By Kevin Deutsch
The Broward Education Foundation launched its annual Back to School Supply Drive for Broward public school students to help impoverished kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event aims to collect enough money to equip students with essential classroom supplies for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. Contributions will help provide “under-resourced” kids with supplies in Title 1 schools, places with high percentages of children from low-income families, according to the foundation.
Each student will receive a 21-piece basic school supply kit they may otherwise have no way of purchasing.
“Basic school supplies are always in demand, but even more so now,” said Shea Ciriago, executive director of Broward Education Foundation. “It’s vital we do everything in our power to provide students with the tools they need to stay engaged and focused. We are so appreciative of all the individuals and local businesses who step up every year to support our resilient students who are so eager to learn.”
Before the pandemic, more than 200,000 students in Broward public schools were living in poverty, based on data from the National School Lunch Program. Nationally, many students arrive for class without the requisite supplies necessary for learning, drive organizers said.
Last year, contributions to BEF’s drive helped more than 41,000 students in 69 schools across Broward receive school supplies.
Tim Curtin, board chair of Broward Education Foundation, said last year’s drive was reimagined into a fully virtual model to follow health protocols and “delivered safely sealed individual basic school supply kits to students throughout the county.”
“It worked so well that we’re continuing this model with even more supplies for each student!” Curtin said.
A gift of just $10 safely equips one student with classroom necessities. To sponsor an individual student, class, or an entire school, visit BEFDrive.com before August 31, 2021.
Each year, BEF contributes more than $3 million to Broward County schools, striving to catalyze educational excellence.
In addition to providing school supplies to kids, BEF works with Broward County Public Schools to provide grants to innovative teachers, awards scholarships to qualified high school seniors; and supports programs like Turnaround Arts.
In 2018, BEF established the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund for the Parkland school shooting victims, raising $10.5 million for victims’ families, survivors, and others impacted by the violence.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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