Annual School Supply Drive Helps Needy Children

July 14, 2005
Community Donates Tons of School
Supplies for Children in Need

July 18th Celebration Marks End of Summertime Drive

ROCKVILLE, MD— Students, staff, and members of the community have donated more than four tons of used, but usable, school supplies in the annual Drive for Supplies, sponsored by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and Learn Shop, Inc.

School and community leaders will celebrate the completion of another successful drive on Monday, July 18, at 10:00 a.m. at Julius West Middle School, 651 Great Falls Road. Board of Education President Patricia B. O’Neill and Superintendent Jerry D. Weast will join Principal Nanette Poirier and Louise Newcomer, executive director of Learn Shop, Inc., to mark the occasion and distribute the supplies to schools and nonprofit organizations.

This year, 46 schools, along with several MCPS offices, participated in the program. More than 110 student volunteers have collected and sorted the supplies, which include pencils, rulers, paper, notebooks, crayons, scissors, markers, dictionaries, and more.

The Drive for Supplies is a collaborative effort between Learn Shop, Inc. and MCPS. The program not only teaches students the importance of recycling and reducing landfill waste, but also teaches students that they can have a direct impact on communities by giving their reusable school supplies to local, national, and international schools and organizations.

Drive for Supplies was conceived in 1999 by Kevin and Louise Newcomer, founders of Learn Shop, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Wheaton, Maryland. Each year since its inception, the program has been expanded. Last year, with a renewed emphasis on recycling, MCPS collected 7,023 pounds of supplies.

The collected supplies will be distributed locally to nonprofit agencies, county schools with a high number of low income students, and needy schools in Washington, D.C. In addition, supplies will also be sent to needy children in several foreign countries through Action Africa, Clean Your Desk, Quest for Peace, Quixote Center (children in Nicaragua), and McDaniel College (children in Belize).

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