With her arms full of free school supplies for her students from needy families, one Baltimore County Public Schools teacher paused to say that, this year, a birthday celebration would be unnecessary for her. This was her birthday.
The school supplies that she and about 400 other BCPS educators picked up from the school system’s warehouse on Aug. 19 and 20 included binders, backpacks, composition books, pencils, pens, crayons, and the ever-popular glue sticks. Standing patiently in line, the teachers talked about the number of families that struggle each year to provide needed school supplies for their children. As they left, the educators signed posters to express their thanks for the needed items.
The supplies were donated by more than a dozen businesses as well as area residents and BCPS employees participating in the system’s first-ever school supply drive. The drive, conducted from Aug. 1-14 and coordinated by The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, was part of the ongoing Back to School Involves You, Too! campaign.
The businesses that generously donated to the school supply drive were:
· Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce
· Boscov’s, White Marsh
· Celebree Learning Centers
· First Financial Federal Credit Union of Maryland
· HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
· MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
· Merrill Lynch, Towson branch office
· Office Depot
· Open Door Before and After School Care
· Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law)
· Phillips Way
· Totally Cool (Creative Ice Cream Desserts)
In addition to collecting donations from staff members, Office Depot sat up collection boxes at five stores to encourage customers to give, and Boscov’s encouraged customers to donate supplies during a special back to school event on the store’s parking lot on Aug. 15.
Open Door contributed $10,000 worth of school supplies to the drive. Karen Grannas, Open Door’s chief operating officer explained, “Our mission is to support working families, and we appreciate being able to support the Team BCPS community in this way. We’re happy to be able to ensure that all children feel the excitement of new supplies as they return to school.”
“The way the business community rallied around our students and schools was inspiring,” said Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance. “Their donations will make a difference on a daily basis in our schools. Many don’t realize this, but almost 50 percent of our students are eligible for free and reduced price meals. Ensuring that these students have the school supplies they need helps get this school year off to a great start.
“Our deepest appreciation goes to our generous donors and to The Education Foundation for organizing this,” Dance continued. “We look forward to an even larger school supply drive next year.”