Niangua may be a small town, but the community and school district is filled with parents with big hearts. Students may in fact be at the very center of those hearts, especially the ones in need. Recently, the Niangua TLC program received a grant to provide new tools for the school nurse.
“Essentially our purpose (TLC) is to support the children within our school district, to ensure they have the means or access to recourses, to have what they need for a safe and fun childhood,” explained Chaelynn Huitink Co-President of Niangua TLC, who is in her second year as a volunteer with the organization.
“We applied for a grant through Community Foundation of the Ozarks; the Coover Grant. We applied for the grant at the request of Nurse Julie, at the school, to purchase new hearing and vision testing equipment,” shared Huitink.
According to Huitink, the equipment will be replacing outdated items as well as adding some new tools to the nurses tool belt: new audiology and vision equipment.
“The otoscope she (the nurse) had was outdated and didn’t work well. With the new one she will be able to check in kiddos ears to see if they have an ear infection,” Huitink shared.
Niangua TLC meets needs for kids in the Niangua school district throughout the year. “A lot of times we find out about needs through our nurse, teachers, Mrs. Allen (elementary principle) or Mr. Hume (superintendent),” shared Huitink. “If something comes up they let us know; teachers have reached out for things like winter coats. We had some boys on the baseball team that needed cleats.”
“How do we determine if we meet that need or not? It’s not always ‘oh yes’. One of the teachers asked for a new freezer for the class room. We weren’t able to cover that expense outright, however, we tapped into our grant expert Judy Assad and she began the application process right away. If it comes to students, if they need clothing or food, if it’s an immediate need and it’s a necessity, especially if it comes to safety or well being, we will meet that need,” explained Huitink.
The Niangua TLC is funded through fundraisers, grants and personal donations from the community. If you would like to make a donation to help the Niangua TLC continue to meet the needs of students in Niangua you can mail a check to Niangua Schools: Niangua TLC at 301 Rumsey Street Niangua, MO 65713.
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