A 2018 poll by Pew Research shows Americans rank education as the second highest priority after terrorism. The economy has moved to third place. Given this, it’s no surprise the number of adults from civic groups and congregations prowling the aisles of office supply stores, list in hand, buying school supplies to stuff in backpacks and distribute to local children. Some children are given two, three and four backpacks thanks to the generosity of their neighbors.
There’s no doubt teachers appreciate the effort and, if you ask them, you might be surprised to learn there are other needs charitable Americans can fill. Here are five options to consider:
1. Personal Essentials
Many children attend school without clean clothes, socks or underwear. Sometimes they don’t have a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, or band-aids. If your organization wants to help, consider distributing personal essentials.
2. Volunteer to Tutor
Early childhood education is important to a child’s success. When students enter kindergarten without knowing their letters, numbers or colors, they are behind from the beginning. Consider volunteering one day a week to help young people catch up. Contact your local school to learn what’s needed. You will be required to complete a background check.
3. Help Feed Their Brains
Most schools offer breakfast and lunch to students. Some schools cover this cost from their limited funds while others require students to pay. In either case, we know two things: proper nutrition is essential to effective learning and many schools and students struggle to pay for food. Donating funds to the cafeteria program will help students be in a better position to learn.
4. Needs Occur Throughout The School Year
Teachers need help funding essential classroom materials throughout the entire year. Often by February, teachers are out of paper and other essentials. A Spring school supply drive would be extremely welcome. Also, many teachers take advantage of the website DonorsChoose.org to describe what they need. By simply entering your zip code, you’ll be presented with a variety of basic and special needs posted by local teachers. Choose what you’d like to support and the amount you’d like to donate.
5. Involve Your Business
Educational Dividends is one of many organizations offering supplemental materials and professional development opportunities to teachers across the country. If your business is interested in helping local or regional educators, contact us to learn how you can become involved in providing a brighter future for our young people.