East students get school supplies

Feb. 11, 2014 @ 03:49 PM

Tuesday was already an exciting day at East Elementary, thanks to snow and an early dismissal, but the group Classroom Central helped to make it a more exciting day by giving away new school supplies to all 400 students. 

The funding was made possible by donations from Wal-Mart. Classroom Central is a non-profit organization based in Charlotte that serves area school districts. East Elementary was the first school in Union County to receive supplies from them. 

The schools are chosen based on the level of free-and-reduced lunch, Director of Communications Lauren Johnson said. School Counselor  Jennifer Lodge said that about 98 percent of the students at the Title I school receive free-or-reduced lunch. 

“(We are) just happy to come out to the school,” Johnson said. She said the school has wonderful kids and a wonderful school environment and added that they want to make sure the kids have the supplies they need to succeed in school. 

Jody Monkus’ first-grade class was thrilled to receive the package of school supplies and happily looked through the folders, crayons, markers, pencils, pencil sharpeners, scissors and other supplies. Many wanted to take the supplies home, though some had to stay at the school in their cubbies. 

Monkus said that the students are starting to run out of school supplies around this time of the year. 

“They were absolutely over the moon about their supplies,” Monkus said. “They love to go to school.”

She said one of her students told her he hoped it did not snow Tuesday because he wanted to be in school. 

Monkus said that any little bit of extra supplies is a big deal for them because often don’t have the luxury of new supplies and while they sometimes receive donations, it is usually in the beginning of the school year. 

She said she has been teaching for 14 years and this is the most loving community and staff she has worked with. They care about the student’s learning, but they also work to take care of the students. This is Monkus’ first year teaching at East. 

Lodge, a school counselor, said that while the school tries to keep supplies stocked, the cache begins to diminish around this time of year. She said the students and staff were “so appreciative” of the donations. 

“It was really great to have the opportunity, just to kind of be recognized as a school in need,” Lodge said. “This was great timing.” 

She said they were thankful for the generosity from Classroom Central and were “honored” to be chosen as the first school in the county to receive supplies from the organization.