Classroom Central holds drive-thru school supply pickup for teachers

Classroom Central holds drive-thru school supply pickup for teachers

This is a call to the community to make sure area teachers and students have everything they need heading into the school year.

A mix of virtual and in-person learning means students will need even more supplies than normal.

Classroom Central is working to meet that need.

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Dozens of teachers picked up supplies for their students on Monday at the nonprofit’s drive-thru supply drive.

Adhering to social distancing guidelines, Classroom Central’s distribution operations are different this year. Supply orders are pre-packaged by volunteers, rolled out for curbside pickup, and put in the back of teachers’ cars ― with no contact.

“My mom is going to be 90 next month and so she’s been at home and I was able to bring her out today and I said just ride with me down here. It’s contact-less,” said Angela Gillespie, a fifth grade teacher. “It’s just so much easier to be able to drive thru, put my order in online, drive thru and pick it up.”

Classroom Central supports more than 130,000 students and teachers across six districts with free school supplies.

“Especially in higher-need schools, a lot of times children would share supplies,” said Karen Calder, executive director of Classroom Central.

Since classrooms can no longer share materials, in addition to remote learning, Calder said the need for supplies has increased significantly.

“So now whether they’re learning in school or remotely, they’re going to need double the supplies, at least,” she added.

But Calder said they only have one-third of the back-to-school supplies they normally would at this time.

“We want this community to step up, to wrap their arms around our students and make sure they have what they need this school year,” Calder said.

“Every educator that’s eligible should come here and use Classroom Central,” Gillespie said.

You can help make sure teachers and students have the supplies they need by supporting WSOC-TV’s 9 School Tools drive.

You can drop off school supplies at any Showmars, Ashley HomeStore or E.R. Plumbing Services now until August 14.

Financial donations can also be made to 9 School Tools at different levels of giving that support Classroom Central.

For example:

  • A donation of $9 will help provide homework supplies for students.
  • A donation of $25 will help fill a student’s backpack with school supplies.
  • A donation of $50 will supply a teacher with essential school items.
  • A donation of $100 will supply an entire class with STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) kits.

Learn more about 9 School Tools at