Going back to school can be an exciting time, but for families struggling to get by, it can be stressful.
This year, the United Way is stepping up to help ease the stress and send kids back to school ready to learn. The nonprofit spent the day collecting school supplies for students in need.
Large, inflatable crayons line the road along West 6th Street, as a nearby tent fills up with packs of real crayons. Not just crayons, but colorful binders, highlighters, calculators, backpacks, and more.
“[The teachers] want the kids to have the right pencils and crayons and everything that they need in order to do the classwork,” says Sonia Rios, a Community Schools Director for McKinley Elementary.
After months of promotions, United Way of Erie County’s, “Kick Off for Student Success” school supply drive is here.
Laurie Root, Vice President of United Way of Erie County, says, “We know that students need the tools to be successful in school and we know that a lot of them, unfortunately are living in poverty in our community and their families are really stretched.”
According to United Way of Erie County, a survey conducted last year shows that on average, a teacher spends $600 of their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms.
“They’re good hearted people,” Rios says of the teachers, “…they don’t want to see a child go without, and they don’t want to see their classroom go without.”
Curtze Food Service sponsored the drive, but it’s up to the community to fill the tent.
You can pitch in, by dropping off school supplies at one of ten locations, which you can find through the link below. You can also find a list of the items United Way is collecting.
The drive runs until 7:00pm.
If you’re unable to pick up supplies before 7:00pm, but would like to contribute, you can drive by United Way of Erie County’s office at 420 West 6th Street and make a monetary donation. You can sponsor a student for an entire year by donating $20.00. Making a donation is quick and easy thanks to their “Dip Jar,” you don’t even need to get out of your car!