What does EHS do to alleviate financial stress?

December 10, 2019

With Edina having the reputation of being mainly high-income, not many people are aware of the number of low-income families in the area. However, there are a few programs in Edina that help relieve financial burdens and have been successful in doing so. 

One of these programs is Edina Give and Go, which focuses on removing financial barriers for students’ participation in academic, artistic, and athletic opportunities. They do this by providing up to $500 per school year and summer for qualifying students. 

Maggie McCracken, the executive director of Edina Give and Go, has had many opportunities to work with economically disadvantaged families. “Low-income families are more common than you would think, and that’s mainly how it started,” McCracken said. “In communities like ours where the percentage is low, the conversation never gets brought up, and students can be forgotten and not seen. The more we recognize that not every student is the same, the better we can improve our system.”

However, there are certain requirements to be involved in this program. Edina Give and Go supports the nine percent of Edina Public Schools students that live in households earning 20% or below the poverty line. For a family of four, this would be $50,000 annually. 

The program has done a great job of reaching out to people, and it has provided over $23,000 in support to students. Not only has it assisted students in school, but also with outside programs such as Driver’s Education, where it has supported over 75 students in the past two years. 

The program has been extremely successful in contacting students and helping them succeed through high school. In fact, there are about 750 students total across all nine schools who are involved in this program. Not only that, but EHS also has 8.3% of students on federal free and reduced lunch program, also known as FRL. This program helps out students who don’t have enough money to pay for lunch, allowing them to have a healthy meal at school.  However, there are not a lot of students who are aware of the financial situations of others, as it is often a touchy subject that people do not openly share. Even though kids don’t know each other’s financial situation, many are still aware that Edina has economically disadvantaged students. “There are all kinds of different people here with different financial situations. I think a lot of people are aware, but not many address it because no one really cares how rich you are. It’s also a really personal topic,” an anonymous EHS student said.

Maggie McCracken encourages students to get involved in Edina Give and Go if they are looking for support to alleviate financial barriers. The school is here to help you, and if you’re interested, visit edinagiveandgo.org

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