Half a million pink erasers, 164,000 file folders and 250,000 composition books are among the school supplies needed to support the Broward School District’s estimated 125,000 students in need, according to Jorene Jameson, president and CEO of the Broward Education Foundation (BEF). Jameson recently announced that the second annual “Tools for Schools Broward” school supply drive is gearing up now to help ensure the more than 6,500 teachers in low income schools have the tools they need this fall. Those teachers serve students whose family incomes qualify them for free or reduced-cost lunches. The teachers often spend as much as $1,200 of their personal funds to provide supplies for their students who cannot afford the basic learning tools.
The theme of the 2012 Tools for Schools campaign, which will run from July 2 until August 17, is “Stuff the Bus,” because organizers hope to fill one or more school buses with donated new school supplies. A school bus will be on display at the former Kids in Need Resource Center, now called Tools for Schools Broward, which is located at 2300 West Copans Road, #5, Pompano Beach.
The 8,000-square-foot center provides teachers in low income schools the chance to shop for free supplies they need year round. Since it was formed in January 2001, Tools for Schools Broward has provided more than $2 million in new school supplies to teachers in Title 1 schools.
Local businesses throughout Broward County are being asked to collect schools supplies from their customers and employees by displaying collection bins in their offices or retail locations. The bins are provided by Waste Management and decorated with artwork from Broward County students as well as students at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale Summer Academy. To request a bin, call Mari-Lee Baxter at 754-321-2034 or [email protected]. Other supporters of the campaign include McDonald’s, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Lighthouse Point Chambers.
Established in 1983, the nonprofit Broward Education Foundation (BEF) seeks private contributions to supplement the public funding the schools receive. The Foundation’s programs also provide award grants to teachers that enable them to develop educational programs and projects, supplies for classrooms and tuition reimbursement for district paraprofessionals who wish to continue their education. For more information, visit www.browardedfoundation.net.