Baldwin Wallace’s Kappa Delta Pi cancelled their backpack project amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The event would have supplied local Cuyahoga County schools with essential supplies for grades K-12 students in need.
The organization will not be collecting these supplies because of a lack of BW Education students doing field experiences this semester to hand out the backpacks.
Each fall for over 10 years, Baldwin Wallace Education students have collected supplies on campus around Wheeler Hall from the public, faculty, and students. They are able to donate around 80 to 90 backpacks each year to help families in need.
“They (BW students) take these supplies with them into these classrooms that they are placed in and they give them to the teacher to hand out to the students in their class,” said Gary Kristie, Counselor of Kappa Delta Pi.
Students distributed backpacks to over 45 different schools in the Cuyahoga County Area last year.
The need for school supplies has not diminished even though the children may be remote or hybrid learning this semester. The United States Census Bureau estimates that in 2019 there were over 222,000 people living in poverty in the Cuyahoga County area.
The Baldwin Wallace Education Department is still supporting local schools even though many activities that would have normally taken place have been cancelled.
“We are volunteering and donating on average 60 hours per student in field experiences through each semester, about 100 students per semester,” said Chad Malcolm, Coordinator of Early Childhood Education.
Some schools in the area are continuing to contribute to families in need by putting on their own school supply drives.
Parma City Schools were able to partner with Mario’s barber shop in early August to collect donations for a supply drive called, “Stuff the Bus.”
“This was my first year doing the Stuff the Bus and from what I have heard this was a much larger amount (of supplies), we also got a huge donation from Walmart,” said Mikael Price, Administrative Specialist for Community and Family Connections in Parma.
North Royalton City Schools have also been able to continue to provide to their students.
“Our community is very supportive, and our Caring Closets are full of supplies, clothes and personal hygiene products,” said Charlene Paparizos, Communications Director for North Royalton City Schools.
The Caring Closet is a place for students in need of not only school supplies, but other everyday necessities that they may not be receiving at home. If the supplies in need are available, they can acquire them here.
Each student’s privacy is kept by having a sign on the door outside of the closet stating if the room is vacant or not.
Anyone can donate by bringing in bagged donations to the North Royalton High School. Items in need include toiletries, shoes, clothes, school supplies, packaged underwear and socks, and boys’ button – down dress shirts. Cash and checks are also accepted made out to North Royalton High School with “The Caring Closet” written in the memo portion.
There are still a variety of ways for the public to support local schools and families, check out other local schools in need.