"We have many families in our district that cannot provide school supplies for their children," writes Patricia Leighow, principal of the Berwick Area Middle School. The children of some of those families received new backpacks stuffed with school supplies thanks to the generosity of employess of PPL, Scientech, Berwick Hosital, 1st Keystone Community Bank and Berwick Offray. Deb Gallagher of Gallagher bus drove the bright yellow school bus to each business to pick up the backpacks and then deliver them to the four elementary schools and the middle school.
Today, almost half of the students in the Berwick Area School District are eligible for the free and subsidized lunch program. Since the requirements for that program put the income level at about $36,000, almost half of our children are living at less than 200% of the federal poverty level.
Too many of those children arrive at school each year without the tools they need to learn. Before the Stuff the Bus Backpack Project, teachers had to buy extra supplies out of their own pockets or the money was taken from already strapped school budgets. “Every day our kids come to school without pencils and half come without paper.
"the experience of seeing a child benefit from a collaborative
community sponsored school supply drive…is unforgettable."
Every day we give out pencils and paper and if we don’t, the kids don’t have it,” said Jennifer Hestor, guidance counelor at Orange Street School. Like United Ways across the country, Berwick Area United Way and its partners engaged the community to deliver a much needed community service to children in public schools.
Research shows that investing $1 in quality early learning experiences saves $17 down the road, with tangible results measured in lower crime, fewer single parents, and higher individual earnings and education levels.
Children with better-quality early education have stronger language, pre-mathematics and social skills and make better employees!
Too many children across our country go to school lacking basic supplies needed to perform well. By working together with the community, Berwick Area United Way impacts the lives of children and families across the country. Your United Way contribution, in time or money, is an investment in children, and together we can achieve lasting results. It takes everyone in the community working together to create a brighter future.
ASK US HOW YOU CAN HELP NEXT YEAR.
GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER. LIVE UNITED.