Over 20,000 school-aged children in San Diego County identified their family as being homeless during the 2012-13 school year.
The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has partnered with local businesses and government agencies for the Drive for Success campaign to provide over 4, 000 homeless children across the region with much-needed school supplies. The five-week school supply collection campaign begins July 1 and will conclude on August 8.
The Drive for Success School Supply Drive is asking for donations of binders, spiral notebooks, binder paper, calculators, color pencils, erasers, flashcards, glue sticks, highlighters, ink pens, washable markers, notebooks, pencils, pencil sharpeners, subject folders, rulers, scissors, and tape.
School supply donations can be dropped off at the SDCOE main campus or regional center, or any local California Coast Credit Union. Visit www.calcoastcu.org for a list of credit union locations.
"These students are enduring challenges that many of us have not had to face," said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Randy Ward. "The Drive for Success donation drive will ensure these students have the supplies they need to start the school year ready for classes and ready to build a better future."
The National Center on Family Homelessness reports that homeless children are eight times more likely to be asked to repeat a grade; three times more likely to be placed in special education classes and twice as likely to score lower on standardized tests. These students face a range of problems regarding schooling, from finding a way to get to school, to having the appropriate clothing and finding a quiet place to study.
In each of the 42 school districts across the county there is a designated homeless liaison to help coordinate the donated supplies for the children in that district who are identified as homeless.
Julian Union Elementary District's Susi Jones stated, "Our students look forward to getting their backpack full of school supplies each year, not just for the very necessary school supplies, but because they get a beautiful new backpack that helps them fit in!"
In the San Ysidro Elementary District, Homeless Liaison Veronica Medina writes, "Most of the students we give backpacks to at the beginning of the school year are extremely excited to start the new school year prepared. Our students are gleaming with confidence with new uniforms, shoes, backpacks, and school supplies. SDCOE has provided over 300 new backpacks to our students, plus other great resources that encourage our students to excel in education."
Antonia Terrazas shared a written note from one of the students in the Sweetwater Union High School District, "Thank you very much for this backpack/school supplies gift. This is one less thing my mom has to worry about and that makes me feel better."
The Drive for Success effort is sponsored by California Coast Credit Union, Eli Lilly Company, the City of Chula Vista, The County of San Diego Department of Housing and Community Development, Macy's, The United Way of San Diego County, and Congregation Beth Israel.