STATE HOUSE – Rep. Michael W. Chippendale (R - District 40, Coventry, Foster, Glocester) was at the scene of the collapsed school roof at Foster’s Captain Isaac Paine Elementary School within a half hour of the collapse to see the destruction and damage from the heavy snow and ice on the roof of the school.
“The superintendants of our elementary school, and our regional school were in the building 15 minutes after I was and immediately started to work on a plan to get our displaced students into the Glocester school system.” Chippendale states. “The two superintendants had a logistical plan, and an educational plan completed and our children only missed 2 days of school due to this catastrophe. These two men should be applauded for their hard work on this problem.”
Although the Isaac Paine students were relocated to Glocester, there was one group of children and families that were still without a home. That group consisted of the children enrolled in the F.E.L.T. program. Foster Early Learning Together is an affiliate of the National Program called Parents as Teachers and serves approximately 100 children in Foster from age birth through kindergarten. This program is an asset to the community in Foster and was suddenly “out in the cold”.
“When I learned that F.E.L.T. was without a facility I knew I had to act quickly,” said Chippendale. “My children were a part of that program 8 years ago and it is a great program for parents and students to get a curriculum-based jump on their public schooling.”
Representative Chippendale also said, “as a religious education instructor at St. Paul the Apostle Church here in Foster, I knew we had a great classroom-style facility that would accommodate the F.E.L.T. program’s needs quite well.”
Lori Greenleaf is the F.E.L.T. coordinator and she met with Chippendale at the Church to inspect the facility for suitability to act as an interim location for the program while the elementary school is being repaired. “Lori loved the location, and the facility itself,” Chippendale stated, “and once she sat with the staff of the church and we all went through the checklist of requirements, we realized that this was a perfect solution. I give all the credit to Lori Greenleaf for going to the Department of Education and getting this facility approved.”
The program is scheduled to resume at the Church facility on February 28th. “We’ve been working together to make this happen, and as a Catholic and an elected official, I am happy to see this important program back up and running, and am proud of everyone involved in making that happen. There will also be some food donations from the parents of F.E.L.T. students to our church’s Food Closet, which is under a lot of stress in these trying economic times,” continued Chippendale. “This situation is a win-win for everyone. We get the F.E.L.T. program back on-line, we get the Church being used for a good purpose, and the parents of the children in F.E.L.T. will be able to re-start the utilization of this excellent program.”
If anyone would like more information about the F.E.L.T. program, or St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Foster, please contact Representative Chippendale.
For more information, contact:
Joseph Kasegian, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903
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