The Alameda Education Foundation is working with Girl Scout Troop 31532 to support the 884 students in Alameda that need school supplies. The donations will support children enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade at Alameda public schools who do not have a fixed place to live.
“We know that 884 kids can’t get the opportunities they need to learn with new school supplies unless we help them,” said Christine Strena of the Alameda Education Foundation. “Last year, when we gave one first-grader her backpack, she was so happy to receive it that she wouldn’t take it off when she got in the car. Like so many other students, she’d only had hand-me-down school supplies before.”
Many local businesses are supporting the cause by hosting donation bins, including Alameda Bicycle, Alameda Parks & Recreation Department, Big O’Tires, Domenico’s Italian Deli, Financial Benefits Credit Union, Millie’s Hair Salon, Quick Communications Cellular, Towne Cleaners & Alterations, Tucker’s Ice Cream and WesCafe.
The school supplies are being collected through Saturday, August 13.
Items most in need for the Island’s students are backpacks, pencils, erasers, markers, scissors, pencil cases, spiral notebooks, binder notebooks, binder paper, pocket folders, tab dividers, pens, glue sticks, crayons, protractors, compasses, colored pencils, post-it notes, calculators (for algebra and higher math) and AA batteries for the calculators.
Cash donations are also requested, says Strena. “It only takes $4 to purchase a backpack for a needy student, and $15 provides a year’s worth of supplies,” she explained. Gifts of $1,000 will be used to purchase art supplies for nearly 300 elementary students, according to the AEF. (Donations made by check can be sent to AEF “School Supply Drive,” P.O. Box 1363, Alameda, 94501.)
For those who would like to give some of their time and talents, “We need volunteers to stuff the bags during the week of August 20,” Strena said. More details on this activity will be posted on the AEF website over the next week or two.
AEF also is collecting new supplies for teachers to use in their classrooms. “We’re searching for dry-erase markers, reams of copy paper, craft paints, paint brushes, glue sticks and other new art and office supplies,” she explained.
Along with classroom and art supplies, the middle and high schools in town are looking for musical instruments. “We ask members of the community to dust off that old instrument and give it a new life!” Strena said. Working musical instruments – new and used – will be given to school band programs.
For more information, go to AEF’s website or call 510-337-7189.