The Issue: Students Unable to Afford School Supplies
About 57% of students in California were eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches in 2011, according to data from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. For these students and their families, obtaining basic necessities such as food and housing can be a challenge that overshadows and prevents the purchase of school supplies. According to a 2010 report from Time magazine, teachers often end up buying school supplies with money out of their own pockets, with those in budget-strapped California schools spending an average of $1,500 annually to help students who cannot afford their own. But owning a set of school supplies, such as pencils and paper, can make all the difference to students—it makes it easier to complete work at home and eliminates the stigma of borrowing supplies at school.
The Campaign: Distributing School Supplies to Students
If 40 people donate $11 to this Grassroots campaign, then K to College can distribute school- and dental-supply kits to 20 students who are enrolled in the free or reduced-price meal program. Packed in a canvas tote bag, the age-specific kits contain a dental-hygiene set and more than 20 school supplies, such as notebooks, pens, colored pencils, and an erasable whiteboard. Each additional $22 raised will purchase a supply kit for an additional student.
K to College
Pairing their civic-mindedness with a strong business sense, a group of University of California, Berkeley, students grabbed a laptop and a borrowed pickup and began delivering school supplies to underserved students across the region. Today, the nonprofit, K to College, distributes the resources students need to excel in school and attain a solid education. This nonprofit approach enables them to provide three dollars of supplies to disadvantaged kids for every dollar donated to K to College. Collaborating with local businesses, K to College creates grade-appropriate supply kits. Packed in a sturdy canvas tote bag, school supply kits of pencils, papers, and dental-care items go to public-school students in the free or reduced-price lunch program; alternatively learning kits are packed in pre-k back-packs. K to College also advertises back-to-school efforts through local TV stations and works with the Folsom State Prison to organize community-service opportunities for inmates as part of a rehabilitation program—an effort that caught the attention of CNN.