Jewish Family Service of Metrowest (JFS) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Foundation for MetroWest to continue its provision of family assistance services to vulnerable children and families at the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School on the south side of Framingham.

The neighborhoods surrounding the Wilson School represent some of Framingham’s most at-risk and highest-need residents. Seventy-five percent of Wilson students qualify for free or reduced lunch and 80 percent mark the number of students for whom English is not their first language. The Wilson School has the lowest income level in the entire city of Framingham; over 55 percent of the school is considered economically disadvantaged.

JFS created the Wilson Family Assistance Program within its Reducing Achievement Gaps initiative. Supported through a JFS multilingual community resource specialist, the program provides one-on-one support to families facing challenges, such as not having enough food or clothing. Services include an extended-day program at the school that provides academic and social/emotional support to students, access to community food pantries, guidance in navigating the public benefits system, medical and mental health referrals, ESOL classes and legal assistance. During the school year, the program also offers nutritional support through the Healthy Harvest and Weekend Nutrition programs while donation drives provide children with backpacks and supplies to start the school year off right.

The JFS Children’s Clothing Closet also provides clothes to Wilson students throughout the year, as well as winter coats and boots to keep them warm. Lastly, an annual Thanksgiving distribution event provides families with turkey dinners so they can enjoy a bountiful holiday.

“Through the Wilson Family Assistance Program, JFS is helping families navigate life’s daily obstacles and challenges,” said Marc Jacobs, JFS CEO. “When struggling parents gain access to resources and services, it bolsters family stability, increasing the likelihood of success. We are grateful to the Foundation for MetroWest for supporting this important service and for the value it adds to the lives of the families.”

To learn more about the Wilson Family Assistance Program of Reducing Achievement Gaps, call 508-875-3100 or visit jfsmw.org.

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