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March 14, 2008
A Store for Teachers, Filled with Free School Supplies for Needy Children, Will Soon Open its Doors in Dayton

Thousands of children in Greater Dayton come to class each day without the basic school supplies they need to be successful. Since many parents can’t afford these items themselves, teachers often reach into their own pockets, as much as $500 and $1,000 per year, to help provide their students with needed supplies. Thanks to a new effort initiated by the Mathile Family Foundation and The Dayton Foundation, that reality soon may be a thing of the past.

The region is about to become home to a free store for Dayton-area teachers, called Crayons to Classrooms (C2C). C2C plans to open its doors to qualified teachers later this year. C2C will provision qualifying teachers with supplies, such as paper, pencils, notebooks, and arts and crafts materials, to provide children from low-income families with some of the basics for classroom success. Teachers must be from schools that are pre-qualified to participate in the program, the criterion being that 70 percent of the school’s students participate in the National School Lunch Program.

“In the Greater Dayton Region, there are approximately 85 schools and 1,400 teachers, who are serving the educational needs of 23,000 children, that qualify,” said David Clapper, board chairperson for the new Crayons to Classrooms. “The need in our community is significant. Through this project initiated by these two foundations – along with Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley and a number of partners who have come forward to support this effort – we will have the backing to begin to fill this important gap.”

Recently, Steve Rubenstein was hired as the executive director of Crayons to Classrooms. Having spent the past five years working on a national level for the Kids In Need Foundation, a local nonprofit with a parallel mission, Rubenstein is very familiar with how the lack of tools for learning affects both students and teachers. “Think about being asked to paint a picture without a brush or play music without an instrument. Many children in our community face this situation every day when they go to school. Crayons to Classrooms’ plan is to change that,” Rubenstein said. “Supplies will need to be replenished constantly to fill this pressing need. If we’re going to be successful, we need the support of individuals, as well as corporations, through monetary and in-kind donations of supplies.”

To help stock the store with needed merchandise, Standard Register will host C2C’s first “Push 4 Pencils” (P4P) school supply drive during the month of March. P4P is a workplace-driven campaign that encourages employees to support C2C with needed product donations.

Financial contributions and in-kind gifts of school supplies can be made to the Crayons to Classrooms Fund of The Dayton Foundation. To make an in-kind gift of supplies or for information about hosting a “Push 4 Pencils” workplace campaign, contact Steve Rubenstein at (937) 461-4800, ext. 364.

Michael M. Parks, president of The Dayton Foundation, and Greg Edwards, executive director of the Mathile Family Foundation, both say they are proud that their foundations are working with Goodwill and others to fill this gap. “Education is critically important to our community, and all children should have the opportunity for educational success,” they said.

Other organizations providing assistance to date include CareSource, Dayton Public Schools, LexisNexis, McGohan Brabender, Inc., MeadWestvaco, Miller-Valentine Group and Montgomery County.


Learn more about The Dayton Foundation's leadership initiatives focused on promoting diversity and harmony as regional strengths and helping to put Dayton Public elementary schools at the center of rebuilding neighborhoods.


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File date: 04-23-08
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