In addition to typical school supplies like glue sticks, pencils, etc., hygiene products may also be donated.
The program rotates among the tri-county area, with each school selected by the county superintendent. Past schools that have been adopted were Paul C Bunn Elementary in Youngstown (Mahoning County), McGuffey K-8 in Warren (Trumbull County), and Garfield Elementary in Wellsville (Columbiana County).
According to program coordinator Francine McBride, Community Outreach also provides programming at the school through the year.
“Education is a key component to the Adopt-A-School program,” says McBride. “This will include trainings about various aspects of health, nutrition, and hygiene with information available for staff, students, and families. We’ll also be available at some school and PTO events.”
McBride also takes a creative approach to engage the students.
“I recruit Doggie Brigade volunteers and Teen Outreach volunteers to accompany me for Dr. Seuss’ birthday readings in March. This promotes literacy and exhibits the importance of community service simultaneously.”
Other past activities have included asthma and diabetes programs, fitness and safety programs, and recreational activities. By partnering with other local organizations, McBride is able to continually expand and adapt the program’s response to each school.
Last year’s recipient was Campbell Elementary-Middle School. According to Karen Paradise, Crisis Intervention Specialist, 350 students were able to receive uniforms and school supplies through the Adopt-A-School program. “At least 80% of our families qualify for free or reduced meals, so we were in great need. The generosity of the hospital was overwhelming.”
If you are interested in donating or learning more about the program, contact Francine McBride at 330-729-9247.
Donations are accepted July 7-August 15 and may be dropped off at the Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley Beeghly campus.