In mid-September Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss contacted the South Granville Rotary Club seeking help. He had been contacted by Caroline Farmer, Director of the NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service about Governor Roy Cooper’s School Supply Drive which ended September 8. State Employees Credit Union (SECU) branches, state government offices and businesses across North Carolina collected school supplies that teachers and students need most throughout the school year. The issue was that although the supplies had been collected in the county, there was no mechanism to get the supplies to the schools. Could we help?
Delighted to participate in a local program supporting education, one of South Granville Rotary’s key areas of emphasis, the club agreed to step in. Members collected the supplies from local State Employee Credit Union offices, sorted them and then delivered them to Shelby Hunt, Principal of the West Oxford Elementary School. Although the quantity was small, Ms. Hunt pointed out that every little bit helps.
South Granville decided to follow through, looking to the great example of the partnership among the Durham Rotary Clubs and Crayons2Calculators which collected almost $170,000 of supplies in their fall Fill That Bus campaign. That program started with less than $5,000 of collections the first year, so the club feels it can help grow the Governor’s program by partnering and expanding the concept.
The need is great, since on average, teachers spend about $500 of their own money on supplies for their classrooms each year, and state funding for school supplies has been cut in half since 2008. In March, Gov. Cooper announced his budget proposal, Common Ground Solutions for North Carolina, which called for a $150 annual supply stipend for all North Carolina public school teachers to help offset the cost of purchasing supplies. The teacher supply stipend was not included in the budget passed by the North Carolina General Assembly.