That Time of Year

For many, the beginning of school means trying to round up enough money to buy school supplies.  While this is of little concern in some communities, it is a quite different story in many others.  Debbie Deavours, principal at Berry Elementary in Fayette County says she tells her teachers to request no more than 10 items from parents.

“That’s all many can afford,” she says, “and for some families with several children even that is quite a challenge.”  So Debbie, like so many principals, goes in search of help from any and everyone, especially local churches.

Susan Ungerer of Fairfax County, VA taught school for 23 years.  Twenty years ago she realized that many parents in her area faced the same difficulties.  The result?  She started Kids R First in her garage and was able to help 450 students in four elementary schools get paper, pens, crayons, notebooks and glue sticks.

This year she anticipates helping 25,000 children in 96 schools with an all-volunteer staff for the non-profit.  She is able to get discounted supplies through bulk purchases and says that every dollar donated buys four dollars of supplies.

A great story of someone who saw a need and rolled up their sleeves.  We could use a lot of Susan Ungerers in Alabama.  For more about her organization, go here.

One Response to That Time of Year

  1. One question: What happened to following the code of Free Public Education?
    Alabama law is clear.
    “No fees of any kind shall be collected from children attending any of the first six grades during the school term supported by public taxation” (Section 16-10-6, Section 16-11-26, Code of Alabama).As for high school, the law is also clear: “No fees shall be collected in the future in courses required for graduation” (Section 16-13-13, Code of Alabama). Section 16-6B-2 of the Code defines required courses as “courses which are required to be taken by every student enrolled in public schools in the State of Alabama”.