Thursday, August 15, 2002
Crayons to Computers: A program that works
Free school items stocked
By Tom O'Neill, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cincinnati Enquirer
In some classrooms, the little things are big. Like packets of Post-it notes. Construction paper. Folders. And pencils.
This is the lesson school teachers began to understand in February 1997, when the innovative program Crayons to Computers first provided free classroom material to 22 Tristate schools. Today, it serves teachers at 321 area schools.
Kayla Boyd, a fifth-grade teacher at McKinley Accelerated School in Middletown, shops for her classroom at Crayons to Computers.|
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
More than $13.5 million in donated supplies later, Diane Kreiner spent Tuesday afternoon stocking up on classroom items that she, for years, had paid for herself. She was one of dozens of teachers from schools with high numbers of disadvantaged students who were pushing shopping carts through the Crayons to Computers warehouse in Bond Hill.
We have a lot of disadvantaged youth who can't afford these basic things, said Ms. Kreiner, who teaches family and consumer science at Lockland High School. She begins her 22nd year of teaching on Aug. 26.
Post-it notes, she said, smiling. That's a real treat for me.
The Crayons to Computers goal is to get basic school supplies into the hands of as many needy students as possible. There are 21 such programs nationally. Typically, the programs have a small paid staff, but rely heavily on corporate and individual donations as well as volunteers.
CRAYONS TO COMPUTERS
In past 12 months:|
Teacher visits: 17,664.
Average sales per day: $26,236.
Average sale per trip: $257.
Volunteer hours: 15,288.
Biggest corporate contributors: International Paper, Kroger and Procter & Gamble.
To make a financial contribution, send checks to Crayons to Computers, 1250 Tennessee Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229, or call 482-7095. Items can be dropped off there, too. It's in Bond Hill, off Reading Road, just south of the Norwood Lateral.
Tuesday's shoppers were from dozens of local schools, including elementaries in Mount Airy, Millvale and Newport. The Crayons to Computers warehouse reopened for the school year last Monday. This week, it was abuzz with volunteers, including retired teachers and those still in the classroom who become eligible to shop here by volunteering.
They love it, said Crayons to Computers president and CEO Shannon Carter. To be eligible to fill one shopping cart, teachers must be from a school where 60 percent of students receive free or reduced-cost lunches. That's 140 schools in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. They can return periodically during the school year.
Teachers at another 181 area schools qualify through volunteering. That's what brought Deb Price to the 10,000-square-foot Bond Hill warehouse on Tuesday. She's a health technologies teacher at Live Oaks Career Development Center in Miami Township, Clermont County, and has been a volunteer here since 1998.
Kids arrive, no pens, no notebooks and this is high school, she said.
Tonya Bray is a little nervous. She begins her first day of teaching at Losantiville Elementary later this month. Fifth grade, math and science. I want to start a class store, incentives for attendance, going above and beyond, she said.
Constance LeGrange came over to say hello. Ms. LeGrange teaches sixth-grade math and science at Losantiville. She filled her cart with pencils, paper and Ohio prisoner-made seat covers, which slip over the backs of seats and have pockets for school supplies.
A third of all items donated last year came from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's Crafts with Conviction program, where inmates volunteer to make supplies.
Mayor 'mothballs' convention expansion
Two may be Ohio's first with West Nile
Boy home after rare brain surgery
Candidate tries to disqualify opponent
Crayons to Computers: A program that works
Hospital diversions increase from 2001
Man who died after arrest was ex-con with drug past
Neighbors fight church addition
Obituary: Douglas Powell found purpose as firefighter
Tristate A.M. Report
HOWARD: Some Good News
RADEL: 3 good Samaritans
Building plans evoke e-mail spat
Deals offered to attract hospital
Insanity plea made in killing
Log cabin in Chilo about to come down
Tax levies to bolster police, fire depts. OK'd for ballot
Trustees balk at barn buy as property taxes soar
Wife disputes fraud charge
ID scanners screen underage sales
Kroger top bidder for fair beef champion
Missing kids' photos on Strickland mail
Ohio high court delays execution of killer
Police report: Firetruck had no brakes
Sept. 11 tension vivid to controller
Supreme court lifts judge's suspension
Giant hive an un-bee-lievable find
Ky. hikes cost of a ticket
Tech college seeks new image
Wildlife painter's descendant tours Ky.