From backpacks to binders, there’s nothing too big or small when it comes to helping a child’s education.
Now through Aug. 15, The Pride Center and other local businesses are helping students and teachers of Title 1 schools throughout the county by accepting school supply donations. Donors can stop by The Pride Center with any supplies they have on hand: pens, pencils, paper or even markers, notebooks, or folders. Donations go to Tools for Schools and Broward Education Foundation.
“Many teachers in Title 1 schools have to pay out of pocket for supplies and most students can’t afford supplies,” said Roya Amirniroumand, Women With Pride coordinator at The Pride Center. “When you see the dedication from Tools for Schools by organizing the donations and how the teachers get supplies, it’s such a motivator for us to work for them to get as many donations as we can. It’s an amazing organization.”
The Pride Center has been one of the main locations in Wilton Manors to bring in the most donations for Tools for Schools — the organization that houses the supplies and identifies drop-off spots around the county to collection donations.
Fifty percent of students in Broward County are classified as low-income, according to the Broward Education Foundation. Since its inception, Tools for Schools Broward has received more than $10 million in school supply donations. This has helped 300,000 students and 15,000 teachers receive free school supplies.
While The Pride Center is the main administrator of the drive, other organizations like Women in Network (WIN) help out as well. More than a decade ago, WIN’s Judy Shepard was spearheading the drive. Treasurer Lynn Glover says the drive was one of Shepard’s biggest measures.
“It started as a backpack drive for Thurgood Marshall Elementary School and the goal was to provide each student at the school with a backpack containing school supplies,” Glover said. “This continued through 2011. Judy passed in 2012. The Back to School Drive continues to be her legacy and now benefits not only Thurgood Marshall Elementary but the Broward Education Foundation for the good of all kids in Broward County.”
Whether you donate at The Pride Center or another local business, all supplies will go toward teachers of Title 1 schools in Broward County. In 2014, the National School Supply and Equipment Association reported that 92 percent of teachers nationwide spend their own money on classroom supplies, even though it’s not required for them to. Because not all children come from families with money for new school supplies, many students are left without necessary learning tools.