Background Information

Education is critical for success and 61 million children across the globe do not attend schools (they become trapped in the cycle of poverty). However, without the tools for a standard education, schools cannot keep students engaged. There are many families that do not have enough money to put aside for school supplies for their children. That money needs to go towards buying food and paying electricity bills for their homes. Kassondra Granata, a contributor for EducationWorld magazine, noted that school districts do not have enough money for supplies, so they start to rely on parents which is a burden because some families struggle to even clothe their kids and feed their families. Therefore, the children arrive at school without any supplies, making them unprepared for their classes. They usually feel embarrassed and anxious at school since their families cannot afford school supplies. According to Mindy Richenstein, the chair of Supplies for Success, a program that organizes school supplies drives, students do not feel confident when they come to school unprepared. Carly felt that she had always taken school supplies for granted, but they are truly expensive- in fact, they can cost up to $375 per student, per year. In order to address this growing issue, Carly have decided to partner with Supplies for Success to help lead and plan an event for August 2019 to pack backpacks for children in families that are financially stressed.  She believed that it gave the recipients more confidence to participate and will give them the tools they need to succeed in classes at school. Also, it helped to alleviate the stress for families choosing between food and school

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” ― Malcolm X

Implementation of Project

Carly started to plan the project on her own, but ultimately brought in an action team of three peers to help  implement her ideas.  First, they worked to ensure that all of the materials were donated to the event.  Then, they had over 80 attendees at the event and successfully packed many backpacks. Each volunteer walked around the table with an open backpack to place each of the required school supplies in the bag depending on the age of the child.

What’s Next

In the future, Carly will continue to lead this event annually and recruit more members.  Since her plan worked out successfully, her goal for next year is to actually interact with the students that receive the backpacks. If possible, she would like to take the project even farther by starting a program to read to the kids and tutor them once a week.