The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County is boosting its efforts to provide necessary supplies to Palm Beach County’s highest-need schools. The foundation has partnered with the nationally renowned Kids In Need Foundation (KINF) to help stock the shelves at its Red Apple Supplies (RAS) store in West Palm Beach.
Opened in March 2016, with a pilot group of high-need schools, RAS allows teachers to “shop” for supplies and resources for classroom use through the school year. The store’s inventory of school, office and craft supplies is donated by national corporations and local businesses and organizations.
The project was spearheaded by Education Foundation Vice President of Programs and Grants Meredith Trim after she learned about the enormous impact resource stores through KINF have on districts similar to Palm Beach County.
“The teachers who shop tell me how much these supplies mean to their classrooms, from having paper to print learning materials, binders for holding student work, and making sure each student has a pencil to do his work,” she said. “These moments show me the impact that Red Apple Supplies has already made in this community. We’re answering some of the lack of supplies that affect our students and their ability to learn and lessening the burden on teachers.”
The School District of Palm Beach County is the 11th-largest in the nation with 187 schools, 60 percent of which are Title I. In its first three month, RAS served eight Title 1 schools, benefiting a total of 1,380 students in 69 classrooms. The program has grown to support 14 Title I schools and will now be able to expand, thanks to the partnership with KINF.
KINF affiliate organizations must meet strict standards and serve a community where 70 percent or more of the students are on a federal nutrition program. With the generous support of national product partners, such as Jo Anne Fabrics, Target and Crayola, KINF can supply the resource centers with the basic tools needed.
“As a Palm Beach County resident, I was so pleased to welcome Red Apple Supplies to the Kids In Need Foundation,” said Kristine Cohn, senior director of development and corporate partnerships at KINF. “There is a great need in our schools, and Red Apple Supplies has shown the passion and resourcefulness that we revere at KINF. The immense support from the community also shows me that this program is going to go far.”
The KINF shipments will begin in January. In addition to the influx of supplies, RAS plans to expand its services to more schools, purchase a van, hire more employees, schedule additional supply drives and grow into a larger facility by December 2018. For more information, visit www.educationfoundationpbc.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.