• From former teacher to super volunteer

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    Each Tuesday, Peg Bania donates her time to make sure local teachers and students have the materials they need to succeed.

    For the past eight years, Bania has been volunteering at Classroom Central, a nonprofit that collects and distributes free school supplies. Its Free Store, Classroom Up and Mobile Free Store delivery service allows teachers in six surrounding counties to shop for free materials that are most needed in their classrooms.

    Having taught first grade for 10 years for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Bania knows first-hand the challenges faced by students who come to school without basic supplies.

    "Classroom Central had been such a wonderful resource for me while I was teaching that I knew exactly what to do when I retired. I began volunteering here,” said Bania.

    Bania supervises teams of volunteers to restock the Free Store and organizes the book inventory so teachers can complete their classroom libraries.

    For the past 22 years, WSOC-TV has partnered with Classroom Central and Communities in Schools Charlotte-Mecklenburg to collect school supplies through the 9 School Tools campaign. Donations collected during the campaign are distributed to students from kindergarten through 12th grade. These items play a big role in preparing students to be successful in the upcoming school year.

    9 School Tools covers 22 counties and is the largest school supply drive in the Carolinas. To date, 9 School Tools has been able to serve nearly 4 million students.

    For the past two summers, Bania has organized a 9 School Tools school supply drive in her neighborhood. She utilizes the NextDoor app to spread the word about her drive and mobilize volunteers in her neighborhood.

    In 2017, she and her neighbors collected over 1,300 items and nearly doubled their donation in 2018.

    From now until Aug. 25, you can support 9 School Tools by donating school supplies at over 80 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 forty WSOC-TV 9 Family Focus partner locations: Showmars, Ashley HomeStore or E.R. Plumbing Services.

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

    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, please email Kevin Campbell, community affairs manager for WSOC-TV, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.​

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