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Backpacks, School Supplies Needed for Homeless Students in Washtenaw County

Washtenaw Intermediate School District is collecting school donations through August to help low income families.

As summer vacation winds down and the mad rush for back to school supplies begins, employees at The Education Project, based within the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, are asking families to help donate to homeless students throughout the county.

"We especially need backpacks," Peri Stone-Palmquist, program manager told Ann Arbor.com. "Sturdy backpacks are best, and kids love the ones with characters on them."

Stone-Palmquist told Patch that volunteers are also collecting pencils, pens, markers, scientific calculators, paper, and notebooks.

Stone-Palmquist said new socks and underwear for children and teenagers, as well as toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and travel-sized shampoo also are needed because supplies are running low.

From now through Aug. 26, the Dexter community can donate school supplies at , 7200 Dexter-Ann Arbor Road. Supplies can also be dropped off at the Salvation Army of Washtenaw County, 100 Arbana Drive in Ann Arbor. 

According to The Education Project's website, during the 2011-2012 school year, more than 1,300 children and youth in Washtenaw County experienced a homeless or temporary living situation, a 40 percent increase from 2010. Of those, roughly 10 attended Dexter Community Schools. The program is grant-funded and helps homeless students from all 10 school districts and public school academies in the county enroll and attend school.

Stone-Palmquist attributes the increased number of homeless youth in Washtenaw County to higher rates of poverty and unemployment.

"The face of who we're working with is very diverse," she told Ann Arbor.com. "It makes these students feel more a part of the school experience if they have the supplies. It allows them to do the work they need to do where ever they are staying at the time."

For more information about The Education Project, call 734-961-1999.

Janice Mace August 07, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Do they take cash donations? They can shop at the end a fill in what is needed.
Brooke Parrish August 08, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Yes, cash donations are very helpful..... United Bank & Trust Announces 7th Annual Tools for Schools Campaign July 30 - August 31, 2012 In collaboration with our local ISD homeless youth education programs, United Bank & Trust is pleased to sponsor its seventh annual “Tools for Schools” campaign — a communitywide collection drive of school supplies for homeless and disadvantaged youth in grades K-12. This campaign helps ensure that none of our area children go without these basic needs during the upcoming school year. Last year, with your support, United collected and donated over 6,100 school supply items to children throughout our local communities. We hope to collect even more this year. As in previous campaigns, we are collecting school supply items in our banking offices now through August 31. Some suggested items include: Backpacks for all ages Highlighters, colored pencils, markers Calculators — regular, solar-powered, scientific 1-inch Binders and folders Protractors, rulers, compasses Glue and scissors Three-subject and five-subject notebooks, loose-leaf paper Pink and white erasers, pencil sharpeners Zippered pencil pouches and supply boxes Tissues, hand sanitizer (pocket size), zip-lock bags NOTE: Because of your generosity during past campaigns, we have an abundance of crayons and #2 pencils, and do not need these items.

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