Red Apple Supplies officially “opened for business” with a pop-up store recently at Rosenwald Elementary School in South Bay. The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County has been working for almost a year to bring a free school supply store to Palm Beach County public schools and is launching its services with four pilot schools based on priority of need.
Red Apple Supplies allows teachers from Title 1 schools to shop for supplies and the resources they need throughout the school year, long after full backpacks and supply bins have been emptied. The store’s inventory of school, office and craft supplies is donated from national corporations and local businesses and organizations.
Fourteen classroom teachers from the new Rosenwald campus experienced a mobile version of Red Apple Supplies: four aisles of basic and specialty supplies brought over in vans and set up in the school’s music room. Teachers checked in with foundation staff and volunteers, and then chose what they needed from a variety of items. The visit placed $2,225, or $160 on average per teacher, of necessary student tools directly into classrooms.
Many school districts around the state are provided this service from their local education foundations, and the benefit to teachers and students is undeniable. When classrooms have the tools necessary to succeed, the environment for learning is positive and strong.
The foundation recently acquired a facility on Florida Avenue in West Palm Beach, which will serve as the physical site for a permanent store and warehouse operations. Staff members are currently outfitting the space and plan to open for shopping days with partner schools in the spring. The foundation will continue to serve two schools in the Glades area with a mobile or satellite store, transporting goods for teachers at both Rosenwald and Canal Point elementary schools. Roosevelt and UB Kinsey elementary schools will shop at the new Florida Avenue store, and several more schools will be added as Red Apple Supplies continues to expand its services.
Groups interested in supporting the store by hosting supply drives or volunteering can contact the foundation for information. Visit www.educationfoundationpbc.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.