OtterCares Joins Collaborative School Supply Effort

October 20, 2011

Each year, thousands of children in our community go back to school without the supplies they need because their families cannot afford to purchase them. Lack of supplies affects not only a child’s preparedness for school, but also their self-esteem, an important factor in classroom success.

Hoping to tackle this issue, we’ve teamed up with several local organizations including the Poudre School District, Colorado State University’s School is Cool program, Volunteers of America, Realities for Children and Concerned Larimer. The task force consists of representatives from organizations in need of supplies, as well as organizations that provide them- promoting a comprehensive approach.

This year, over 4,300 backpacks and supplies were provided through these programs to students in need in Poudre School District, an increase of 10% over last year. However, it’s estimated that more than 7,000 total students in the district needed assistance with school supplies this year (based on reported numbers of students receiving free and reduced lunch, an indicator of economic distress). By combining the efforts of our organizations this year and in future years, we hope to leverage collaboration and serve a greater percentage of the population in need.

How You Can Help:

Unfortunately the need for school supplies doesn’t end in August, when most supply drives and programs wrap up. Throughout the year, students and teachers run out of basic items needed in the classroom. To help serve this need, Poudre School District, and many other districts, house a supply closet that teachers can access for assistance. The districts rely on donations to keep these closets stocked, and the supplies run low by mid-year when donors are no longer thinking about school supply donations.

You can contribute year round by making a donation of new school supplies to your local school district. Items such as pens, pencils, notebooks, folders and paper are always in high demand, and you can always contact the district to get a better idea of what they are looking for.

As the year progresses we will keep you posted on our plans for next year’s Pack2School and community-wide school supply initiatives. There are some exciting ideas in the works but it’s just a bit too soon to share. Stay tuned!