(Pompano Beach, Fla.) – The Tools for Schools Broward school supply center at 2300 West Copans Road in Pompano Beach distributed more than $700,000 in school supplies this past school year to teachers who teach in the county’s poorest schools. On average, each teacher left the center with more than $350 in free school supplies for his or her classroom. Yet, the average teacher spends more than $1,000 personal dollars on school supplies each year.
In an effort to curb that personal sacrifice, the Broward Education Foundation, which operates the Tools for Schools Broward center, is launching its third annual back to school supply drive. Collection bins will be placed in businesses throughout Broward County, starting on July 1 through August 16. According to Hector Javier, the manager of the store, the most popular items are paper, composition books, pencils, pens and crayons. Teachers most often request calculators, sheet protectors, laminating items and staplers.
Jorene Jameson, president and CEO of the Broward Education Foundation (BEF), says the third annual Tools for Schools Broward school supply drive helps teachers with limited resources and helps provide students the basic tools they need to succeed in school.
“The teachers who shop at the Tools for Schools Broward center serve students whose family incomes qualify them for free or reduced-cost lunches,” she said. “According to our research, 88 percent of Broward County teachers spend up to $1,000 of their personal funds each year on school supplies for their classrooms. Our goal is to eliminate the need for teachers to dip into their own pockets.”
Tools for Schools Broward is a 8,000-square-foot center, which provides teachers in low income schools the chance to shop for free supplies they need year round. Since it was formed in January 2001, Tools for Schools Broward has provided more than $4 million in new school supplies to teachers in Title I schools.
Local businesses throughout Broward County are being asked to collect school supplies from their customers and employees by displaying collection bins in their offices or retail locations. To request a bin, call Mari-Lee Baxter at 754-321-2034 or Marifirstname.lastname@example.org. Cash donations also can be made at www.browardedfoundation.org or by sending a check to the Broward Education Foundation at 600 SE Third Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.
Other supporters of the campaign include Broward Women in Network; the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance; the Greater Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Pompano Beach Chambers of Commerce; the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce GLBX; JM Family; The Pride Center; Rio Vista McDonald’s; SAGE of South Florida; SunServe; and United Way. Among the companies in Broward County with bins in their offices are AutoNation, City Furniture, IBERIABANK, Regent Bank and Fifth Third Bank.
About the Broward Education Foundation:
Established in 1983, the non-profit Broward Education Foundation (BEF) seeks private contributions to supplement the public funding schools receive. The Foundation raises support from the private sector and charitable foundations to provide post-secondary scholarships to college or trade-bound high school graduates who have exhausted all other sources of support, grants to support innovative curriculum in the classroom and free school supplies to teachers in Title I low-income schools through the Tools for Schools Broward center in Pompano Beach.
BEF was ranked as the 10th best education foundation in the nation for its effectiveness in generating and sustaining financial resources and distributing funds to students in the district, according to a 2012 study conducted by the Dewey & Associates consulting firm. During the 2011-12 fiscal year, the Foundation contributed more than $1.7 million in scholarships, school supplies, teacher grants and other school support.