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Care to Learn Fund Exceeding Expectations in Fundraising

The Care to Learn Fund, established to help meet the basic needs of Springfield Public School students, has raised more money so far than expected. KSMU's Michele Skalicky has more.

Officials with Wal-Mart and Sam's Club presented a check for $50,000 to Doug Pitt and the Brad Pitt/Jim D. Morris Care to Learn Fund at Jarrett Middle School. Pitt, a local businessman who came up with the idea for Care to Learn, says that brings the total raised to date to $225,000, which exceeds the $200,000 goal set for the fund for the first year. The goal has been increased to $300,000.

Care to Learn provides support for Springfield Public School students to meet basic needs and help them get the most out of their education. The fund focuses on 3 primary student needs: hunger, health and hygiene. Jarrett was chosen as the site of the news conference because of its large number of students on free and reduced lunches. 52.3% of Jarrett's student population was on free and reduced lunches at the start of the school year. That number has increased to 55.3%. Principal Marty Marsh says Care to Learn is important because it gives students the basic things they need to learn.

Doug Pitt says one of the purposes of Care to Learn is to educate the public about the needs of kids in Springfield's public schools. Another is to get the community engaged, which, he says, has happened.

Pitt says they met with school principals in Springfield Wednesday to determine what the needs are. So far, the fund has provided staple items, like underwear and socks, to schools and helped around 25 kids.

If you'd like to find out more about Care to Learn, contact the Springfield Public Schools Foundation.

For KSMU News, I'm Michele Skalicky.