UPTOWN — With about four months remaining in the school year, an Uptown neighborhood group is helping make sure students at area schools have enough supplies to last until school lets out in June.
Last week, Friends of the 46th Ward Schools launched its "Re-Supply Drive," to collect school supplies for neighborhood schools. A school supplies drive that kicked off in July was the group's most recent drive, and it netted a trunkload of supplies for each 46th Ward school and more than $2,000 in donations.
Budget cuts by Chicago Public Schools before the 2013-2014 school year resulted in many neighborhood schools cutting back on school supplies.
Susan Ridihalgh, an organizer with Friends of the 46th Ward Schools, said that "The families in our neighborhood can use all of the help they can get."
The 46th Ward has about 3,000 students who come from low-income families, according to the office of Ald. James Cappleman (46th).
"So many of our students come from low-income families that teachers, I think, are hesitant to ask them to bring in supplies from home to fill needs. ... It leads a lot of teachers to buy things for the classroom by themselves," Ridihalgh said.
The 100th day of school last week "gave us a milestone to tie the drive around," Ridihalgh said.
"We wanted students and teachers to have enough stuff to last until the end of the school year, and we figured this was a good time to do this now," she said.
In Uptown, Walt Disney Magnet School, Joseph Brennemann, John T. McCutcheon and Mary E. Courtenay elementary schools will benefit from the supply drive. Horace Greeley Elementary School in Lakeview is also a beneficiary of the drive. Supplies needed include Kleenex, glue sticks, loose leaf paper, whiteboard markers, spiral notebooks and hand sanitizer.
There's a couple ways people can help out.
One is shopping for supplies and dropping the items off at the 46th Ward Office, 4544 N. Broadway. People interested in pitching in also can donate money to Friends of the 46th Ward Schools and let the organization do the shopping.
In December, a toy and clothing drive for 46th Ward children was "very successful also," Ridihalgh said.
Ridihalgh said she has heard about parents crying for joy because they were able to get toys, hats and gloves for their kids during the holiday season.
For more information about the supplies drive, visit the Friends of the 46th Ward Schools website.