View Elementary School received some special gifts Thursday from members of its School Advisory Council – a group of caring people who are making the needs of the school a top priority.

Sue Bodenner, a member of the council and the Rotary Club of Villages, delivered six meal bags for families of the school. Members of the Rotary Club regularly pack the bags with items to provide three meals for everyone in those families. The Rotarians started the weekly deliveries of the food bags in January.

mike brown and sueJPG
School Advisory Council members Sue Bodenner and Michael Brown delivered meals and snacks to Harbour View Elementary School on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Advisory Council member Michael Brown delivered snacks provided by Earth Angels of Love Inc. to Principal Robert Hensel. They are for teachers to use as needed. This was the first delivery from the group, which is working on a plan to provide assistance in the upcoming school year.

Food needs for the families who have children at Harbour View Elementary, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, were discussed at a recent School Advisory Council meeting. Afterwards, both Bodenner and Brown went to their networks of volunteers to see how they could help.

“This support from both groups is appreciated by the staff and the families,” Hensel said. “Having these two volunteers on the School Advisory Council has been helpful because both are eager to understand our needs and brainstorm solutions in their separate networks.”

The School Advisory Council needs parents and community members to participate at quarterly meetings. The intention is to learn about the students test results, discuss barriers to improvement and then find ways to overcome the barriers.

“A robust SAC only happens when there is participation of parents and community members and would positively support student success,” Bodenner said.

Added Brown: “We discussed how hungry students find it hard to focus and function in the learning environment and a variety of approaches to help.”

After the meeting, Brown went to his co-workers at the Department of Justice and connected with DeAngela Beasley-Knight of Earth Angels of Love. Co-workers made donations and items that teachers wanted on hand for quick snacks were purchased.

Bodenner went back to her Rotary Club and explained the need and received a thumbs up to help. Susie Fister, a guidance counselor at Harbor View Elementary, connected with Bodenner about families that had extraordinary food needs not being met.

“We worked out a plan and Rotary has been coming every Thursday since,” Fister said. “The families have shared their appreciation of the extra help.”

Everyone involved views this as a great example of collaboration, thanks to the involvement on the School Advisory Council.’

“Members of the Summerfield community and parents of our students are strongly encouraged to get involved,” Hensel said. “We have a diverse group of students and if our SAC reflects the school family and the community, it would make a great impact.”

The first School Advisory Council meeting of the year focused on students with autism. The discussion led to specific needs for awareness that are slowly being addressed. The next meeting will include discussion of the unique learning barriers of English language learners.

If you are interested in more information, contact Hensel at (352) 671-6110.

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