School Business Affairs February 2021

28 FEBRUARY 2021 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS ANCILLARY SERVICES SOS—Serving Our Students This Pinnacle Award-winning program helps meet students’ basic needs. By Jimmy Hay S OS Serving Our Students is an annual community back-to-school readiness program designed to help K–12 students in Paola, Kansas, prepare for a successful school year. Since 2017, on the third Saturday in July, an elementary gymnasium is transformed into assistance stations designed to provide free resources to economically disadvantaged students to help them have a successful start to the school year. Assistance stations include: • Backpacks & School Supplies: Grade level-appropri- ate backpacks and school supplies sponsored by local churches and Miami County Sheriff’s Cops for Tots program. • Shoe & Clothing Assistance: $40 vouchers for a local retail store to pur- chase clothing or shoes funded by the Paola Rotary Club. • Literacy & Reading Materials: Grade- level literacy materials and books. • Hygiene Kits: Personal hygiene and cleanliness products donated through local churches. Throughout the school year, students can receive items related to basic needs and human dignity through a program called Giving the Basics ( . • Haircuts: Onsite haircuts with stylist volunteers from local salons. • Beds/Bedding: Bunk beds, mattresses, and pillows/ Jimmy Hay, director of business and finance for Unified School District 368 in Paola, Kansas, spearheads the SOS program, which focuses on back-to-school readiness. COURTESY OF UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 368M PAOLA, KANSAS.