14.8 million children in this country live at or below the poverty level. In the current economy, families in financial distress continue to struggle to provide food, shelter, and clothing for their families. Providing even basic school supplies is a luxury they cannot afford.
According to a study conducted by the Elementary School Journal, students’ classroom behavior and attitudes toward learning improve when they have the school supplies they need. Teachers and principals report to Kids In Need that test scores rise, absenteeism declines, and classroom behavior improves after students in their schools receive supplies from their local Resource Centers (and through the School Box program).
”Thank you for giving our school new backpacks. I can’t afford new school supplies or a backpack. In fact, I’m writing with one you gave me now. I’m so happy you thought of us this year I use everything you gave me.” (Juniper Elementary School Student)
“Right before Winter Break we used the last of our Kids in Need supplies–oversized, thick rubber bands. The ironic (and true!) part of this story is that we used the rubber bands to hold long ropes of licorice to our heads and had a contest to try and bite them off the other person’s head without using our hands. “ I have pictures. It was hilarious. The kids had a great time. For me, it is evidence that these kids have become a team, confident enough in each other that they can get silly. If you trust someone enough to bite licorice off their head, then you trust them when you need to take academic risks, to answer questions, to ask questions, to state your opinion even if others don’t agree. To me, that is what learning is all about.” (Winner, K-4, 2011 Supply Stories sponsored by American Licorice)