EPCC’s Service-Learning Program is holding its 5th annual school supplies drive, benefiting elementary school students in need around the community.
The back to school season can be an exciting time for some kids, they get new school supplies, new outfits and get to tell their friends all the fun things they did this summer.
Unfortunately, it isn’t like this for all children in El Paso, it’s sad to say that some students in our community don’t always have the means to get new school supplies and that’s where EPCC comes to help.
The school supplies drive is set to last until July 19 and unlike previous years there are drop off locations at all six EPCC campuses. “What we were hoping for
was it to grow to other campuses, and this year it is.
You know when we started, it started out at Rio Grande and it was there for about three years,” Stated Irene Perez the clerk of Valle Verde’s Service-Learning Program. Perez went on to explain that Initially the school supplies drive was held solely at EPCC’s Rio Grande campus, but over the years the school supplies drive has grown to include all campuses.
The supplies that are donated will be distributed at an event held before the new school year starts known as The School Store. Service-Learning will normally reach out to local schools to get in contacts with parents of children that may be in need to invite them to the event.
At the School Store those children get the opportunity to pick out their very own supplies to get them ready for when they are going back to school. The kids will also get the opportunity to learn about EPCC and its programs by going to different booths and earning Tejano Bucks, which they can use to “buy” their own fully stocked backpack.
The Service-Learning Program hopes that this process with get young students excited about attending college in the future. “They go around and learn about EPCC and hopefully the parents do too, and hopefully they can come back to school” Stated Perez.
The school supplies drive has also received a great deal of support this year from the El Paso Community Foundation, a local organization that raises funds to benefit the El Paso and Las Cruses communities. This year they offered the StudentLearning program a grant for $25,000 to benefit the school supplies drive.
All students, faculty and members of the community are welcome to donate, in fact some teachers have encouraged donations by offering extra credit. Perez stated on behalf of the staff at the Service-Program “thank you to all the students, faculty and staff that have helped out for the past five years.
” Some of the items being collected for the drive include backpacks, pencils/pens, crayons, colored pencils, wide-ruled paper, scissors, composition notebooks, glue, hand sanitizer and markers. For more information on the school supplies drive and the School Store contact the Service-Learning Program at 915-831-2489.