November 1st, 2012

Denton, TX -- More than 120 students will have backpacks with supplies, new clothes and full stomachs thanks to a recent partnership between United Way of Denton County (UWDC)and the Sanger Independent School District.

The partnership sprung from statistics found during United Way's 2011 Community Assets and Needs Assessment projectfor Denton County.

Texas Education Agency data showed that Sanger ISD is one of four school districts in the UWDC service area to have a district-wide economically disadvantaged student population of more than 40 percent.

"Our mission is to improve the lives of the people of Denton County," said Gary Henderson, UWDC president and chief executive officer. "The needs assessment indicated to us that we had children and families in need in Sanger and we wanted to find an opportunity to provide help."

UWDC provided Sanger ISD with a $12,000 community impact grant. The grant will help supplement the salary of a full-time employee that works with the district's homeless student population, children at-risk of dropping out of school and economically disadvantaged children.

"We were faced with huge budget cuts and we were looking at how we could maintain the integrity of what we were doing and what other resources were out there," Valerie Foster, the district's homeless liaison said. "And it seemed like over the years United Way of Denton County had expressed a huge interest in coming in and establishing in Sanger and it just seemed like a good fit."

Texas schools were faced with more than $4 billion in budget cuts this year, said Jackie McBroom, Sanger ISD assistant superintendent for educational services.

"What we are able to do, and the services we are able to provide these kids who have very special needs - we would not be able to do it, were it not for the cooperation with United Way of Denton County," McBroom said. "They are a terrific community partner."

United Way of Denton County is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health – the building blocks for a good life. Through our work in the community, it is our goal to: help families have financial stability, build healthy communities and help children and youth achieve their potential.