Stuff the Bus
United Way will conduct successful school supply drive for sixth year
As many as 58.8% of Hamilton County public school students are classified as economically disadvantaged.* That means these students probably lack the supplies they need to go back to school prepared for success. And most public school teachers spend almost $1,000 of their own money annually on school supplies and educational materials.**
So, beginning July 1, United Way of Greater Chattanooga invites the community to donate to the sixth annual STUFF THE BUS school supply drive to equip Hamilton County public school students for success in school. In 2014, more than $94,000 in supplies were collected and donated to the Hamilton County Parent Teacher Association's (PTA) Teacher Supply Depot. That was a 80% increase over the previous year's total. The 2015 goal is to collect an ambitious $100,000 in supplies.
United Way and the Hamilton County PTA's Teacher Supply Depot are asking people to host school supply drives at their businesses, schools, and places of worship, or just donate school supplies at a participating drop-off event or location. Go online at LiveUnitedChattanooga.org to download posters, supply lists and other templates to help organize a drive. If you need assistance with your drive, email email@example.com or call United Way at 423-752-0300.
Supplies can be dropped off at the United Way offices or at the Teacher Supply Depot, located at 2225 Roanoke Avenue, in the old Mary Ann Garber Elementary School building. Beginning July 1, supplies can also be purchased and dropped off at all area Walgreens Pharmacies and at the "Tools for Back to School" campaign at all area Publix Markets. Some of the most requested items are copy paper, pencils, glue sticks, construction paper, composition books, and spiral bound notebooks.
All school supply donations go to the Hamilton County PTA's Teacher Supply Depot, a 501c3. Any teacher who is a member of a Hamilton County public school PTA can shop at the Hamilton County PTAs Teacher Supply Depot to receive school supplies at no cost.
United Way will also hold a Stuff the Bus drive for Communities in Schools in Catoosa County and for the Walker County School System in Walker Co. In Catoosa County, supply donations can be made at any Walgreens Pharmacy or at Walmart during the months of July and August. In Walker County, Walmart will accept donations during July and August.
For more information, go to www.LiveUnitedChattanooga.org, call 423-752-0300, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Hamilton County Department of Education, 2013 Report Card—58.8% of students are classified as economically disadvantaged as defined by the following: “The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools, and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches each school day. Eligibility requirements are linked to federal poverty guidelines with those below 130% of the poverty status eligible for free lunch and those families at less than 185% eligible for reduced price lunch. Student eligibility for free or reduced lunch is a measure of family income below 185% the poverty threshold.” 58.8% based on the percent receiving Free Reduced lunch (TDOE 2013) District Level Profile Data Files URL http://www.tn.gov/education/data/download_data.shtml accessed July 11, 2014.
** The 2013 NSSEA Retail Market Awareness Study