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Applicant Info.







 The Stigma Around School Supplies

 This project’s focus is on children/parents that are unable to purchase school supplies,
specifically in Watauga County, and the stigma this creates for those individuals. On the
first day of school, a supply list is typically given and it’s expected that the student
arrives with all of those supplies within the next couple of days, but some students cannot
afford to get these supplies. This makes those students look unprepared, but in reality
they just are unable to provide these supplies. There can also be a stigma created because
of this issue. These students’ peers may begin to make fun of those students that cannot
afford what they can. This could also cause the teacher to think that these students are
unprepared and do not really care, which is not the case most of the time. This can make
the teachers mad at these individuals and the teacher most likely does not know the
bigger issue going on, this is one reason why awareness of this subject needs to be raised.
I chose Watauga County Schools for this project because this county has one of the
highest poverty rates in the state of North Carolina, being approximately 31.4%. (United
States Census Bureau, 2016). In 2015, over 1000 children were living in poverty (Fred
Economic Data, 2015). Having a higher poverty rate means there are more low income
families in the area, so it may be harder for a lot of families to afford school supplies. I
looked at one of Watauga County’s schools and found a supply list for 3rd grade (Cove
Creek 2018), the average cost of everything on this list was $42.12 (according to
Walmart). This can be a lot of money especially for families that are impoverished.

 The goal of this project is to spread awareness for this often overlooked issue, as
well as provide supplies for those who need them. This would happen by holding
an event to raise awareness about this issue as well as hold school supply drives
were people in the community could donate supplies that would be distributed to
schools around the county.
 Spread awareness on this issue and collect enough school supplies for the
schools in the county to get a decent amount of supplies for those who
need them.
 This goal will be measured by the amount of school supplies that will be
brought in over the course of one year.
 Educate the community on this issue, so that they may be more willing to
help those in need if they are able.
 Inspire the community to take action themselves and form their own
school supply drives.


 There have been several recent news articles that cover the issue of children and
their family not being able to afford school supplies. For example, in one article it
discusses how some children in North Carolina are practically fundraising in
order to earn money for school supplies (Lancaster, 2017). There have not been
many studies completed on this issue specifically, but there have been studies
about poverty levels in schools or within families with school aged children.
Poverty level in families almost directly aligns with students being unable to
provide school supplies.
 There have been successful school supply drives that I have seen around the
community so far. There was a school successful school supply drive in
Brunswick County which is in North Carolina that was covered by the local news
and circulated a good amount of publicity (Yoder, 2018). I think what makes this
project different from the typical school supply drive is the fact that there is a
bigger event to educate the community as well as smaller school supply drives.
 Hopefully, this project lessens the stigma on children that are unable to buy
school supplies by making everyone seem equal and making sure that everyone
has everything that they need to succeed in school.


 I am planning to create one community event for families (especially
families with kids in school) and just the community in general, where the
main focus is lessing the stigma on students that are not able to get school
supplies. At these events I will hire individuals to speak that have seen
first hand the impacts of a lack of school supplies, such as teachers or
families that are directly affected by this issue. I think that it would be
interesting to get people's views that have had this problem in the past. I
would also make this event a school supply drive, so instead of having to
buy a ticket just bring some school supplies and there would be a donation
bin at the door. I would also try to set donation bins up around the town.
After the drives are over I would collect all of the supplies and see how
much was donated and divide it between the schools that need supplies. I
would try to make a raffle or drawing of some sort to make this event
more fun for the public. The money received from this grant will be used
for creating the event and buying some school supplies. I would need to
pay for the venue, speakers, food, and things that make the event fun and
worth it for those attending. I am also unsure if there is a fee to set up
donation bins in stores or other locations, so I would possibly need money
for that.

 August - October 2019: Plan the event:
 Pick a date, time, and a theme
 Find a location, caterer(s), and speakers

 November 2019: Promote the event

 Create flyers and hand them out to the schools in the community
and other public places
 Post about the event online to create even more publicity
 Try to get local news stations to cover this event

 December 2019: Hold the first event

 January 2020: Set up school supply drive bins around the community
 Call business (mostly locally owned) to see if they would allow for
a donation bin to be set up in their store.
 Leave bins in stores for the rest of the year.

 July-August 2020:
 Collect the rest of the supplies donated and distribute them to the
schools that need them/requested them or equally divide the
supplies among the schools in the county.

 Schools will be given a good amount of school supplies and awareness
will be created in the community about the stigma of not being able to
afford school supplies. I am hoping that this makes more people be more
willing to give and if they are able just donate school supplies to their
child’s classroom/school.
 This project has the potential to help all students. Those that do not have
school supplies are unable to be prepared for class and that can affect their
learning, so hopefully students are able to get what they need in order to

Total: $5,000.00
 Venue: $1000
 Food/Catering: $1400
 Speakers: $150 (x4)
 Decorations: $300
 Advertising: $200
 Donations Bins: $25 (x9)
 Extra Costs: $1,275

*All remaining money (under extra costs) will be used to buy school supplies to give even more
back to the schools.

Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). (2010, October 05). Retrieved from

Estimate of People Age 0-17 in Poverty in Watauga County, NC. (2018, May 29). Retrieved

Lancaster, D. (n.d.). Teachers and students shouldn't have to panhandle for school supplies.
Retrieved from

Save Money. Live Better. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Third Grade Supply List. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grade

TV3, W. (2018, July 30). Communities in Schools holding Back to School Supply Drive.
Retrieved from