For the third year in a row, hundreds of Queens children will crack open a new box of crayons and a fresh notebook at the start of this school year, thanks to a school supply drive sponsored by Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.
Over the past two years, nearly 10,000 items have been collected and distributed to children in need throughout western Queens. This year’s drive will benefit children from I.S. 125 in Woodside and P.S. 166 in Long Island City.
“It’s going to help families not have to make tough choices that no parent should ever have to make,” said Van Bramer. “When a family is struggling to pay rent and pay bills, they might not purchase the new book bag or buy all the loose-leaf binders and all the stuff they know their kids need. They simply can’t do it. We don’t want any kid to fall further behind simply because they don’t have enough money.”
Donation stations, set up at the Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City, Broadway and Court Square branches of the Queens Library, are open for the public to drop off pencils, backpacks, notebooks and markers. Representatives from the councilmember’s camp will collect the items weekly, catalog them and contact schools in an effort to decide exactly what each campus needs.
The drive will run through September 10, but according to the councilmember, could potentially be extended. Van Bramer said they are collecting strictly new, unused items for the drive.
“All kids deserve an equal shot to learn to grow and to succeed,” said Van Bramer. “The first day of school is a time of extreme optimism. We want all the kids to have new, fresh supplies that signify the spirit of hope and optimism.”
Anyone interested in donating can drop off supplies at any of the District 26 branches of the Queens Library.