Classroom Central targets Uptown businesses to get school suppli - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Classroom Central targets Uptown businesses to get school supplies

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The organization Classroom Central is calling on the roughly 70,000 employees who work in Uptown Charlotte to donate school supplies. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) district reports about 54% of its student population live in poverty. Those numbers mean many students will not be able to afford back to school supplies for the first day of school.

Classroom Central's campaign, called Uptown Supply Drive, is geared to prevent that.  This is a first for the organization. Classroom Central took over Trade and Tryon Streets on Thursday to collect supplies.

"We want companies in this community," Classroom Central Exec. Dir. Jill Dineen said. "To start thinking about how they can use those surplus items. Think about all the logo items that go out of style for a company and what happens to them. Those are great tools for the classroom and teachers need them and students love them."

Classroom Central allows teachers to get needed supplies at no cost to them.  Teachers from six school districts depend on that service. Several companies have already pitched in.  There was a school bus parked in Uptown where people dropped off supplies.  Dineen believes those donations will make a difference. 

"To make sure that students who are struggling," Dineen said. "To make the very basic needs met in their lives so they can feel valued and respected and have an equal opportunity at learning."

Wells Fargo stepped in.  The bank donated seven piles full of supplies.

"We saw this as a great opportunity," Wells Fargo VP T.J. Hooper said. "To get in front of the business community. And be right in the center of town and provide school supplies so everyone can see it in hopes everyone can get on board with the drive."

This drive comes at a good time.  Classroom Central's donations are low.  Some of its warehouse shelves are bare. CMS superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison hopes the business community will step in.  If not, he believes teachers' passion will take over and they will buy the needed supplies. 

"They can't afford it," Morrison said. "But our teachers are amazing and they go ahead and dip into their own pocketbook to provide those things, and we can't ask them to do that. As a state we have to do better than being 46th in the nation in terms of teacher salaries."

If you would like to help, call Classroom Central at 704-377-1740.

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