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Lunch program helps kids in poverty

Nov. 19, 2012

A study highlighted in a July 23 Lake Country Publications article showed that as many as 60 children are homeless in western Waukesha County.

The Mukwonago School District had the highest number, followed by Oconomowoc, said the Rev. Stephen Welch, who is leading an effort to provide shelter for homeless families through a program called Family Promise.

"All of the school districts had some; none (of the school districts) had none," he explained.

A telling statistic: The number of students who qualify for free lunches at local schools is on the rise. During the 2006-07 school year, 8.2 percent of the student body in the Hamilton School District was eligible for free lunch. In 2011-12, that number sat at 14.3 percent.

Almost every school district in the area saw a similar phenomenon.

Kettle Moraine jumped from 6 percent in 2006-07 to 10.4 percent last year, while Mukwonago's numbers edged upward from 6.6 percent to 13.6 percent a year ago.

Oconomowoc was at 9.2 percent in 2006-07 and at 20 percent by 2011-12.

The percentage of Pewaukee students receiving free lunches increased from 7.2 percent to 13.6 percent, and the Waukesha School District experienced an increase from 24.7 percent to 34.7 percent in just six years.

Even Arrowhead High School, which had only 28 students on free and reduced lunches in 2006-07 in a self-funded program, was forced to adopt the federal lunch program in the 2010-11 school year because of an increase in need.

Now, 202 students are on the program.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

The Art of the Bicycle: Dec. 17-20, Delafield Arts Center, 719 Genesee St., Delafield. Diane Lehman, Peter Kudlata and Wheel & Sprocket. Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Friday: 11am-4pm; first and third Saturdays of each month: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and by appointment. Free. http://www.delafieldartscenter.org/.

Country Christmas Outdoor Drive-through Lights Display: 5-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 5-10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and holidays through Dec. 31. Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Wisconsin’s largest drive-through holiday lights event features more than a million holiday lights along a mile-long trail that winds through the woods, Includes animated figures and holiday scenes. Call (262) 970-5398 for details., $15-$25. $15 per carload, $25 limo, mini-coach or large van http://www.thecountrychristmas.com.

Nutcracker Ballet: 7 p.m. Dec. 19; 1 p.m., 7 p.m. Dec. 20; 2 p.m. Dec. 21, Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 East Forest Street, Oconomwoc. Mainstage Academy of Dance performs this beloved Tchaikovsky ballet, a holiday classic the whole family will enjoy. Visit www.theoac.net for more information or tickets. $14-$16 http://www.wedancemainstage.com 

Tom Heideman’s Swamp Party: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Delafield Brewhaus, 3832 Hillside Drive, Delafield. For more information call (262) 646-7821.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.