New Chapter to Care Program Helps Students in Need

The organization specifically helps students with health, hunger and hygiene

Care to Learn is constantly helping students get the care they need.

Care to Learn is constantly helping students get the care they need.

Bryden Bell, Reporter

Kids all over Missouri experience struggles, whether it’s hunger, or not enough items to keep themselves clean. One organization founded in Springfield is helping kids get the essential care they need. Care to Learn was founded in 2008 to help students succeed and the organization assists students by meeting the needs of hunger, health and hygiene. 

Care to Learn is partnered with over 40 school districts, one of them being the Wentzville School District. The Wentzville chapter of Care to Learn was established in 2022.

“The mission of the Care to Learn is to provide immediate funding to meet students’ emergent health, hunger, and hygiene needs so they can be successful in school,” Executive Services Specialist for the Wentzville chapter, Matthew Kertzman said. “We do this by empowering our staff to identify and respond to student needs efficiently and discreetly, while partnering with the community to support our efforts.” 

Kertzman also said that they are still in the early stages of getting the program up and running. Since this chapter was recently founded, there are still a lot of things that need to be completed. They are planning to assemble an advisory counsel later this month. The counsel will be made up of local community/business leaders to help the WSD in fundraising. 

“We plan to be ready to start meeting student needs at the start of next school year. At that point, staff just simply submit a digital referral form to the designated District Care-to-Learn liaison when they identify a student may have a health, hunger, or hygiene need. After the need is assessed, we will be able to provide same-day services for most situations. It really is a remarkable program,” Kertzman said.  

According to the Wentzville chapter, it costs $7.32 for the average amount spent to help meet a student’s needs. Care to Learn has a total of 2,203 students enrolled to receive free or reduced lunch, with over 17,000 students enrolled in the Wentzville chapter. If you want to donate to help Care to Learn, click here.