Crayons to Classrooms is the free store designed for teachers who work at under-funded schools that serve Dayton. Our Make a Difference readers have been contributing school supplies to the organization for many years.
In partnership with local businesses, individual donors and community volunteers, Crayons to Classrooms (C2C) seeks to close the opportunity gap by securing and distributing supplies at no cost to teachers of students in need. The organization currently serves over 2,000 teachers at 122 schools where 60 percent or more of the students participate in the National School Lunch Program.
Since opening in 2009, C2C has distributed over $30 million school supplies.
In the summer of 2021, we learned the group was losing 7,000 square feet of previously donated warehouse space and was in desperate need of an additional facility. “Having a second warehouse allows us to continue to accept product we might not have space for otherwise,” explains Dave Hargrove, Operations Manager. “The vast majority of our core items are all consumables. Students continue to use them, so the need is always there.”
The happy news is that the non-profit recently secured an additional 9,000 square feet of warehouse space and is now eager to fill this new space with donated supplies from its Stuff the Bus back-to-school supply drive. C2C needs help filling the warehouse in order to stock shelves in the fall with core school supplies, cleaning products, classroom decorations and more. The organization is calling on other organizations, faith groups, neighborhoods and individuals to host supply drives to collect needed products.
“Supply drives assist us in building our inventory to support teachers, not just at back-to-school time, but throughout the year,” says director of development Amy Koop. “During the 2022-23 school year, we distributed more than $2.5 million in resources. When you think about it, that’s a lot of pencils, notebooks and other supplies. This wouldn’t be possible without support from the local community.”
Your support of Stuff the Bus will help prepare 50,000 students and their teachers in our region for the upcoming school year.
Here’s what they need most:
- Colored pencils
- Dry erase markers
- Glue/glue sticks
- 70-ct. spiral one subject notebooks
- Pencil sharpeners
- Children’s scissors
Donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays at the Crayons to Classrooms store located on 1750 Woodman Drive, to the left of the Goodwill Outlet store. You’re asked to schedule a donation drop-off time by emailing Dave Hargrove at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although Stuff the Bus campaign officially runs from July 1-August 31, C2C accepts donations year-round in order to keep the store stocked for Miami Valley teachers.
Other ways to help:
- Groups and individuals can get involved by hosting a virtual or traditional supply drive. Virtual supply drives can be created online through the support page: https://p2p.onecause.com/2023-stuffthebus. Information about hosting a traditional supply drive can be found in C2C’s Stuff the Bus Coordinator Toolkit. Supply drives can be held anytime through August 31.
- The organization has both remote and in-person volunteer opportunities. In the store, you might work as a shopping assistant, data entry volunteer or create Classroom Solutions products such as die-cut shapes or sentence strips. Volunteer projects that can be done from your home or office include assembling journals for students and sewing pocket hugs. For more information about Crayons to Classrooms’ volunteer opportunities, visit https://www.crayonstoclassrooms.org/volunteers/.
- Crayons to Classrooms will be on air with Dayton 24/7 Now from July 24-28. The bus will be parked at the station all week (2245 Corporate Place) and you can drop off donations there as well.
- Learn more about Crayons to Classrooms’ mission and how to get involved by visiting www.crayonstoclassrooms.org.
Are you a teacher?
Teachers who are interested in shopping in the free Teacher Resource Center can visit the website to see if their school is on the eligible schools list: https://www.crayonstoclassrooms.org/teachers/eligible-schools/. If your school is not on that list, you may be able to participate in the Volunteer to Shop program (VTS).
For more information: visit https://www.crayonstoclassrooms.org/teachers/volunteer-to-shop/. Teachers and volunteers can contact Program Manager, Carlye Rausch, at email@example.com with any questions.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.