(Meet Jenn, a new contributor to the EduMom community. She is also going to kill me for posting this picture.)
Dear School Departments Across the Commonwealth,
Hey there, it’s Amalia’s mom, Jenn — since we’re all settled down after the hustle and bustle of back to school, I’ve had a few moments to think about the last few weeks and I’ve got a quick question.
Where is the money for school supplies actually going?
I get it. I’ve made the choice for my kid to attend a private school because even though I pay taxes, I’m concerned about the quality of education she’s going to receive. I’m good with that. But what I don’t get is why I ended up buying supplies for a local kindergarten teacher as well.
Starting back in July — while cruising around Staples I started seeing the back to school sales. (Although It seemed like they pretty much started the day after school let out.) I was able to ignore them for a while until one day I spotted the 50 and 25 cent piles of notebooks — along with a bunch of the other inexpensive school supplies that kids need each year.
I thought to myself, “Hey — I’m lucky. My daughter’s supply list is short." But still I picked up some extra notebooks, glue bottles, erasers, and other stuff for her to have at home.
At checkout, I started to think about how back to school isn’t fun for every kid. My daughter will walk into her classroom in her bright new clothes and new sneakers, and all her new school supplies but so many children in my city of Fall River will not.
With that in mind, I contacted my friend who teaches Kindergarten who explained that many of her students come from low income families and that some are homeless. I offered to help stock her classroom and she was literally moved to tears. I also posted about the issue on Facebook which helped to spur other moms into action.
Numerous parents in the community gave me gently used coats, backpacks, lunchboxes, and some even dropped bags of supplies at my front door and at my mother-in-laws house. I had to put down the third row of my minivan to pack it all in and deliver it to my friend.
She was beyond thrilled and I know that all these items will be used to enrich the lives of children in my city.
As wonderful as this experience was, I am still left confused.
Does our school department allocate funding for school supplies?
If so, please show us the money!
And why aren’t we giving more money to low income communities to help teachers who need supplies and parents who simply can’t cough up the money to fill out the list?
What do you think?