Donating school supplies invests in students' future

Donating school supplies invests in students' future

Over 100,000 area students will need school supply assistance this upcoming school year.

“About 50 percent of the children in our region are living in poverty, so many families simply do not have enough money left over for school supplies once they’ve paid for housing, utilities, food and other basic necessities, said Greg Meitus, director of marketing and communications at Classroom Central.

Classroom Central is a nonprofit that collects and distributes free school supplies to students living in poverty. Educators who benefit from Classroom Central’s programs believe that the benefits of having school supplies goes beyond classroom success.

Content Continues Below

“A lack of school supplies can impact a child’s mental development due to affecting their self-esteem. School supply donations impact the whole child, not just their academics, said Nicole Ramirez, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher.

“We have 100,000 kids in our service area that need the basic supplies to equip them to be prepared and successful in school,” said Karen Calder, executive director at Classroom Central.

After receiving school supplies from Classroom Central, 98 percent of educators said Classroom Central had a positive influence on students' preparation, self-esteem, and outlook on school and learning.

For the past 20 years, in partnership with Communities in Schools, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Classroom Central, the WSOC-TV 9 School Tools program collects school supplies, which are then distributed to students in grades K-12. These items play a big role in preparing students to be successful in the upcoming school year.

“The 9 School Tools campaign is of vital importance to the students and teachers served by Classroom Central, as it provides the vast majority of these 9 basic supplies that we distribute throughout the year,” said Meitus.

9 School Tools covers 22 counties and is the largest school supply drive in the Carolinas. Over the past 20 years, 9 School Tools has been able to serve over 3 million students.

From July 10 through Aug. 25, you can donate school supplies at over 40 donation locations across the Carolinas.  You can find your nearest donation location by clicking on this link 9 School Tools Donation Locations.

You can also donate school supplies at the following WSOC-TV 9 Family Focus partner locations: Showmars, Ashley HomeStore or E.R. Plumbing Services.

Learn more about 9 School Tools at

If your organization or business would like to get involved or help with 9 School Tools or if you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, community affairs manager for WSOC-TV, at​