Pencils and Paper is making sure teachers and students in high poverty school districts have everything they need for a successful school year.
The non-profit coordinator Howard Grossman and teacher Khieta Davis discussed the impact of Pencils and Pater Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“Pencils and Paper is a free school supply store, where teachers from high poverty schools can come and get supplies that they need so that their kids have a chance to learn.,” said Grossman. “Pencils and Paper is a program of Jewish Family Service of Rochester, which does a food cupboard and a clothes cupboard, and the next logical extension is school supplies. It turns out there are 45 of these free school supply stores across the country, and we’re so grateful to the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and United Way for reaching out to their businesses to do supply drives so we can stock our shelves.”
As you might imagine, the organization needs pencils and papers. But it also is looking for other kinds of supplies as well. “Most of our students are eligible for free and reduced lunch and therefore we serve breakfast in the classroom every morning,” noted Davis. “You can imagine that can get a little sticky with the syrup and the french toast so we really are asking for people to donate the canisters of the disinfecting wipes. They help us keep the classroom clean for our students.”
Grossman added, “Certainly we need the 24 count crayons and the markers and the glue bottles, but we’re also asking for boxes of Band-Aids because our classrooms just don’t have them.”
Davis said the supplies from Pencils and Paper truly make a difference for students. “It’s really such a blessing because at the school level we are given a small stipend and so that’s got to last the whole 10 months of school. We really do work hard so we’re constantly needing more paper, more pencils, and more basic items. For students, there are some students who come prepared, but there are many more students who, because of struggles, you know of a different nature, they’re not able to bring enough.”
The shopping takes place at the Pencils and Paper location at 1099 Jay Street in Rochester. The donations come from all over. “It’s really simple,” said Grossman of the donation process. “They can go to our website, PencilsAndPaper.org, click on ‘I Want To Do A Supply Drive’ if they want to do a business supply drive. The United Way is gracious enough to have supply boxes in their lobby at 75 College Avenue and people can buy an extra box of crayons, or some markers, or a bottle of glue, or canister wipes, or Band-Aids, and just bring them over and fill up those boxes.”
And do a lot of good in the process.
Visit pencilsandpaper.org to start your supply drive or learn more about how to contribute.