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Virtual kits available for students

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said parents should call their child’s school to request the kits. There is no need to do so; simply get them from the bus that delivers lunches.

To help those in need this school year, the Suffolk Education Foundation is providing virtual studies bags.

The Suffolk Education Foundation opens a store for teachers every Thursday to get supplies for their classrooms. The store runs off donations that have been piling up since having to close in April due to COVID-19.

“People have given a lot of funds to support teachers,” said Patrick Belcher, board president of the Suffolk Education Foundation. “So, we have put together around 800 virtual classroom bags to help students while they attend school online.”

These supply bags will include a small whiteboard with dry erase markers, a ream of paper, pens, pencils, colored pencils or crayons, and earbuds.

According to Belcher, the earbuds will be vital for students will be learning alongside siblings or other children in a daycare-like setting who are doing classes of their own. The earbuds will help them hear their teacher and focus on their lesson no matter where they are.

“We are trying to serve a unique need to make sure every student has what they need for this virtual start of the year,” said Belcher.

The virtual study bags will be distributed on the buses delivering lunches, so there is no need to request the bags.

The teacher store is hoping to open in November if schools open back up for the second nine weeks. For now, it is only open the last week of August for new teachers.

To donate to the Suffolk Education Foundation, visit suffolkeducationfoundation.org.