coronavirus

Communities Step Up to Get School Supplies in Hands of Younger Students

At the start of school closures, much of the focus was on technology for middle and high school students

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For weeks schools have struggled to get online learning up and running for students in middle and high school.

But what about younger learners? Many of them are left to learn at home without technology.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, schools have become a place to grab a meal, get a homework assignment and exchange a smile. It gives students and parents a taste of human interaction.

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Now, there’s one more thing handed out: school supplies.

Judy Kelley teaches kindergarten at Bear Creek Elementary School in Euless. She said the youngest students have needed simple supplies like pencils and paper to do the things kindergartners do.

"Even today. most of the parents that have come by, they want the line paper with the dots -- the handwriting paper," Kelley said.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD knew it had just the people to help.

"When we reached out previously to see what we can do to help, they said sit tight," said Kim Farbisz, president of the GCISD Council of PTAs.

Parents were ready to jump in and buy supplies needed to help others. GCISD also took steps to realize the cutting, pasting and gluing normally done in class may not be the easiest at home.

"We really had to rethink the things we were asking them to do at home to make sure, across the board, our kids had the same opportunities," said Bryan Calvert, principal at Bear Creek Elementary School.

The supplies were popular, and some parents requested four or five bags worth.

The district realized just how big the need was, and many people connected to the school stepped up to help.

"It’s making do with what you have, that’s what we’re learning through this period, and doing the best you can," Kelley said.

Parents can pick up supplies every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bear Creek Elementary School, Timberline Elementary School and Grapevine Middle School, along with lunch pick up. Meals and supplies are available to all students regardless of their financial situation.

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