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UCPS teachers receive an early holiday gift

Mike Daley, a Classroom Central warehouse coordinator, and MyLetta Williams, a former Monroe High School teacher who now works with Classroom Central, brought boxes of supplies to Union County teachers recently.

 About 100 Union County Public School teachers got an early holiday gift recently when Classroom Central’s Mobile Free Store spent the morning handing out free school supplies.

The Charlotte-based business, which has been in operation for more than 12 years, offers free classroom supplies for area teachers. “Our main mission is to give free school supplies to teachers of children who live in poverty,” said Mike Daley, a Classroom Central warehouse coordinator who transported the boxes of supplies to Union County.

“Classroom Central takes the weight off me as a teacher to continuously replenish the things I need in my classroom, from the basics to the fun, creative elements. It is an excellent resource that I am really grateful for,” said Monroe High School English teacher Jessica Ennis Hall.

Schools are chosen based on their ratio of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. “If they’re 50 percent or more free and reduced lunch, all of the educators in that school are able to come to our store in Charlotte once a month and get free school supplies,” Daley said.

The Mobile Free Store was in Union County Tuesday (Dec. 2, 2014) offering free supplies to teachers who work at Monroe Middle and High, Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts, East Union Middle, East Elementary, Wingate Elementary, South Providence, Walter Bickett Elementary and Walter Bickett Education Center.

One of the coordinators of the program is a former Monroe HIgh teacher. MyLetta Williams, educational coordinator, said the company serves 17 UCPS schools.

“Because we serve Union County, if there is a school that doesn’t quite meet the 50 percent requirement, they can send one teacher from their school to get supplies,” Williams said.

“I am so grateful for Classroom Central because it provides my students with materials they need to succeed in the classroom,” said Monroe High School English teacher Jessica Ennis Hall. “Some of my students cannot afford school supplies, and the donations allow students to be more organized and have everything they need like paper, pencils, notebooks, and more.”

Classroom Central also offers other opportunities to give free school supplies to teachers. Besides the store located at 2116 Wilkinson Blvd in Charlotte, the business also takes the supplies out in the field.

Hall said Classroom Central offers opportunities for local companies to invest in the school system. “The donors who contribute to Classroom Central are from the surrounding Charlotte area and directly impact the population who in turn becomes the consumers of the company’s goods. This is beneficial for all parties.”

The Mobile Free Store, which transports school supplies to school systems once a quarter, visted the campus of Monroe High School, but was opened to all area teachers. “We started the Mobile Free Store to be able to get out to the outlying districts,” Daley said. “There is just as much of a need out here as there is in Charlotte.”

Classroom Central donated $5.4 million of school supplies over the 2013-14 school year to schools in Union, Gaston, Statesville/Iredell City of Kannapolis, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Lancaster, SC.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Dec 05, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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