Bright Futures Trenton plans to start new initiatives and restart others. Co-coordinator Terri Critten highlighted the services and programs to come at the group’s Celebration and Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on October 22, 2021.
She explained Bright Futures has received five requests for beds in the district so far this school year. The group usually posts requests on its Facebook page, and it generally depends on gently used items. Critten said Bright Futures Trenton would like to be able to provide new beds, mattresses, and sets of bedding when there are requests.
Bright Futures Trenton has talked to the Bright Futures group at Gallatin about creating Beds for Bulldogs since the mascots for both schools are bulldogs.
Critten noted the groups are looking for organizations, businesses, or groups to provide items.
Bright Futures Trenton would also like to bring Christmas assistance to families “under one umbrella” like the Grundy County Back to School Event.
Critten commented the beauty of Bright Futures is being smarter with the resources available.
Critten encouraged anyone wanting to help with the bed and Christmas initiatives to contact a Bright Futures Trenton Advisory Board member, message the group on Facebook, or contact Critten or Co-coordinator Lynn Griffin.
Critten added that Bright Futures Trenton wants to bring back Lunch Buddies at Rissler Elementary School and the Terrific Kids service field trips after the first of the year. She said the Kiwanis Club sponsored the Terrific Kids program, and each month had a character trait.
Bright Futures Trenton initiatives were highlighted during the group’s Celebration and Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on October 22, 2021.
One of the programs discussed was Student Self-Care Bags at Trenton Middle School. Bright Futures Trenton Co-coordinator Lynn Griffin explained TMS teachers and counselors noticed last fall many students struggling with emotional health issues. She says they also noticed students had a hard time getting back into “the school groove.” The counselors asked Bright Futures if it would provide money to purchase items for self-care bags.
Griffin noted teachers said the bags worked well in deescalating tense situations and supporting a positive learning environment.
Another initiative highlighted was Weekend Food Packs. Griffin said there were five Rissler Elementary School students in 2020 who were eligible for Backpack Buddies. However, because of funding cuts with that program, the students would not be served. Bright Futures Trenton provided Rissler with weekend packs to fill the food insecurity gaps for those students.
Griffin also highlighted the Work for Success program for Trenton High School students. Bright Futures provides the framework for the program but not the funds. She reported that, in the past year, seven students logged 239 hours of work experience and were enrolled in 14 dual credit classes. Griffin believes students in Work for Success get valuable work experience.
A video by Trenton R-9 Instructional Coach Jill Watkins shown at the October 22 luncheon talked about other Bright Futures Trenton programs and services and how they impact youth.
It was noted 1,529 students were assisted with their basic needs in the 2020-2021 school year.
Bright Futures Trenton presented awards at its Celebration and Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on October 22, 2021.
The Partner of the Year was Wesley United Methodist Church. Bright Futures Trenton Advisory Board Secretary Kristi Harris said the church has been one of Bright Futures’ “dependable, faith-based partners since the beginning.”
There were two Champions of the Year: Adrianne Todd and Jackie Hoffman. Harris called the women “shoe angels” for Bright Futures.
Other volunteers were recognized at the October 22 luncheon as well as community members who have served Bright Futures Trenton in different ways.