The end of the 2021-2022 school year is a few weeks away, students are itching to start their summer break, parents are busy planning activities for their children and family summer vacations, but we’re celebrating NOW! For the sixth consecutive year, we’ve had the opportunity to partner with Title 1 community schools serving students from economically vulnerable communities by supporting teachers from 4 CT school districts (Hartford, New Britain, East Hartford, Manchester) and increasing their impact on the academic success of their students.
In partnership with World Vision’s Teacher Resource Center, Urban Alliance’s School Partnerships program supported 1242 teachers serving over 27,000 students during the 2021-2022 school year by inviting them to shop for ‘free’ and receive over $807,000 in top quality school supplies. World Vision’s Teacher Resource Center is housed at Urban Alliance’s headquarters in East Hartford and serves as a distribution center offering high quality donated classroom supplies to schools where at least 70% of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Teachers are given the opportunity to go “shopping” two times per school year for a variety of classroom supplies, such as markers, pens, pencils, notebooks, books, just to name a few. This means each teacher received approximately $650 in school supplies this school year alone! Over the last 6 years we’ve distributed close to $7,000,000 in school supplies to over 50,000 students. This is why we are celebrating!
Why are these efforts so important? First, EVERY child deserves to experience a high quality education. Second, many students from vulnerable communities are not equipped with the proper materials to help them achieve their full potential. More often than not, it is the child’s teacher who provides the materials needed to succeed in school. “In 2018, the Department of Education released a survey showing that teachers, on average, spend $478 per year on supplies without reimbursement.” However recent studies showed “teachers spent an average of $750 on school supplies out of pocket during the 2020-2021 school year, the highest amount ever.” It also shows that about 30% of teachers spend close to $1,000 or more from their own money on school supplies for their students.
We’re not the only ones celebrating!
Many teachers, students, and school administrators have expressed their gratitude.
Ana Davila, LEAD Teacher – Pulaski Middle School
Tracy L. Saperstein, Ed.D.
Asst. Principal, Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts
Mrs. Natalia Arroyo-Hunter, TESOL Pulaski Middle School