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One organization is giving students essentials they need to succeed in school

Student Support Network
Posted at 4:59 PM, Aug 03, 2023

BALTIMORE COUNTY — It's that time of the year here at WMAR where we are working to ‘Stock the School.' This means collecting donations to hand out to teachers, getting them ready for the new school year.

But we can't do it alone, one of the nonprofits that partners with us to support our Maryland teachers and students is Student Support Network.

A room is filled with containers that have supplies such as pencils and paper to even shampoo and body wash. It's things many of us don't give much thought to having. But for some students, it's the basics they struggle to get.

"66 percent, so over 50 percent of kids who attend Baltimore County Public Schools are actually in need,” said Kelly Sage, the Program Manager of the Student Support Network.

That's where the Student Support Network steps in, providing essentials students need to focus, learn and strive. The nonprofit serves 21 schools in Baltimore County.

"It makes a big difference when you can give a kid a brand new backpack and a whole bunch of school supplies to go to school and so that is a great way to start the school year to make sure they are prepared for that very first day and it feels good to have something new that's yours ,” said Sage.

They also make sure hunger is not an issue.

"Before the big school breaks, we are providing lots of fresh food that goes home to students to make sure that they have plenty to eat when schools are closed,” said Sage.

They help nearly 17,000 students in one way or another.

"Last year, we were a school of about 540 and easily weekly we were doing probably about 230 students getting something from this,” said Cristina Suarez, who volunteers at Carney Elementary.

Carney Elementary is one of the schools that receives supplies from the Student Support Network. These items help families, and also alleviates stress for teachers.

"They would be paying out of pocket, all of our teachers and admin in the past had been just buying backpacks for students so this is one less thing they have to do and one more thing they benefit from,” said Suarez.

The nonprofit receives supplies from donations in the community or organizations, working all year to make sure children are not without.

Sage said if students or families in Baltimore County are in need of backpacks or school supplies, they should contact their school.

If you would like to donate head to their Amazon wishlist.

Donations of new school supplies can also be dropped off to 1925 Greenspring Drive, Timonium, MD 21093, look for the Student Support Network flag. Donations are accepted Saturdays from 10-11 a.m. and Wednesdays from 4:30 - 6 p.m.

If you would like to donate to Stock the School the collection will happen outside the WMAR studios at 6400 York Road, 21212 on August 16.