Summer’s half over, but Stock the Lockers is in full swing. The Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation announced Thursday that it is set to launch its annual campaign raising funds for families that can’t afford to adequately supply their kids with school necessities.
“A new school year is a real challenge for many local families, especially those with more than one child,” said Crystal Dennison, NLSF executive director. “School supplies, clothing, shoes and school fees are costly.”
So the NLSF is holding its sixth Stock the Lockers campaign, kicking off Aug 13, 10 a.m., at Staples’ North Nanaimo store, 6581 Aulds Road and continuing through to Sept. 3.
“Starting the school year off with the right supplies can mean the difference between success or failure for many students,” said Dennison. “Our Stock the Lockers campaign helps ensure that all students are able to come to school ready to learn.”
Poverty is a fact of life for many students in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District, which historically has a high child poverty rate. Almost one in five children in the school district is affected by poverty, according to a recent report by Dr. Paul Hasselback, Island Health’s medical health officer for the central Island region.
But the effects of poverty can be mitigated by community action.
“Despite issues of poverty, many students are successful,” Dennison said. “Giving them a helping hand in the form of school supplies, adequate foot ware for PE, clean clothes, breakfast, lunch, and other unmet basic needs allows them to focus on their education.”
As well as responding to urgent needs of individual students, the Schools Foundation supports programs like the elementary music initiative, which provides funds to buy instruments and introduce children to the joy of making music.
It also gives Grade 12 graduates access to scholarships and bursaries to help with the high cost of post-secondary education, and (through an estate) funds special projects focused on student leadership, community development, and social responsibility.
Donations for the Stock the Lockers campaign are taken at the two Staples stores in Nanaimo, Coastal Community Credit Union branches, and the Ladysmith District Credit Union. Contributions can also be made on-line through the foundation’s website: www.NLSF.ca.
Tax receipts will be issued by mail for donations over $20. For more information, contact Dennison at 250-753-4074.