Canada

Emergency school supplies to be delivered to 700 Ottawa children in need

Arthur, executive director of the Education Foundation of Ottawa, laughs as she tells the story of her search for school supplies for 700 children in Ottawa.

The foundation, a charity devoted to helping students in need at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, decided to distribute emergency supplies to children learning at home while schools were closed because of COVID-19.

School principals and superintendents had alerted the charity that some low-income students needed paper, notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, scissors, rulers, glue sticks and erasers.

The Education Foundation of Ottawa bought and packed up school supplies for 700 kids who are doing schoolwork at home but lack supplies. They are being Delivered by courier.Handout photoFor 0523 covid backpacks
The Education Foundation of Ottawa bought and packed up school supplies for 700 children who have been doing schoolwork at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Handout photo/Education Foundation of Ottawa

The foundation distributes backpacks full of school supplies to about 3,000 students a year. They are normally handed out mainly in June at schools.

This is not a normal year, though, with COVID-19 forcing the closure of school buildings until September.

“We have students in need right now,” Arthur said. “We couldn’t wait.”

Arthur said she had difficulty locating enough school supplies. There were shortages at the usual supplier and delays in deliveries online.

So Arthur scouted stores across Ottawa over the past two weeks to find what she needed. Most of the purchases were made during more than a dozen trips to Dollarama outlets, she said.

Packages of the school supplies were sent to a courier company this week for delivery to students.

The Education Foundation of Ottawa bought and packed up school supplies for 700 kids who are doing schoolwork at home but lack supplies. They are being Delivered by courier.Handout photoFor 0523 covid backpacks
The Education Foundation of Ottawa bought and packed up school supplies for 700 children who have been doing schoolwork at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Handout photo/Education Foundation of Ottawa

Arthur said the foundation still planned to provide backpacks of school supplies for students in the fall.

The foundation also provides snacks at school, food vouchers, clothes, bursaries and the opportunity for children to participate in sports, recreation, artistic and other enrichment activities they could not otherwise afford.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the foundation can do so through the website educationfoundationottawa.ca.

jmiller@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JacquieAMiller

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