Program Brings "Hope" to Smith Cotton Students

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SEDALIA - Smith Cotton school officials discussed the future of the Hope Program on Tuesday. The program benefits more than 13 percent of Sedalia students.

The Hope Program provides access to tutors, mentors, school supplies, transportation, free lunch and other educational services to district students classified as homeless.

Megan Davis used the program and she said it changed her life.

"I know I'm not going to live like the past 18 years of my life. This program has helped me get scholarships and grants so I can get through college," said Davis.

Assistant Superintendent Nancy Scott says the Hope Program makes classroom work the center of attention.

"If kids have to concentrate on things that should be provided to them, they can't concentrate on schoolwork," said Scott. "If they can be successful in school, they can be successful in life," she added.

The district classifies students as homeless who do not reside with a parent, live on couches of friends, stay in hotels or occupy substandard housing. Of the 4700 total students in the district, more than 500 students receive assistance from the Hope Program.

The program aims to identify student needs and provides support to those students.

For information on participating in the Hope Program, call the Sedalia District Office at 660-829-6463.