RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) – A resource to connect students with the help they need outside of the classroom launched in a Miami Valley school district, now school leaders need the community to get involved.
A website called Neighborhood Bridges launched at Mad River Local Schools in Riverside on September 20. Now anyone, anywhere can see what’s needed, fulfill that request, and make a difference for a student.
“We do have lower income poverty students, there are students who may be technically homeless or couch surfing,” Neighborhood Bridges Mad River Area Director Brittany Heckman said.
Mad River district officials approached Heckman, a mother of two boys and active volunteer in the school community, to lead the site’s launch.
“I couldn’t wait to help, to get started,” Heckman said.
Requests come from advocates in the schools, such as teachers, principals or counselors, who notice their students have a need that’s getting in the way of their success in the classroom.
Once a need is posted to the website, an email goes out to everyone subscribed, then anyone can accept that request and fulfill it by either a monetary donation or dropping the items off at Mad River’s Central Office.
“The community and the school get to build a better relationship and people get to help out wherever needed,” Heckman said.
Heckman said the community has already jumped in to help, the first needs posted were fulfilled within hours.
“A student needed sheets and a comforter for their bed and that was delivered,” Heckman said. “That was posted, claimed and delivered here to the Central Office as well as delivered back to the school for that student all within one day.”
Neighborhood Bridges is a nonprofit organization that serves 38 communities across the country. Mad River is the first district in the Miami Valley to launch its site.
“By partnering with Neighborhood Bridges, Mad River Local Schools will have the tools to engage our entire community to come together to meet the needs of students and families that are experiencing challenges,” Superintendent Chad Wyen said in a release sent about the launch.
Heckman said any donation or help from the community can make a big difference.
“You just never know what that small gesture can do for a student,” Heckman said.
To learn more about Neighborhood Bridges and subscribe to be notified when a need a posted, click here.