Helping Students Start Their Year Right

It is that time of year, again, where the sounds of children leave our homes and return, for at least most of the day, back to school.  We have spent the last month buying school supplies, running from store to store, to make sure our children are prepared and have what they need to succeed.

There is, however, a group of kids whose family don’t have the means to purchase everything they need.  They live hand to mouth, so the barest of supplies are given.  These children don’t have a choice and do the best they can.  But sometimes it is just not enough.

Mike Morse, a laywer in Detroit, saw this and went to his law firm.  They knew the value of education and wanted to help.  They invested $500,000 to make sure these kids had what they needed.  Partnering with the Kids in Need Foundation, they stuffed backpacks full of all the supplies a child would need to get through year.  They began small and created 400 backpacks.

“I thought, ‘Let’s do this in a bigger way. Let’s find out how many kids there are in the Detroit Public School system, K through 5 range,’” Morse told the news outlet. “We found out there was 23,000 of them and my law firm said, let’s do this.”

In the end 65 schools benefitted from this endeavor.  “The supplies that were given to us today has leveled the playing field [for students],” Karen Russell, a first-grade teacher at Edison Elementary. “They feel like they’re part of the team.”

Morse is planning to raise even more money next year and expand his efforts.

  1. More than 30 million children are growing up in poverty. In one low-income community, there was only one book for every 300 children. You can improve literacy rates by running a competitive book drive for low-income areas. Sign up for Stacks on Stacks.
  2. In 2011, nearly 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty.
  3. A higher percentage of young adults (31%) without a high school diploma live in poverty, compared to the 24% of young people who finished high school.
  4. 40% of children living in poverty aren’t prepared for primary schooling.
  5. Children that live below the poverty line are 1.3 times more likely to have developmental delays or learning disabilities than those who don’t live in poverty.
  6. The average K-12 parent will spend $100 per student on school supplies this year, up 12 percent from last year.
  7. Results and research show that when adequately equipped, school children:
  • have a more positive feeling of self-worth
  • miss fewer days of school
  • are more attentive in class
  • have improved classroom behavior
  • achieve higher test scores in all academic subjects


Original Post by Cameron Keady, Huffington Post

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