The annual back to school migration is in motion, with 65,000 Seminole county students already reporting to class and an additional 350,000 Orange, Osceola, Lake and Volusia county students scheduled to return the third week in August. School start times may differ, but one statistic remains consistent statewide – 1 in 4 Florida children live in poverty. These kids need additional support throughout the school year. Fortunately, a number of companies and nonprofits stepped up help them make the grade.
“We received pens, pencils, really, a little bit of everything,” said Insight Credit Union Community Outreach Executive Donnie Adamcyk. They actually received more than “a little bit.” This year, Insight Credit Union launched a month-long school supply drive in a first-time partnership with Heart of Florida United Way. The seven branches located throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties served as drop-off sites and the response was good. Insight successfully filled between eight to ten boxes with all kinds of back to school items. “We’re thrilled with the opportunity to be part of this partnership,” said Adamcyk.
In addition to supplies, other resources like tutors, mentors and volunteers make a big impact. This school year, United Way is placing 20 AmeriCorps members at Oak Ridge and Evans High Schools (10 members each) to provide academic support in English and math for 10th – 12th grade students. They will provide one-on-one mentoring to help juniors and seniors develop a written post-secondary education action plan.
This is in addition to the 14 VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) serving in 12 Title I schools in the tri-county area to recruit volunteers.
If you’re interested in helping Central Florida students get this school year started right by donating supplies or keeping it on track by volunteering as a reader, tutor or mentor, we encourage you to get involved. Most needed items include loose-leaf paper, 24 count boxes of crayons and spiral notebooks. For additional information, contact our Volunteer Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.