Our long-running Crayons to Calculators program, sponsored by Western Disposal, is a heavy lift each summer. Before school starts each August, we provide school supplies to 11,000 students in need across the Boulder Valley School District and St. Vrain Valley School District with the help of hundreds of volunteers logging thousands of hours and dozens of supply drives across the county collecting donated materials on our behalf. This year, being mindful of public health guidelines and with the safety of our students top of mind, we are revamping the program while still ensuring that all students receive the supplies they need, but this is going to require a LOT of help from our community.
Our Crayons to Calculators program must adapt significantly because we are simply unable to gather hundreds of volunteers in a school building or to safely assemble and distribute backpacks filled with school supplies recommended for students Pre-K through high school.
Some needed changes
While we annually call on the community to donate supplies to be collected for backpack assembly, and while we are the beneficiary of over $250,000 in donated supplies each year, we simply can’t expect this summer to be business as usual.
In the interest of public health, using only community financial contributions, we plan to purchase school supply kits scaled to grade level from a wholesale provider. These kits will take into account the unique needs of each school district as well as a possible need for at-home learning during the 2020-21 school year. Kits will be distributed by BVSD and SVVSD in a safe and socially distant manner. Students and families will still be able to begin the school year ready for success whether they are attending school at-home, within the school building, or a combination of both. But, this approach requires far more funding than we’ve raised in the past.
That’s why we are particularly grateful for Western Disposal’s longstanding sponsorship of Crayons to Calculators: For over a decade, this local company, which values and strives to take care of its local communities, has supported our Crayons to Calculators program, knowing that if students start school feeling ready for success, equipped with the tools needed for success, the year begins positively, and achievement and growth can more effectively develop. We count on Western Disposal as a partner, and they continue to strengthen this collaboration.
We also rely on our partners at the Education Foundation for the St Vrain Valley to coordinate this program within SVVSD.
With these two key partners firmly committed, we are turning our attention to bringing on other partners – businesses, individuals, foundations and others who also recognize the importance of local students being equipped with the tools they need to learn effectively. We realize that, due to economic conditions, we are likely to see more students and families unable to shoulder the cost of purchasing school supplies this year, and we need to prepare accordingly.
How to help
Without volunteer opportunities or supply drives this year, there are two ways you can help:
- Make a financial contribution that we will use to purchase supplies at wholesale prices
- Host a monetary donation drive for your friends, colleagues, family, & community members
Click here for more information about how to get started in supporting this critical program for our community and join us in our mission to prepare every student to return to learning this fall.
Donate now to support Crayons to Calculators.