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GRAVETTE -- Bright Futures Gravette kicked off last Tuesday in a big way. A kickoff breakfast was held at the Bella Vista Assembly of God Church Oct. 11 with 100 people in attendance. During the breakfast, faith-based organizations, businesses, city officials, civic organizations, parent groups, school personnel and community members came together to learn how they can pledge their time, talents and treasures to children in need.

Bright Futures Gravette works to connect the community with the basic needs of children in Gravette School District. Bright Futures USA has been operating in communities since 2007. Started in Joplin, Mo., Bright Futures is a nonprofit organization providing the framework for communities to meet the basic needs of children, usually within 24 hours, so the children can focus on their education. Those needs could include food, clothing and shelter.

Heather Finley, Bright Futures advisory chair, said that the needs of our children are not just a school district issue but a community issue.

"Kids can't learn if they are hungry or they can't learn if they are tired because they do not have a mattress to sleep on. These are basic human needs that our children are going without through no fault of their own. These kids did not ask to be born into this."

As Bright Futures works to define and develop its role in the community, Finley said the organization does not want to replace programs already in place. Bright Futures wants to support programs and fill additional needs of the district's students. Currently, 53 percent of students in Gravette School District receive free or reduced-price lunches. Yet it is estimated that nearly 70 percent of Arkansas students live in poverty.

Gravette joins 50 other communities which have launched Bright Futures. Anyone with connections to the Gravette school district is encouraged to be involved. For more information on Bright Futures Gravette or how you can get involved, contact Becky Rangel at 479-787-4118 or brightfutures@gravetteschools.net.

Community on 10/19/2016

Print Headline: Bright Futures breakfast kicks off nonprofit's efforts

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