Push for Pencils Blog
Our store will be closed tomorrow for shopping, as we follow the Pattonville School Schedule. See you Friday!
As we wind down the August Drive Thru, we wanted to give everyone and updated days and hours schedule:
August 19 6-9 am
August 24 6-9 am
August 25 6-9 am
August 26 6-9 am
August 31 6-9 am
Please RSVP at
KidSmart will be closed for Labor Day September 1-3
More to Come!
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered for us the last 5 days. Without your help we couldn’t get all the supplies to the teachers! If you would like to volunteer for the next few weeks, here is the link to our times and shifts. Please note these are the days the store will be operating, as we will NOT be opening in August and we will continue to do Drive Thru shopping for the remainder of the month. Thanks again to all and see you soon.
Thank you for the out pouring of support today! Donations of school supplies are very much appreciated. Also, thanks to those of you who have signed up to help prepare the supply boxes for teachers as we get through this hot spell. If you or your group wish to volunteer early the next few days, sign up for shifts using link below. Shifts are 6-9 am Thursday through Monday
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KIDSMART’S 10th OPENING FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR POSTPONED DUE TO EXTREME HEAT
JULY 31, 2012—ST. LOUIS, MO—KidSmart, St. Louis’s Free Educational Supply Store, is postponing its 10th grand re-opening originally scheduled for tomorrow, August 1st due to the extreme heat.
With outside temperatures climbing to more than 100 degrees again this week, temperatures inside the un-air conditioned Free Store and warehouse have been reaching dangerous levels. Even in this extreme heat, tens of thousands of local children, who live each day in poverty, will start school in just two weeks. As the local non-profit organization that has provided free school supplies to kids in need each school year since 2002, this is the first time KidSmart has had to reschedule its opening date of August 1st and they know they have to find a way around the heat.
“The last thing we want to do is postpone our re-opening because we know these kids need the free supplies in order to be equipped for back to school. We just can’t risk the health and safety of the teachers, volunteers and staff. At the same time, we know we can’t risk leaving 90,000 kids in need unprepared for the first day of school, so we are working hard to develop an alternate plan during this unprecedented heat wave,” said Jennifer Miller, President of KidSmart.
KidSmart is quickly re-configuring their distribution method. The organization is planning to launch a “drive -thru service” for teachers who shop at KidSmart monthly. KidSmart will be working to beat the heat of each day opening at 6 a.m. each day and closing by 9 a.m. Instead of distributing through the regular monthly shopping trips inside the Free Store, KidSmart will distribute pre-packaged boxes of school supplies, which will be loaded into the teachers’ cars. Drive-thru service will begin this Thursday but volunteers are needed immediately.
KidSmart has put out a community-wide call for extra volunteers for the next two weeks, leading up to the start of school. The back-to-school boxes will need to be packed by volunteers during the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. hours and will include enough supplies to outfit all of the students in an entire high poverty classroom. Volunteers will also be needed to work the teacher drive-thru service.
“With the extra efforts from our dedicated staff and volunteers and additional help from the St. Louis community, we will be able to step up and beat the heat for tens of thousands of St. Louis students. These kids count on KidSmart each year to provide the free supplies they must have to succeed in school,” said Miller.
August 1st is also a big day for KidSmart as it kicks off its annual, community-wide campaign called Push for Pencils. KidSmart is projecting to distribute $1 million in free school supplies this August alone to tens of thousands of kids in need. According to Miller that is almost double the supplies typically distributed in one month which is why, she says, it’s even more important for the entire community and 60,000 employee partners to pick up extra school supplies to donate while shopping .
And while the weather forecast for August doesn’t look to be cooling off anytime soon, Miller and the KidSmart staff will be watching the thermostat daily in the hopes of re-opening the KidSmart Free Store for shopping in September.
“The need is year-round, as many of the top needed supplies are consumable; however we all know the importance and impact the start of school has on the success a child experiences throughout an entire school year,” said Miller.
For more information about KidSmart, Push for Pencils, or teacher shopping, please visit http://www.kidsmartstl.org.
KidSmart is a St. Louis not-for-profit organization that equips tens of thousands of children in need in more than 110 public schools in the St. Louis area. Teachers from eligible schools “shop” monthly for free school supplies to ensure their students are prepared to learn. The Free Store is funded and stocked by local individuals, foundations and companies. To date, more than $24 million worth of free school supplies, including essential classroom tools such as pencils, notebooks, glue, backpacks, art supplies and books have been distributed to more than 100,000 local students in need.
2011-2012 MID-YEAR UPDATE
Happy New Year! KidSmart is already underway with another exciting and successful semester with St. Louis area schools, but we wanted to take a moment and look back at how we did between August and December.
As of the end of December 2011, KidSmart currently has 108 schools shopping at the store! We are proud to say that the teachers did a lot of shopping from August through December, and were able to bring some great school supplies back to their students. By the end of first semester, Imagine Academy of Environmental Science & Math received $45,979 worth of school supplies from our store! They were followed by Gateway High School, which received $44,696 worth of supplies, and Hazelwood East Middle, with $40,617 worth of supplies.
During this past semester, KidSmart also held backpack drops at three of the schools we serve. We went into the schools and passed out backpacks filled with essential school supplies to each student. Emerson, one of our corporate partners, sponsored the backpack drops at Bermuda and Cool Valley Elementary Schools, while Enterprise, another corporate partner, sponsored the drop at Woodward Elementary School. KidSmart is extremely grateful all of the continual support we receive from Emerson and Enterprise.
KidSmart is looking forward to another fantastic semester! Check back on our website (www.kidsmartstl.org), “Like” us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KidSmartSTL) and follow us on Twitter @KidSmart (www.twitter.com/KidSmart) for updates, news and all things KidSmart!
On Thursday, November 3rd, KidSmart had an amazing group of volunteers come help out in our store. Twenty-three volunteers from the Enterprise Fleet Volunteer Group came and helped us completely restock our entire store. These men did everything from sorting school supplies to merchandising the supplies, replenishing the shelves to restocking the KidSmart library. After all was said and done, they had sorted and stocked more than four pallets of donated school supplies.
But it didn’t stop there. Not only did these men donate their time and talents, they brought a $1,000 check along with them from their foundation, the Enterprise Fleet Volunteer Group. Not only did they present KidSmart with this extremely generous donation, but on their way over to KidSmart, they decided to pass a hat around to match the check from their foundation! After pooling the money, they made a stop at Office Depot to buy school supplies to donate to the store! Overall, they donated $2,767 worth of school supplies to KidSmart!!
We here at KidSmart cannot even begin to express our gratitude for everything the Enterprise Fleet Volunteer Group did for us. We really appreciate all of their hard work in the store and their very generous donation. Enterprise has been a huge supporter of KidSmart since before we opened our doors in 2002, and we are extremely thankful for all of the support they have given us over the years!
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