With the start of the school year right around the corner, some parents need help to provide their children with quality school supplies.
On the north side of town, organizations like Interfaith Community Services, the Amphi Foundation and the Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation are working hard to provide help for students and their families ahead of the new school year.
The Amphi Foundation has, for most of its history, focused primarily on services that helped make it possible for students to attend school ready to learn and participate in activities.
The Amphi Clothing Bank, staffed entirely by volunteers, provides Amphitheater students and families in need with quality used and new clothing, shoes and hygiene kits. They also help defray travel expenses for students competing in regional and national academic
Through the Amphi Foundation, the program Shoes to Smiles was founded by board member Trindy LeForge in 2007. Multiple times per year, LeForge – along with volunteers – meet with Amphi students and assist these children in picking out two pairs of shoes as well as a package of socks. During the 2017-18 school year, 88 students had a chance to pick out new shoes with the group’s help.
The Amphi Clothing Bank was founded more than 25 years ago by teachers to assist families providing quality used clothing.
Every Amphi school has a liaison who works with the Clothing Bank volunteers and parents. Parents can make a request to their liaison, who can check the school’s inventory of clothing that can be distributed “on demand.” If the school does not have items that are needed, the liaison will send specific requests to the Clothing Bank so volunteers can fill the orders and send the clothing to the school for distribution to the students in need, with parents either picking up the clothing at the school or kids bringing the clothes home.
Parents can also request a referral form from the Clothing Bank Liaison at their school and come to the Clothing Bank on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from 2-5 p.m. to pick out clothing for their children.
Interfaith Community Services, founded in 1985, has a “Gifts of Love School Supply Program” which works to ease the financial difficulties that families face this time of year. ICS collects school supplies starting in June and distributes them to pre-screened students and families that are in need, starting in July.
The Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation, named for the 2340 days from kindergarten through 12th grade, was established to provide support and resources to help students succeed inside and outside the classroom. They hold numerous fundraisers and programs to help families in need.
The 2340 Foundation also funds multiple scholarships to help students advance to higher education. Ten college scholarships are awarded to students who have been enrolled in the Marana Unified School District for the full K-12 experience, with five of those scholarships awarded to Marana High School students and five to Mountain View High School students.
With coordination from the Marana Unified School District, The Youth Education Supporters (YES), formed in March by Dot Santy, is working with the Student Services Department at MUSD to supply hundreds of students with backpacks filled with necessary school supplies for different grade levels for the next school year.
Due to the pandemic, the MUSD Student Services department held a drive-thru event last year and plans to do another this year, according to the Director of Student Services Cynthia Ruich. With YES raising funds and collecting donations, the department will distribute the backpacks at their drive-thru event on July 22 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Early Learning and Resource Center on 7651 N. Oldfather Drive (formerly Thornydale Elementary School).