Access to school supplies can make all the difference in a student’s performance, but the impact goes far beyond the first day of school, or even the current academic year. Having all the necessary tools to engage with their teachers and classmates motivates students to take their education seriously for the long term. Data from 2020 also shows that the need for supplies continues to increase.
Students and teachers across North Texas are generally under-supplied. Each year, most educators must spend some of their own money to ensure their students will have even the most basic supplies, such as backpacks, paper and pencils.
“Imagine being asked to do your job without being given the tools you need to do it,” says Abigail Sharp, vice president of early childhood initiatives at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. She is quick to point out that the need lasts well beyond the first day of school. “As the year progresses, supplies need to be renewed so that there is no disruption in learning.”
At United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we’re leading a movement to ensure every student has the access and opportunity to succeed in school. We know that education, along with income and health, is one of the building blocks of opportunity. The ability to succeed in school sets the stage for the rest of a child’s life.
Each year, at the start of school, we host a Stock the School drive, giving the North Texas community an opportunity to show their support for our local students and teachers and make sure they have everything they need for a successful school year.
Our 2021 Stock the School event was an incredible opportunity for North Texans to make a positive impact in the lives of their neighbors. The drive resulted in:
Donations to drives such as this one not only help school kids but also prevent educators from having to use their own funds to teach in an effective, engaging way.
Numerous schools across North Texas serve families that can’t afford to send supplies with their children, which means the generosity of the community is vital in bridging this gap.
Sharp said kids get very excited when they receive school supplies.
“Having their own personal supplies contributes to their overall excitement and motivation to learn,” she says. “Supplies serve as a tangible ushering in of a new academic year and play a significant role in helping children transition from out-of-school time to learning time.”