ELKHART — Elkhart Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Schoolhouse Supply Store, a program of the Elkhart Education Foundation, at 3 p.m. Monday, August 12. The Supply Store location is at the Elkhart Academy, near Mary Beck Elementary School, 1013 Tipton Street, Elkhart.
The Elkhart Education Foundation aims to offset the financial burden on teachers by launching the Schoolhouse Supply Store. The store will be available to all Elkhart Community Schools faculty and staff. Weekly hours will start on Aug. 13 from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays when teachers, paras, counselors, admin, social workers, and any operational support staff that work with kids can browse in person and get the supplies they need at no cost. ECS staff just needs to show their staff ID for entrance.
In addition, a convenient ordering and request website will allow faculty and staff to place online orders and have the supplies shipped directly to them at their school’s campus. A teacher request form will be available at the nonprofit’s website, www.OneCityOneMission.org/Supply-store, in addition to in-kind donation forms.
“EEF’s goal is always to make our hardworking teachers’ lives just a little bit easier. The mindset shift that can happen when a teacher feels supported and is confident they will have the tools their students need to succeed in the classroom is a huge step toward a positive learning environment,” said Ashley Boling Molyneaux, executive director of Elkhart Education Foundation.
To ensure the success of the Schoolhouse Supply Store, EEF is developing an inventory system and ordering website specifically for the store. ECS donated storage space, store display space, shelving and facilitation of deliveries to their own teachers. Last year, EEF introduced a school supply recycling program during locker clean out. Many of those gently used supplies will be repurposed for the Schoolhouse Supply Store.
In addition, during the month of August the nonprofit will distribute School Bus boxes donated by Welch Packaging to 50 different business locations for school supply donations. The business with the largest amount of donations will win a congratulatory billboard! EEF is partnering with the Salvation Army in collaboration with Walmart for a one-day school supply drive to add donations to the store. EEF is seeking corporate or private donations in order to purchase supplies in bulk to stock the store as well.
For the public interested in donating, the Elkhart Education Foundation’s Schoolhouse Supply Store will happily accept all basic school supplies (i.e. pencils, pens, crayons, notebooks, glue, folders). The Store is in special need of the following items due to overwhelming teacher requests: dry ease markers, stylus, ear buds/headphones, floor pillows and stools for alternative seating, calculators, construction paper, Kleenex, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and Ziploc bags. Donations can be brought to the EEF office at 2746 Old U.S. 20 W., Elkhart.
Volunteers are also needed to sort and organize supplies. To volunteer or have a company or school group get involved, contact 574-361-1258 or email@example.com.