The United Way Write Start Project is a back-to-school initiative targeting those who make a difference in the lives of our children, the individuals who spend their days ensuring that students succeed in the school … teachers.
The community-wide project fills the gap and cost of teachers’ supplies by providing much needed school supplies to teachers in 81 San Antonio Independent Schools, impacting over 3,200 area teachers.
“From our year-round work with students, teachers and parents, we understand firsthand how the lack of necessary school supplies can impact a teacher’s ability to do the basic fundamentals of teaching,” said Brandyn Moore-Rodriguez, United Way Vice President of Community Relations and Volunteer Initiatives.
Community volunteer groups and individual donors gifted crayons (16 and 24 count), spiral notebooks, disinfecting wipes, glue sticks, highlighters, #2 pencils, sticky notes, markers, and other items to make the teachers and students first-day-ready.
A Back-to-School Assembly Party and a Distribution to Teachers Rally were held Aug. 7 and Aug. 10, respectively. Over 215 volunteers helped at the Assembly Party and the Rally featured SAISD teachers, community volunteers and the Spurs Coyote! Both events were held at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, represented by Jennifer Elmwood, the Academy’s Principal.
For public school educators, spending hundreds of dollars of their own money is a long-standing back-to-school ritual. They continue to dip into their own pockets – to the tune of at least $459 every year, according to a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Teacher spending on school supplies is also higher in high-poverty schools and increasing overall.
“I just received a bag full of supplies. Thank you very much! said Marium Khan, science teacher at SAIDS’s Cooper Academy at Navarro. “It is so appreciated when I don’t have to spend my own money on school supplies, although I was out last night buying things again.”
“Thank you all so much for the back-to-school bags for our Maverick teachers. They were all so excited and grateful for your generosity,” said Jeanette Zuniga, Maverick Elementary School Counselor. “We truly do believe that our Maverick teachers make a difference in the lives of their students.”
“Thank you for the opportunity to volunteer today. The process was very organized and Highland Park Elementary was so grateful for the supplies,” said Debbie Serot, a Women United volunteer.
In San Antonio, United Way focuses on helping students succeed in school, improving early care and education for children, strengthening individuals and families, and providing safety net emergency and disaster services. The Write Start Project is aligned with United Way’s work to support young children and successful students, giving educators the “write” start to the school year.
The project’s generous sponsors included: Citi (Presenting Sponsor) Alamo Cement, Cavender Auto Family Foundation, Charter Communications, SWBC and United Way.