Safe at home and quarantine orders disproportionately affect the learning and resources available to low-income students. Some resources at schools (playgrounds, puzzles, music, books, art supplies, etc) make major differences in the lives of children that have little to no resources at home. These resources are essential for the stimulation of their minds and support of their mental health.
There are major needs in technology, access to their classrooms, and learning material. We may not all have laptops and ipads sitting around to share with these underpriviledged student populations, but we may have other tools in our homes sitting unused. This will not fully fix those gaps, but it can still make a difference we can't even imagine.
Books - that build vocabulary and reading comprehension
Puzzles - that build concentration, motor skills, memory & problem solving skills
Board games - that can support everything from vocabulary to strategic thinking
Coloring books & paint supplies - that provide outlets for creativity and support mental health
Notepads/diaries - that can be used as an outlet for feelings and ideas
More ideas include: sudoku, word search, writing instruments, flash cards, white boards, chalk boards, building blocks, STEM toys, & much more
Some of us have these items shoved in a closet or have children who outgrew these items long ago. I am working on collecting these items for low income elementary schools in my local area. If you have items you would like to send but can't afford the shipping, I can send you a pre-paid shipping label to use (just let me know in the questions/comments form below).
I will sort everything recieved and get it to the right hands to distribute it to families that need these tools. I will also be printing a list of COVID-19 resources and phone numbers for these families in both English and Spanish - food banks, childcare for essential workers, etc. Some of these resources are posted online and families that don't have online access don't even know the options available to them.
Please note: I am not a charity or non-profit and sending in items is not a tax deduction. However you will be making a world of difference in a kid's life with any of the learning tools you send.
Address to send packages:
EP Care Club
1414 E 33rd St
Signal Hill, Ca 90755
At this point the drive is for learning tools or tools for play and creativity. This is not a clothing drive or food drive. Although, I encourage you to look up local resources for clothing and food drives as well if you have excess in those categories.
A little note of why this is personal to me. (optional read)
I grew up in a low income family and neighborhood. There were families that could barely feed their children let alone buy them educational tools and toys. For families like this, all educational opportunities are on school grounds. Games and reading and art all took place in the classroom. It's something you take for granted if you don't know how special it is to have those learning tools and games in your home.
Years later, when I was in college, I took a trip during spring break to New Orleans. The purpose of the trip was to provide continued relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Part of our trip was spent tutoring elementary school students in a school in the Treme. Students were 2-3 years behind their grade, primarily due to learning gaps caused by school closures. I understand that there is no substitution for education, but while I was there the librarian and teachers talked about how the kids that were struggling the most had nothing at home. Not one book, not one puzzle, not one game.
Because of these experiences, I learned that even the smallest luxury could make a significant difference. We can't give them computers, wifi, or teachers in their homes, I know that is a problem much bigger that still needs a solution. However, we can give them something. To us that something might seem small, but from another perspective that something can feel like EVERYTHING during a hard time like this.
Thank you so much to anyone that participates. If you have items around your house already that is great. If you want to make purchases of items online and have them shipped in that is also great. Anything helps.