Nothing is normal about this back-to-school season. Some schools are conducting classes all remotely. Some are bringing small student groups in on different days. Some are using a combination. And some parents are choosing to home school. But in all cases, teachers, students and parents need our support and encouragement in these tough times.
United Way and our corporate partners have initiated many back-to-school projects to do just that. Deloitte employee volunteers, for example, are writing uplifting notes of encouragement to elementary and middle school students, with United Way Worldwide printing and distributing. Cummins volunteers are working with Aloha United Way (Honolulu, Hawaii) to support instructors with “Teacher Survival Kits.” Kits will include ballpoint pens, tissues, a box of Band-Aids, a nice journal, and other materials, including a note of encouragement to teachers who are starting a new school year.
The average teacher spends $500-1,000 of her or his own money on classroom and school supplies, especially for students whose families can’t afford them. United Way of Bucks County (Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania) is working with Wells Fargo to “Stuff the Bus” with school supplies for needy students and their teachers. United Way of Mahaska County (Oskaloosa, Iowa) is working with Cargill on a drive-thru “Back to School Fair” where parents can pick up backpacks, supplies shoes, and informational flyers from organizations around town, all from the safety of their cars.
Through these and scores of other similar efforts, United Way is helping students get what they need to succeed this school year. We stand by our schools, especially as officials in many areas face tough choices about how to keep their students safe and help them thrive academically – at home or in school. Contact your local United Way for ways to stand by our students, teachers, and schools.