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Families Plus helps kids gear up for school

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Summer vacation is winding to a close. In a few short weeks, it will be time to put away summer fun and replace it with school -- waking up early, catching the bus, and attending classes. Not to worry -- school will provide a lot of interesting experiences and set children on the path to success. To be successful at school, however, children need backpacks and school supplies. Toward that end, Families Plus, a local nonprofit, helps provide those essentials to the approximately 60 children enrolled in its program. Every year, participants in the program receive the backpacks and supplies at the agency's annual picnic held on the last Friday before school starts. This year the picnic will be held on Friday, Aug. 19. This support is aligned with the Families Plus mission to help each child in Delta County to grow into educated, happy and productive adults.

"Our children typically live in families which are struggling with a variety of challenges that include economic and mental/physical health challenges. These challenges oftentimes feel overwhelming," said Toni Pearson, business manager for the organization. "This event helps alleviate the stress of starting school."

Families Plus was established in Delta County in 1998 by Dr. Brenda Holland to respond to the psychological needs of children in this area who were experiencing deteriorating economic, emotional and health-related challenges. The Families Plus model is built on the Wrap Around concept of wrapping professional counseling services with mentoring to meet each child's individual needs. This model exists nowhere else in the United States.

If you would like to help Families Plus provide backpacks and/or school supplies, or receive information on other ways you can help, please call Families Plus at 874-0464 or email familiespluscolorado@gmail.com.

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