APM ships out student backpacksPublished 9:46pm Thursday, September 13, 2012
Many Suffolk public school students returning to classes this month are better prepared to achieve their goals thanks to a program from APM Terminals Virginia.
The company, which operates the container terminal just over the city line on U.S. Route 164, donated backpacks stocked with back-to-school supplies to public schools in Suffolk and Portsmouth.
“This year is the fifth anniversary of the opening of the facility, and we took the opportunity to celebrate by increasing donations to each school system,” APM Terminals Senior Vice President John Crowley said.
Each district received 60 backpacks, as well as “additional classroom supplies,” to be distributed as administrators see fit.
“I understand that each school district had 20 schools that received supplies,” Crowley said.
Executive Assistant and Office Administrator Dana MacMurray coordinated the back-to-school effort for APM Terminals.
“Dana and other members of staff spent 30 hours’ of work, between purchasing (supplies) and stocking backpacks,” Crowley said.
“Dana reached out at the beginning of the year and got lists from the school systems describing school supplies. The goal is to provide a number of fully stock backpacks to children in the school systems.”
Some extra supplies will fill any gaps in supplies for students who didn’t receive actual backpacks, he said.
Other groups have also distributed back-to-school backpacks. Golden States Food Foundation, for instance, purchased backpacks and supplies for every first-grader at Elephant’s Fork and Hillpoint elementary schools.
National Night Out organizers in Driver used excess funds to purchase supplies for Driver and Florence Bowser elementary schools, and, during a Bible camp, Oakland Christian Church kids collected 20 bags of classroom supplies for Oakland Elementary.
Crowley said that APM has a vested interest in helping improve the standard of education in Suffolk classrooms.
“In times like today there are those that are struggling to provide the right support,” he said. “We certainly got very positive feedback.”
APM Terminals has also been exploring a mentoring program to “contribute to the classroom experience.”