Although the season of summer doesn’t officially end until September 21, schools around the country have already begun to open or are imminently getting ready to welcome students. In anticipation of the new school year, many of our Project Access communities across the country have been proactive in organizing and staging school supply drives for youth in our programs.

If a school supply drive strikes you as curious it shouldn’t. They are becoming a new essential reality as teachers and students struggle against various barriers to teaching and learning. Even our academic programs at our Project Access benefit from these drives and the generosity of residents and neighbors.

According to a 2020/2021 edition of an annual survey conducted by, the need is greater than ever before regarding giving teachers and students a little relief when it comes to providing essential school supplies. Here are some of the surprising stats:

• 55% of students had few or no supplies at home when distance learning began.
• 55% said they had students who did not engage with their education last school year at all.
• Teachers spent an average of $750 on school supplies out of pocket during the 2020-2021 school year (the highest amount ever).
• 30% of teachers spent $1,000 or more on school supplies.
• Teacher spending has increased 25% since 2015.
• 65% of teachers said students were less likely to participate during distance learning because they did not have what they needed.
• 70% of teachers said they had to change their lesson plans because they did not have the resources they needed.
• 95% of teachers said their classroom supply budget will not be enough to meet their students’ needs.

Again, kudos and appreciation to our community partners, corporate groups, and businesses for supporting our youth and valued educators.

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