Upper valley MEND is once again starting their School Supply Drive to help this year’s students be prepared their all-important, and ever-looming, first day of school. They will be collecting and purchasing supplies and materials from pencils and rulers, to backpacks and lunch boxes to try to help make sure every child arrives on the first day of school with the supplies they need in hand.
This year they are encouraging people to sign up their children and they will do their very best to get everything on the list for that student/grade. They would like to know the gender and grade of each student who is signed up so they can either match the student up with a sponsor or they can purchase the supplies themselves.
Historically, if students didn’t show up with supplies and the teacher’s budgets are spent, the teachers would pay for the supplies out of their own pockets. It is Upper Valley MEND’s goal that every kid show up on the first day of school ready and able to learn. “We don’t want anyone to feel different or unprepared,” says Laura Sterling with Upper Valley MEND. Their other goal is to eliminate “our teachers having to spend money out of their pocket to make sure the classroom has the supplies it needs.”
In years past they have provided kids with some basic supplies and hoped they had what they needed. In an effort to make sure the supplies are matched with the teachers, they have been working hard to purchase the items they can in bulk to reduce costs, while making sure they have as much as possible that the teacher specifically requests for each child who is signed up. “We might not be able to get every single supply that the kids are asked to bring, but we will do our best based on contributions. As a community we can bond together and offset this cost. No child should feel like they don’t have what they need when they get off the bus the first day of school.” If you’re able, purchase a second set of supplies when shopping for your kid(s), or donate $30 to sponsor a backpack of supplies for a student in need.
Parents shouldn’t feel ashamed to sign up their children. The lists of supplies for each student can easily be overwhelming and Upper Valley MEND is here to help. Sign your children up for the School Supply Drive, or make donations by contacting Laura Sterling at (509) 548-0408, or stop by the Community Cupboard at 219 14th St, Leavenworth, WA 98826, behind Dan’s Food Market.