Suffolk, donate to help students succeed

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2019

It’s important to give children the tools they need to succeed, which is quite literally what the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office recently accomplished, and what Building Resilience in Communities and the Men Alleviating Negativity Foundation are setting out to do this Friday.

The Suffolk Sheriff’s Office collected six carloads of school supplies last week. Shoppers at the North Main Street Walmart on Friday donated notebooks, backpacks, pencils and all sorts of other essentials to help local elementary school students start the upcoming school year properly.

These supplies were delivered to Nansemond Parkway and Elephant’s Fork elementary schools Monday morning.

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“This is awesome,” Nansemond Parkway Elementary School Principal Jennifer Conner said after deputies dropped off school supplies. “We’re just really appreciate that we were chosen — along with Elephant’s Fork — to be the beneficiaries of this supply drive.”

This is tremendous for families that struggle to pay for their children’s classroom supplies. Teachers often have to do what they can to help fill these needs by spending their own money on these supplies.

But if communities can come together and have each person donate even a little something, then the students, teachers and schools are all on a better path to success.

“It helps fill the needs for the kids that aren’t able to, and it helps our teachers with classroom instruction,” Conner said.

There’s also the Chosen Ones summer program that’s being hosted by Building Resilience in Communities and the Men Alleviating Negativity Foundation.

This summer program is partnering with Western Tidewater Regional Jail and the community to support local children with a parent in Virginia jails and prisons.

“Parental incarceration has been reported as more detrimental to a child’s health and well-being than a child losing a parent to divorce or even death,” Quniana Futrell, executive director and founder of Building Resilience in Communities, told the Suffolk News-Herald.

Thirty children will be taken to the National Museum of African American History and Culture this Sunday as part of the program. When they get back, they’ll each receive a backpack stuffed with school supplies.

The community can help these children by donating school supplies for these backpacks. All types of school supplies are needed, but items for high-school aged students are often less donated and are more in demand, according to Futrell.

Those items may include calculators, flash drives, binders, lined paper, dividers, composition books and other similar items.

School supplies can be donated this Friday at Churchland Library, 4934 High St. W. in Portsmouth. For more information, email or call 598-4272.