Carolina children in poverty twice as likely to drop out of school

Classroom Central’s Free Store is a retail operation where teachers and other school personnel from eligible schools shop for free supplies throughout the academic year.

All materials distributed are used to create inviting learning environments and to support the academic and personal growth of students whose families lack the resources needed to purchase school supplies.

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.

Covering 22 counties, 9 School Tools is the largest school supply drive in the Carolinas and will run now through August 31.

Classroom Central’s Free Store is designed to provide all the materials teachers need to create successful learning environments.

In addition to basic supplies like pencils, paper, notebooks, glue sticks and folders, teachers will find backpacks, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) materials and lesson plans, a literacy section that includes books and lesson plans, copy paper, arts and crafts materials, classroom decorations, cleaning supplies, personal care items and more.

The average value of supplies received by a teacher at one shop is about $400.

According to Classroom Central, about 127,000 children in the Charlotte region lack the basic school supplies they need to be successful in school.

With a difficult past year and the economic downturn, families will find 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 Classroom Central for assistance.

You can donate the school supplies at any Arby’s, Ashley HomeStore, E.R. Plumbing Services and Charlotte Fire Department stations.

CLICK HERE TO FIND A DONATION LOCATION NEAR YOU.

Financial donations can also be made to the 9 School Tools program 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 and mathematics) kits.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION TO CLASSROOM CENTRAL AND 9 SCHOOL TOOLS.

Learn more about 9 School Tools at www.9SchoolTools.com.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, public affairs manager at WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.