The summer satchels have been delivered to the second graders at Alps Road Elementary. The kids were so excited. I learned a lot, such as:Many second graders have nothing to read at homeEven art is difficult at home, as many do not have paper, scissors, or crayonsFernando is spelled F-E-R-N-A-N-D-OSpiders have babiesTeachers are surely angels come to earthHere’s how the process played out.First I collected art supplies and books from donors, then purchased more supplies at the Dollar Store, and more books at Salvation Army and Goodwill. The Niolon family donated many of the art supplies, and my sister’s coworkers at Foodbuy in Atlanta donated many of the books.Here’s an example of what went into each bag: a couple of books, an art pad, crayons, a puzzle book, and some math flash cards. I had planned to use plastic grocery bags, but Mrs. Niolon came up with the festive bag you see below.The finished product. So much better than a plastic grocery bag!I underestimated the difficulty in transporting the bags. There wasn’t an inch of space left in my car.The bags filled every table in the school library…… and the kids came in, one classroom at a time. Their eyes lit up when they saw the fun bags, and I was soooo glad I hadn’t used the grocery sack. I’m choked up just writing about it.The kids had all the energy and enthusiasm you’d expect from 2nd graders. But I was caught off guard by their openness. Some told me they don’t own a single book. Some asked if they could have more. Some asked “is this really mine? [...]
Yesterday’s efforts to secure items for the summer satchels got off to a rocky start. Working the phones is clearly not my forte.So I headed out to look for books, thinking books to fit my budget would be hard to find. I was right. But I hit the jackpot at the Project Safe Thrift Store, where I scored about 25 books. Paperbacks were $.25 each and hardbacks were $.50 each. My mom snuck me a $10 bill on the way out the door that morning, and that’s just about what the books cost – thanks Mom!When I returned home I had a message that my long-time friends, the Niolons, had taken it upon themselves to purchase art supplies AND were exploring options for the bags themselves. My backup plan has always been to hand each kid a plastic grocery bag if I couldn’t come up with something else. The “Niolon Touch” will ensure the kids get something better than that!Things got even better when my sweet sister Bird informed me that books were coming out of the woodwork at Foodbuy, where she works. She’d sent out an email to her co-workers, and the books have been pouring in. She has close to 80 already, and it’s only day 2.So I’m starting today full of gratitude for friends and family, and I’m heading out to scour every thrift store in Athens. More later….
Thanks everybody for the suggestions regarding the summer satchels for the 2nd graders at Alps Road Elementary. I’m back from the beach and today I’ll be working the phones and following up on all the leads you’ve given me. I’ll blog about the results; who knows, maybe somebody will want to repeat the process at another school.I have 4.5 days to find items for- and then prepare – 80 satchels. Wish me luck!