Back to school means many different things to many different children. To some, it is a time to see friends that have faded away in the endless days of summer, and to others it’s a solemn return to structure after months of adventuring. To others it’s a time of stress, and their concern lies in whether or not they will even have the proper supplies to attend and do well. It’s this group of kids that Andrew Roberts and the residents of his Townhomes at Mountain View were thinking of when they did a donation drive for school supplies, which they presented to the Puyallup School district on Sept 18.
“We’re just trying to be a bigger part of the Puyallup community, and I think the schools are a good place to start,” Roberts said. “Plus it’s interesting to me to hear that some kids don’t have paper and pencils and things like that and it has to come by donation. So why not us?”
Townhomes at Mountain View consists of three rental multifamily communities in Puyallup. Management put together a big resident barbeque and asked attendees to donate school supplies. From there, Roberts and his team began coordinating with the district, analyzing what was needed and relaying the information to donors.
“We just kept asking residents to donate and they did, so it worked out well,” Roberts said.
Roberts worked with Jan Mauk of Communities in Schools in Puyallup to help determine where the need was. The group works with schools in the Puyallup School District as a dropout prevention program, providing at-risk students with important services such as tutoring and after school programs, and has come to learn that the first step in ensuring success is making sure children have the supplies they need to succeed.
“We target kids in need and supply community resources such as school supplies and food,” Mauk said. “We have coordinators in some of the schools that work directly with the kids at risk. In the schools where we don’t have coordinators, we work with councilors to find the need.”
The cart of backpacks and other school supplies was delivered to Puyallup School District Headquarters on Sept. 18, and the district was more than happy to accept the tools that will lead to young students’ success.
“School supplies, first of all, are the tools that kids need for their job, and their job is school. So if they don’t have the right tools obviously they aren’t going to be able to do their job as a student as well. It also levels the playing field for those that come without,” Mauk said.
For more information on Townhomes at Mountain View, visit www.townhomesatmountainview.com, and for more information on Communities in Schools in Puyallup, visit puyallup.ciswa.org.