Ada Jenkins Center helps students, families in need

Ada Jenkins Center helps students, families in need

Due to the transition to a virtual learning environment for Carolina schools, parents and families are having a hard time accessing school supplies for their children to continue education from home.

“COVID-19 has significantly exposed appalling inequities in our community: economic disparity, inconsistent access to health [and] unpredictable access to communications,” said Karen Martin, director of development at the Ada Jenkins Center, a nonprofit that helps residents of Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville create lasting solutions for economic stability.

Ada Jenkins Center is a three-time recipient of the COVID-19 Response Fund grant receiving $180,000 in the first, second and fourth rounds.

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The COVID-19 Response Fund supports a range of nonprofits assisting the people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Importantly, this fund will help not just those who get sick, but also those who are economically impacted.

With the grant, the organization provided emergency financial assistance to individuals and families, internet access to students’ families, and funded summer camp opportunities for children.

It also helped employ staff to assist with the center’s education services.

“In order to provide academic development and enrichment opportunities for the 58 children and 10 adults currently enrolled in our education services, we employ four teachers, a program coordinator, operations coordinator, and a program director,” Martin said.

Because of social distancing measures resulting from COVID-19, many students will split their time online and in-school this upcoming school year. Between this and the economic downturn, families are finding it even more difficult to access supplies for their kids to complete their school year and not fall behind.

Many of the more vulnerable and low-income families depend on help from Classroom Central to provide simple supplies, such as paper and pencils.

Since 1997, in partnership with Classroom Central and Communities in Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the WSOC-TV 9 School Tools program has collected school supplies, which are then distributed free to students in grades K-12.

For many families, the needs of the home sometimes outweigh needs at school. When a family must choose between buying enough food for dinner or paying the power bill, the pressure of purchasing school supplies is an added expense that families can’t afford.

A 9 School Tools financial donation program is in place with different levels of giving that will support the needs of Classroom Central. Donors can equate their monetary donation to what can be supplied by Classroom Central.

Here are some of the giving levels:

  • 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