School supply drive fills critical need for local schools

Temple will donate more than 1,000 school supplies to Tanner Duckrey School and Alliance for Progress Charter School from a collection drive this year.

The 4th annual school supply drive for Tanner G. Duckrey School on the 1500 block of Diamond Street will donate more than 1,000 items to students in need. | RYAN ENOCH / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Kristin Grubb was inside a classroom in Tanner Duckrey School, located on Diamond between 15th and 16th streets, when she saw something she would not be able to forget.

“The teacher would say, ‘Take out a pen or a piece of paper,’ and students did not have them,” said Grubb, the director of Faculty Affairs at Temple University. “So I thought, ‘how do we leverage our resources as a university to help the surrounding community?’”

Through a joint partnership between the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Liberal Arts Alumni Association and the College of Education, Grubb is hosting the fourth annual school supply drive for Duckery.

The drive will run until Oct. 30 and is expected to donate more than 1,000 school supplies to the elementary school.

Since its inception in 2014, the drive donated about 8,000 items, Grubb said. In its first two years, the drive only serviced Duckrey. In 2017, it expanded to send supplies to the Alliance for Progress Charter School on Cecil B. Moore Avenue between Gratz and 19th streets.

At the beginning of the program, Duckery was contacted to find “the need,” Grubb said.

“They needed everything,” she added. “We get science safety goggles, modeling clay, watercolors … We even get supplies for the teachers and administrators to use.”

Duckrey’s principal, David Cohen, said the drive provides children with materials and supplies they do not have.

“The donations of administrative equipment offsets costs, letting us put money into other resources for students,” he added.

Since 2016, the drive uses an Amazon wishlist, which allows the school to easily list the specific supplies it needs. This is where the majority of the donations come from, Grubb said. Donations bought from the list ship directly to her office.

There are three drop-off locations available on campus. One is located in the College of Liberal Arts office in Anderson Hall, another in the Vice President of Academic Affairs office at Carnell Hall and in the Shimada Resource Center in Ritter Annex.

“I think it is great that students from Temple, not only from the College of Education, are taking the time and resources to provide bought materials for students who are in need,” said Juliette Rayser, a senior early childhood education major and peer advisor at the Shimada Resource Center.

The donations come from many groups, including students, alumni, parents and student organizations, Grubb said.

The Temple Chapter of the Pennsylvania Student Nursing Association donated a large number of supplies this year, she added.

“The supplies don’t meet the need but they certainly help to offset it,” Grubb said. “It takes a village, with this, it is the whole university and it has even grown beyond just Temple University that takes part in helping our surrounding community.”

Cohen said the relationship between Temple and Duckery goes beyond the drive.

“We have numerous volunteers [from Temple] whether they are reading, helping out at lunch, painting, they have done pretty much everything they can in this building,” he said.

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