LCSD will offer universal free meals for every child

Beginning on September 8, 2015, Liberty Central School District will serve free meals – both lunch and breakfast – to all students, regardless of their income status.

The district recently joined a national program called the Community Eligibility Option which waives meal fees for all children regardless of income status. The program is funded by the federal government and administered by the state at no cost to the district.

Already, 65 percent students qualify for free- or reduced-price meals due to their income status. Many of those who do not qualify fall just beyond income limits. Previously, families had to fill out and return forms to qualify for the meals program. Now, the district can waive all meal charges for all students. Parents do not need to take any action to participate. Students can continue to purchase extra food items, such as snacks, for a fee.

“The program accomplishes two things,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Silver said in an interview with The Times Herald Record. “First, it will provide free meals to all district students, but it will also remove the stigma for those students who are in need of financial assistance to purchase food.”

If you have any questions please contact our district’s Food Service Director, Dara Smith at 845-292-5400 ext. 2040.

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Kort Wheeler chosen as umpire for Baseball Championships

After 10 seasons behind home plate, Kort Wheeler has been selected to be an umpire at the 2015 NYSPHSAA Boys Baseball Championships June 12-14 in Binghamton, NY.

Mr. Wheeler, a social studies teacher and volleyball coach at Liberty Middle/High School, has been working toward this goal for years, and says he is proud to represent Sullivan County and Section IX in the tournament.

Two umpires from the Sullivan County Baseball Umpires Association are eligible to be selected for a championship assignment every four years.

Each year, hundreds of umpires from the 34 chapters in New York State are considered. The process for selection to work a championship game begins with the ratings from an athletic coaches. Then, Sullivan County BOCES chooses the best candidate based on his/her accuracy of calls, and knowledge of the rules.

The job of a baseball umpire requires quick thinking, common sense, and confidence. When the ball is in play, the umpire sees the action, assesses the situation and makes the call — all in a matter of seconds. A successful umpire has a thorough knowledge of the rulebook, is even-tempered, and is mentally strong enough to handle situations under stressful conditions.

Without game officials, it is the athletes and the sport program that suffers, recalls Mr. Wheeler. He said that when he was a young athlete, he remembers the importance of the role of an umpire to ensure fair play.

“I want to do right by the players,” he said. “The student athletes put so much into their season and they deserve the best. I am honored that they feel I can provide that for them.”

The second umpire who was selected to attend the championships is Ed Musa, a local accountant and graduate of Liberty High School.

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