2 CPS Schools Win Supplies for a Year 

Back 2 School Illinois helps put students on path to success

September 10, 2015

When she wrote to Back 2 School Illinois (B2SI) – a nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for Illinois children – CPS teacher Sarah O’Connor explained that school supplies are about more than just pencils and paper.

“At Carter, we strive to have students take control of their learning and own the outcomes of their hard work,” Sarah wrote of her school. “By having their own supplies, students would feel increased ownership over these goals.”

“Every day I tell my students they are important,” she said. “They understand that they have the capacity to effect change in our community, our nation, and our world. Let’s give them the tools to do so.”

The essay was for a contest sponsored by B2SI, which operates the largest free school supplies program in the state. Founded in 2010, the organization has provided more than 100,000 school supply kits to children from low-income families, including all students from Turner Drew Language Academy and Carter School of Excellence – the two CPS schools selected as this year’s contest winners. 

“There are currently more than 1 million students in the state of Illinois living in low-income situations,” said B2SI CEO Matthew Kurtzman. “By providing over 700 students with school supplies during the first week of school, we’re not only able to prepare them for a successful year, but we can also help to take that burden off of struggling parents and educators.”

The students at Carter received their supplies on the second day of school, while those at Turner Drew were handed theirs on day one. The more than 400 students at Drew can credit their good fortune to one thoughtful parent volunteer who took the time to apply. 

“At Turner Drew, we have what is called the Triple A Approach,” wrote this mother in her essay. “This means that our students and teachers have outstanding performance in achievement, attendance and attitude. But despite these great statistics, many of our students are not prepared for school on a day-to-day basis. Our students, parents, teachers and administration would be grateful for this donation in setting a firm foundation for the success of each of our students.”

Page Last Modified on Thursday, September 10, 2015