Making sure every student across the state has the supplies he or she needs to succeed in the classroom is the whole idea behind an effort launched this summer by AARP Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Retired Educators Association.
“We want all students, regardless of their family’s income, to be fully prepared with the tools they need to learn by the time school begins this fall,” said Jennifer Baier, AARP Wisconsin program specialist.
“Many families are struggling to provide the basic supplies their children need to achieve. In addition, schools across the country are facing severe budget cuts and lack the funding to purchase necessary supplies. As a result, teachers often spend up to $1,000 of their own money on school supplies for children who don’t have their own. This drive will help ease the burden on students, parents, teachers and schools.”
The joint effort with the WREA is part of AARP’s Create the Good ® effort, which encourages everyone to give some time to community service. As part of the project, retired teachers who are part of local WREA chapters will set up locations in several Wisconsin communities where local residents can donate and pick up new school supplies throughout July and August.
The program will accept donations of notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, rulers, glue, and other basic supplies.
“As students get ready to return to school, we’re pleased to have a role in providing the supplies they need to succeed,” Baier said. “We’re also relying on the generosity of others across the state who understand the need for this effort and are willing to help out with donations.”
Similar school supply drives are being set up in states across the country as a part of a campaign that AARP hopes will truly be nationwide. Each community will handle the process of donating and pickup up school supplies in their own unique way.
“Donation sites will be places like fire stations, community centers, libraries, churches and schools. In some communities, those will be the same locations that families will pick up the donated supplies. Other cities might have volunteers delivering the supplies to those who request them. Everyone will do things a little differently,” Baier said.
Find more information, including a list of sites where you can donate school supplies, online www.createthegood.org/equipped-to-learn or call (608) 286-6300.
“Parents should continue to check the Equipped to learn and AARP Wisconsin website and Facebook page throughout the summer, as more and more locations will be added as additional communities get involved,” Baier said.
AARP Wisconsin is helping spread the word about the school supply drive through Create the Good, a nationwide effort to encourage individuals to become more involved so they can make a difference in their own communities.
Create the Good is a destination that creates a community for people to connect to ways to make a difference. Check out CreateTheGood.org to preview some ways to get involved now.