Living Stones Church is hosting a school outreach initiative called, “Stuff the Bus,” to meet the needs of two nearby inner-city elementary schools, Libby Booth and Mt. Rose. Both schools serve a large percentage of low-income families in the city.
Libby Booth Elementary is a Title 1 school zoned for much of the downtown area including shelters and motels. Approximately thirty percent of the student population is classified as CIT (children in transition), meaning that they are staying in a shelter, a motel or doubled up with another family.
In addition, 100% of the school qualifies for free or reduced lunch as a majority of the families are at, or below the poverty level. Because school supplies are supplemented through Title 1 funding, Living Stones will be providing families with winter clothes and hygiene products.
Mt. Rose Elementary is located in the midtown district and is zoned for part of downtown, including eight weekly motels. Though approximately half of the student population is either at or below the poverty level, they do not qualify for Title 1 assistance which would provide additional federal funds. Living Stones is looking to fill that gap by providing school supplies for these students who would otherwise not have them.
“Due to stressors such as not knowing where they will be staying at night, or not having basic supplies, many students tend to experience a lot of difficulties at school with forming relationships, misbehavior, and even aggression,” says Vanessa Olivera, Community in Schools Coordinator for Libby Booth.
Craig Parish, Pastor of Missions and Outreach at Living Stones, met with principals and other district officials to decide the most effective way to serve each school.
“We want to do what we can to alleviate some of the stress off these kids,” says Parish, “school might be the only safe place they visit during the week.”
Living Stones invites the community to help support these two local schools by donating the following:
Winter Clothes: New or used winter clothing of all sizes for adults, kids, and babies. This includes jackets, sweatshirts, pants, gently used shoes, and new socks and underwear.
New/Unopened Hygiene Products: Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant.
School Supplies: Crayola crayons, #2 pencils, staples, EXPO markers and glue sticks.
“By coming together as a community, we can meet the practical needs of families in our neighborhood,” adds Parish, “it can be as simple as buying a new box of crayons.”
To participate, please drop off materials at the school bus parked in front of Living Stones, located at 444 S. Sierra Street, during any of the services at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 12.
In addition to the supply drive, Living Stones is committing $11,000 and a volunteer work day to complete improvement projects for each school. Dolan Auto Group has generously contributed funds toward these projects. Area businesses are invited to join in this community initiative.
Founded in 2003, Living Stones Church continues to build up a community of Christ-followers to be in the city, for the city. We are committed to teaching about the person and of Jesus Christ and serving our neighborhoods, city, and the world, motivated by biblical principles. Living Stones has locations in Reno, Sparks, Elko, and Carson City, Nevada and Truckee, California. For more information, please visit www.livingstoneschurches.com or call us directly at 775-622-9772.
Miriam Hodgman is originally from San Francisco. She previously was the communications coordinator for the largest hunger-relief organization in Sonoma County, California. She has a bachelor’s degree in American history, with a minor in American Indian studies, from San Francisco State University, and has a master’s degree in public administration from Sonoma State University. She enjoys training a variety of martial arts.