To quote an old Gershwin tune, it’s “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.”
By this point in the summer, most kids are enjoying the warmer weather, later bedtimes, and no homework. As moms and dads, most of us are trying to keep them entertained, attempting to maintain somewhat of a normal schedule, and juggling work and summertime child care.
And before we know it, August will be rolling around and students will quickly be thrust back into the next set of classes and extracurricular activities.
Unfortunately, for the 25,000 students in this region whose parents are challenged to pay the rent and provide a stable home, the thought of returning to school may include some serious apprehension.
As basic as it seems, for families who struggle to simply put food on the table, school supplies are an even lower priority. So, when teachers send home that list of suggested school supplies for families to purchase – which can easily add up to $100 or more per child – many of these kids will return to school emptyhanded.
Fortunately, over the coming weeks, ads for discounted classroom supplies from every major retailer will start appearing. Not only is this good for those of us needing to buy supplies for our own children, but it’s also a great time to purchase some extras to donate back to local kids in need.
Throughout the school year, United Way runs a School Tools program that puts new, donated crayons, markers, colored pencils, backpacks, and other supplies into the hands of Inland Empire kids who need them. Our goal is to equip students for success in the classroom and in life.
A local teacher recently thanked us, saying “one homeless student of mine could not complete her homework because she had no markers. But when I gave her a backpack full of supplies, her face lit up.”
Over the coming months, businesses, churches, and community groups are needed to host school supply drives in our community. It’s easy and makes a huge difference for local students. To learn more, donate, or to sign up, visit IEUW.org/host-a-drive.
Article coped from Foothills Reader, June 25, 2017.