Family Focus: School Tools helps children get supplies they need

by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lots of people will load up on school supplies this weekend with the start of the tax-free holiday.

But as families fill their lists, there are many children in the Charlotte area who won't get the supplies they need.

Shante Chester is trying to get a head start on school supplies for her two children. As a single mother, she said it can be tough.

“Sometimes it's hard, you know. I work every day, but it's hard supplying for two and keeping everything else running and making sure they get everything they need,” Chester said.

Chester works two jobs but said it's still hard getting her children everything needed to start school.

“The list grows every year, and there's something that you can't send them with,” she said. “You have to send them with the school supplies as well as, you know, the uniforms and everything else that they need.”

This year, Chester will get a little help from School Tools.

Channel 9's annual campaign teams up with Classroom Central in Charlotte to provide basic school supplies for thousands of children who would otherwise go without.

“When you hear that, out of 18 first-graders, only five had a brand-new box of crayons, it really breaks your heart, and that's where School Tools comes in,” said Sarah Porter with Classroom Central.

Porter said this year's goal is for the community to donate one million school supplies.

Last year, they hit just over 800,000.

Donations come into Classroom Central and then teachers come in and pick out free supplies for students that come in empty-handed.

And as the tax-free weekend kicks off, the staff hopes that as parents check off items on their own child's list, they remember those in need, too.

“Every bit counts,” Porter said. “Every dollar counts, every pencil counts (and) every pack of markers helps a child color a brighter future, become successful. Really sometimes, that's all it takes.”

For more information about School Tools, click here.