Red Apple Supplies Invites Teachers to Shop for Free School Supplies
By CRA News Service
Teachers at some Palm Beach County Title 1 schools now have a special opportunity to stock their classrooms with free supplies and items they need throughout the school year, long after their original inventory has been emptied.
Everything from pencils, crayons and copy paper are what these teachers, who need them the most, can get for their classrooms, and are now conveniently contained in this little store dubbed Red Apple Supplies.
“Our goal is to help as many classrooms possible as quickly as we can,” said Christina Lambert, CEO and president of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. “Our growth plan calls for us to start small, but we are thrilled to be serving nine schools this spring, twice as many as we expected.”
Red Apple Supplies is a project of the Education Foundation, a non-profit organization, which helps to fund programs of the School District through partnerships with community leaders, businesses and the philanthropic communities. It is stocked by entirely donated goods.
The program is being run from two pilot schools in West Palm Beach until a new permanent location opens up on Florida Avenue. Teachers in the Glades area can shop at two local schools so they don’t have to come to the east coast to shop, said Laura Bessinger-Morse, program officer for the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County.
Organizers and teachers say all of the supplies will specifically benefit students at the 134 Title 1 schools in Palm Beach County. One hundred and thirty four of the county’s 185 public schools are considered Title 1, which mean 50 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunches.
The Foundation recently held a soft launch, attended by about 40 guests, board members and staff. The event gave the community a chance to explore the free school supply store before teachers were able to begin ‘shopping’ in March.
“We received a positive response to the program, heard great ideas from the guests, and enjoyed conversations about the store’s future growth and service goals,” Lambert said.
Teachers are allowed to return once every month to get more, which many say is a lifesaver.
Red Apple Supplies is beginning its operation with a small number of highest needs schools and will build its service capacity annually.
For more information on the Red Apple Supplies and how you can volunteer, donate or supply donations, call 561-434-7303 or visit EducationFoundationPBC.org/RedAppleSupplies.