Give the Gift of Education

COVID-19 Brings New Barriers to Academic Success

Even with the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise, uncertainty about how schools will operate this fall, and the financial burdens of our weakened economy, families across the nation are beginning to prepare for the upcoming school year. The start of the school year traditionally brings new teachers, classroom friends, and new opportunities for academic and extracurricular success, but this school year has a different feel already. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, and for many of the families we serve, the anxiety and stress over the looming costs associated with sending a child back to school weigh heavy on them. Our youth and young adults heading back to school need your help now more than ever.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average U.S household can expect to spend $789.49 per child on back to school essentials this year. If you take into account the hybrid (modified in-person learning mixed with online components) and distance learning models many school districts have proposed, that number can be expected to almost double! Most county schools are not at a 1:1 ratio for devices, so the burden of providing Chromebooks and tablets for online learning will fall back onto the families. The Annual Backpack Index, performed by Huntington Bank, shows the school supply cost breakdown for elementary, middle, and high school students. For many families the choice may be between paying their rent or purchasing school supplies...and for some families the choice could be between purchasing food and basic needs items or purchasing school supplies. 

For students from low-income families, having all of the necessary supplies at the beginning of the school year helps to remove barriers to learning and sets them on a level playing field with their peers. Online learning has it's own set of challenges, and we are committed to helping the youth in all of our community-based programs start the year off right. Please join us by donating new Chromebooks, earbuds, backpacks and school essentials, or by hosting your own backpack and school supply drive, now through August 10th. Every donation makes a difference in the lives and education of the youth and young adults we serve!