TOWSON, MD — “On the first day of school, quite a few of my students arrived with nothing more than themselves. Others brought backpacks with only a pencil or two.” That’s what teacher Kelly L. Nyman of Riverview Elementary School had to say, but teachers across the county make similar reports.
That is why The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools started an annual school supply drive a few years ago – and this year, every day more and more businesses and community organizations are signing on to give and/or collect needed supplies.
“We deeply appreciate the generosity of our community and business partners,” said Interim Superintendent Verletta White. “The school supplies that community members and businesses collected last year made a difference for students in more than 400 classrooms. School supplies can cost families more than $100 dollars per child, and across Baltimore County, that can be a struggle for many of our families. About half of our students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.”
The school supply drive officially will begin on Tuesday, July 25, and run through Sunday, Aug. 13. The first and largest contributor to the drive is Open Door Before and After School Care, which, as the Cornerstone sponsor, donated $10,000 worth of supplies this year as it did last year.
To date, the following businesses/organizations have agreed to accept public donations of school supplies:
- Anytime Fitness, Perry Hall & Timonium locations
- Baltimore County Public Library, all branches
- Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Pikesville
- Boscov’s, White Marsh Mall
- Chik Fil A, Eastpoint
- First Financial Federal Credit Union, all branches in Baltimore County
- Hiss United Methodist Church, Parkville
- Office Depot, all locations in Baltimore County
Boscov’s of White Marsh Mall, a longtime partner of BCPS, began its school supply drive early – at the beginning of July – and will continue it through Saturday, Aug. 26. In addition to collecting school supplies, the store is accepting donations of new socks and underwear for students who are experiencing homelessness.
On the last day of its extended drive, Saturday, Aug. 26, Boscov’s White Marsh will partner with The Education Foundation to host a large back-to-school festival on its lower level parking lot. This festival will feature the school system’s Mobile Innovation Lab and Parentmobile, the Baltimore County Library’s Bookmobile, a fire engine from the White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company, food trucks, student entertainment, hands-on activities, and information tables about BCPS and community resources.
In addition, three festive community drop-off events will be held to accept public donations of school supplies. These will be held:
- Tuesday, Aug. 8, from 2 – 6 p.m.
Pikesville Farmers Market, Pomona Square Shopping Center, 1700 Reisterstown Rd., 21208
Hosted by the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce
- Saturday, Aug. 12, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
First Financial Federal branch, 1301 York Rd., Lutherville, 21093
Hosted by First Financial Federal Credit Union
- A date will soon be announced for a community drop-off event at the Towson Farmer’s Market.
Hosted by the Towson Chamber of Commerce
The following businesses/organizations will be collecting school supplies from their employees and customers/members or have already donated supplies:
- Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee
- Bohler Engineering
- CitiFinancial Servicing
- HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
- KCI Technologies Inc.
- KPMG LLP
- Lakeshore Learning, Towson
- Mitre Corporation
- Padonia Park Club
- Patient First
- Phillips Way, Inc.
- Pikesville Chamber of Commerce
- Southern Management Corporation
There is still time to get involved. Interested businesses can sign up by contacting Diana Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information and posters will be sent to them.
All school supplies are welcome and will be well used. The most needed school supplies are: folders, composition books / notebooks, pencils, crayons, highlighters / markers, glue sticks, scissors, backpacks, binders, pens, Post-it Notes, and primary journals (composition books that include space for drawing).
Businesses can deliver donated supplies to the BCPS warehouse from Aug. 14 – 18, or BCPS will pick up the donated supplies on those same days. Once collected, the supplies will be sorted and organized, and then teachers can come to a one-day “store” (generously loaned to BCPS by the management of White Marsh Mall) to select the items most needed by their students.
The school supply drive is part of the BCPS annual Back to School Involves You, Too! campaign in association with The Education Foundation of BCPS. Designed to garner community support for BCPS students and schools, the campaign this year includes National Summer Learning Day, Parent University workshops, the back-to-school festival, volunteer recruitment, BCPS Day at Camden Yards, and more.
The Education Foundation of BCPS, Inc., is a nonprofit organization established to attract and direct public financial contributions to programs and activities of the school system in support of quality education for all children.